Berkeley Repertory Theatre, hard at work on its new space since August, 1999, puts the fruits of their labors on display March 6 with an official ribbon cutting ceremony at the new space. Called merely the New Theatre, the 600 seat proscenium stage includes a 171-seat balcony, an 80-foot fly tower, a trap door, dressing rooms, a donor room, expanded restrooms and an outdoor courtyard, between the original thrust stage and the Nevo Education Center, the Rep's theatre school. Mayor Shirley Dean will be on hand for the 10 AM ribbon-cutting alongside the Rep's Martin Zankel, Tony Taccone and Susan Medak. A reception follows on the Narsai David Courtyard.
The March 6 is the opening event in a series celebrating the new theatre, culminating in the first performance on its stage March 13. A gala grand opening dinner, hosted by Rita Moreno at Martin Luther King, Jr., Civic Center Park, leads to an evening spent with Aeschylus' The Oresteia Part One: Agamemnon. Dancing and dessert in the David Courtyard will follow.
On March 17, in honor of the City of Berkeley's support of the theatre company, Berkeley Repertory will host a free community open house from noon to 5 PM. A tour and entertainment by local artists will be featured during the event.
For information on the Opening Gala Dinner (tickets are $210), call Lynn Eve Fortin at (510) 647-2900. To schedule a tour time on March 17, call (510) 647-2900. Berkeley Repertory Theatre is on the web at http://www.berkeleyrep.org.
— By Christine Ehren