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 both Spirit Square and Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. 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
- 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 plays, with many area/regional* premieres of significant contemporary plays, and annual festival of new plays from national submissions - many later published and produced at the Rep and many U.S. theatre companies

Angels in America

"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

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

The 73 plays plays produced during the Blumenthal decade include the area premieres of 12 Best Play Tony Award winners and/or Pulitzer Prize winners, 48 area premieres of work by prominent writers from the national scene, and 10 new play premieres, 8 of them developed in the Rep's annual new play festival.

Photos above, productions at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and Spirit Square: Crimes of the Heart*: Meg Kelly Rizzoli, Rebecca Koon+, Kirtan Coan, director. Jane Hadley+; Falsettos*: Brian Robinson+, Mary Setrakian, Neal Mayer, Sandy Binion, Susan Roberts++, Michael Cline; Wit*: Sam Robison, Michael Ruff+, Bobby Tyson+, Lesley Hunt, Rebecca Koon+, Treschel Washington+, Chandler McIntyre+; Communicating Doors*: Eva Kaminsky, Bonnie Franklin; Barbi VanSchaick+; Death and the Maiden (regional premiere): Terry Loughlin+, Richard McWilliams+, Kathryn Knotts; Present Laughter: Katherine Goforth*, J.A. Nelson, Libby Seymour+, Gladys Lavitan+, director. Jane Hadley+; 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 (+resident actor)

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 (Blumenthal decade)

See the links below for more.


All material 2002 and earlier / Photos: Mitchell Kearney, Donna Bise, Rebecca Cairns, Joe Deese 


Rep detail archive