Playbill On-Line phoned Berkeley Repertory Theatre May 5 at 7:30 AM, PST (the morning of the Tony Nomination Announcements), in hopes of being the first to inform the theatre about it's Tony Award for Best Regional Theatre. Berkeley Rep had already been informed.
"We were completely caught off-guard when we got the news on Saturday," Susan Medak, managing director of Berkeley Repertory Theatre, told Playbill On-Line, [but] "I can enjoy hearing it every time."
"It's not something we were angling for, but we are delighted to get it," Medak continued, "It comes at such a wonderful time."
In addition to the Tony, RCA Victor will make a $25,000 grant to theatre, which was founded in 1968.
Berkeley Rep certainly has a lot to be smiling about these days. The theatre, dawning upon its 30th anniversary, swept this year's Bay Area Critics Awards, and received the 1997 Cyril Award, sponsored by a business/arts community in San Francisco. According to Medak, the city has agreed to include Berkeley Rep in a $4 million promotional budget. While Sharon Ott, artistic director at Berkeley for 13 years, heads off to her new job in the same post at Seattle Rep, Tony Taccone will take over the position, leading the theatre into it's fourth decade.
What's special about the Tony Award, Medak sums up, is that "It recognizes a whole body of work. That makes me feel great."
For more information about Tony Taccone replacing Sharon Ott as Berkeley Rep's Artistic Director, please refer to the story in the theatre news section of Playbill On-Line.
For more information about Berkeley Rep's current production of An Almost Holy Picture, playing through May 9, please refer to the story in theatre news.
--By Blair Glaser