charlotte rep


Charlotte Repertory Theatre 1976 - 2005
In residence Spirit Square Arts Center beginning 1976
In residence Booth Playhouse and Belk Theatre, Blumenthal Performing Arts 1992-2005

First founded to establish a professional contemporary theatre, and a home for artists and audiences, the Rep grew over 25 years from small ensemble to Metrolina's flagship Actors' Equity theatre, first year-round professional company, only LORT theatre, and the resident company at Spirit Square and Blumenthal Performing Arts. The Rep developed an open collective of staff and actors from annual casting in Charlotte, New York and Atlanta, and hosted visiting artists including Tony Kushner (Pulitzer Prize, Tony Awards), Beth Henley (Pulitzer Prize), and Olympia Dukakis (Academy Award).

- 3,500 subscribers, $2m expenses, balanced budget, annual cash reserve
- The Metrolina region's only Actors' Equity / League of Resident Theatres affiliated company
- 72% capacity paid attendance (national season average 74%, via Theatre Communications Group)
- 53% earned income (national average 55%), 95% of budget goal  / 40% of income from tickets (just over 100% of goal)

- Annual season of 6-8 productions, with many area/regional premieres* of significant contemporary plays, and an annual festival of new plays chosen from national submissions - many of them later published and fully produced at the Rep and numerous U.S. theatre companies


"Professional regional theatre does not get much better than this."  
Charlotte Observer 

"Theatres are in the public trust, they belong to everyone. I can't think of a better example of that than Charlotte Rep."
Academy Award winning actor Olympia Dukakis

"Best of all, you'll see the cream of our actors stretching themselves, obviously galvanized by the opportunity to do new and vital work."
Creative Loafing

During the Blumenthal decade the Rep achieved membership in the League of Resident Theatres (LORT D), the largest professional theatre association of its kind in the U.S. LORT theatres collectively issue more contracts to professional actors than Broadway and national tours combined. 

The 73 plays plays produced in the Blumenthal decade alone include the area premieres of 12 Best Play Tony Award winners and/or Pulitzer Prize winners, 38 area premieres of prominent work from the national scene, and 10 new play premieres (8 featured in the Rep's annual new play festival).

Productions above at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and Spirit Square, over the Rep's 29 year life: Death and the Maiden*: Richard McWilliams+*,Terry Loughlin+*, Kathryn Knotts*; Falsettos*: Brian Robinson+*, Mary Setrakian*, Neal Mayer*, Sandy Binion+*, Susan Roberts+, Michael Cline; Wit*: Director Steve Umberger+*~, Sam Robison*, Michael Ruff+, Bobby Tyson+, Lesley Hunt*, Rebecca Koon+*, Treschel Washington+, Chandler McIntyre+; Communicating Doors*: Eva Kaminsky*, Bonnie Franklin*; Three Tall Women*: Paige Johnston Thomas+, Lucille Patton*, Mary Lucy Bivins+; Angels in America*: Tamara Scott*, Angus MacLachlan+, Graham Smith+*, Kevin R. Free*, Barbi VanSchaick+, Scott Helm+, Mary Lucy Bivins+*, Alan Poindexter+; The Tempest: Raphael Nash Thompson*, Forrest McClendon*, Company; Picasso at the Lapin Agile*: Kadina Halliday*, Scott Helm+*, Barbi VanSchaick+, Michael Nestor+, Seymour Horowitz*, Wayne Powers+, Brian Robinson+*, Josh Gaffga+, William Boyer+; The Old Settler: Dion Graham*, Phyllis Bash*; director: Claudia Carter Covington+* (+ resident actor * area premiere * member Actors' Equity Association ~ member SDC)

Charlotte Rep leadership at the Blumenthal 1992-2002
Founder & Artistic Director Steve Umberger / Producer & Managing Director Keith Martin / Literary Manager Claudia Carter Covington / Literary Associate Carol Bellamy / General Manager Debbie Willis Fitts / Resident Director Terry Loughlin

Company founders: Steve Umberger, Beverly Brown Lueke, Terri Haugen, Becky Kent Story

All CRT material on these pages 2002 and earlier. The Rep continued from 2002-2005 under different leadership.

Photos: Mitchell Kearney, Donna Bise, Rebecca Cairns, Joe Deese