Our Mission

Stanford Repertory Theater brings professional theater to the Stanford community year-round, presenting challenging plays in a fresh, lively, and informed manner. We afford Stanford students the opportunity to work with theater professionals in a meaningful collaboration, involving design, performance, technical support, publicity, festival management and administration. SRT celebrates what the theater and university can bring to the cultural life of the community.

 

Our History

Prior to the establishment of Stanford Repertory Theater, future company members laid the collaborative groundwork. In 1992, Rush Rehm directed a production of The Wanderings of Odysseus (translated from Homer by Oliver Taplin) at the J. Paul Getty Villa in Malibu, CA, produced by the Center Theater Group (Mark Taper Forum). One of the actors in the original Wanderings, Andy Robinson, later played Frank in Faith Healer, part of SRT’s 2008 festival dedicated to Brian Friel. SRT re-mounted Wanderings as the centerpiece of our 2010 summer festival, “Around the Fire: Homer in Performance.” 

In 1993, Stanford Lively Arts (forerunner of Stanford Live) produced Euripides’ Suppliant Women as part of the Democracy 2500 Project, celebrating the 2500th anniversary of the founding of Athenian democracy. Suppliant Women later traveled to the Folger Theater in Washington, DC, with a welcoming reception at the US Supreme Court hosted by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. 

Directed by Rush Rehm, Suppliant Women featured Jeffrey Bihr, Peter Callender, and David Arrow, who have appeared later in several SRT summer festivals. Michael Keck, composer of the original sound score for Suppliant Women, later composed the sound for SRT’s Deianeira (2005), Electra (2009), and Moby Dick – Rehearsed (2010, for which Michael received the Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding Sound Composition). 

Inspired by Charles Junkerman, Dean of Continuing Studies (and a prime-mover on the Democracy 2500 Project at Stanford), Drama professor Rush Rehm, PhD student Aleksandra Wolska ‘02, and Polish theater artist Jarek Truszczynski founded Stanford Repertory Theater in 1997. Summer festivals have featured the work of Anton Chekhov, Bertolt Brecht, Molière,  Eugène Ionesco, Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripides, Aristophanes, Amy Freed, Femi Osofisan, Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin, Seneca, Lorraine Hansberry, Oscar Wilde, Dylan Thomas, Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Max Frisch, Derek Walcott, Brian Friel, Orson Welles, Noël Coward, Naomi Wallace, and Clifford Odets. For details, please see photos and reviews in our Past Seasons section. 

SRT also collaborates with various Stanford departments and centers, mounting productions of political, social, and cultural significance.

With Stanford Continuing Studies, SRT has staged theatrical productions commemorating the following centenaries:

  • The birth of William Saroyan, whose papers are housed in the Stanford University Library
  • The birth of Eudora Welty; performances traveled to Jackson, Mississippi sponsored by the Eudora Welty Foundation, and played at Millsaps College, Mississippi State University, and Alcorn State University
  •  the outbreak of World War I, an evening entitled Words to End All Wars (co-sponsored by Stanford’s Peace + Justice Studies Initiative)

For the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society and the Stanford Arts Institute, SRT has staged productions exploring the themes of the ethics of war, the ethics of wealth, and the ethics of scientific research: 

  • J.B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls
  • Bertolt Brecht’s The Exception and the Rule (the production also toured local high schools)
  •  Richard Rhodes’ Reykjavik
  • Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen
  • Brecht’s Life of Galileo 

 

Our Scope

SRT has a strong international presence, with performances in several countries:

  • Our Brecht/Weill cabaret When the Shark Bites proved the highlight of the Shanghai Experimental Theater Festival
  • The Wanderings of Odysseus traveled to Athens, Greece, sponsored by the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation, the Greek Ministry of Culture, and the European Union
  •  Our bilingual production of Beckett’s Happy Days/Oh les beaux jours played at Théâtre la Vingette in Montpellier and at Le petite théâtre, École normale superièure, in Paris, France.
  • Our lecture/performance Comparative Clytemnestra has played at San Francisco State University, University of Utah, Trinity University, Wesleyan University, and Stanford University), and at universities and conferences in Europe (Slovenia, Cardiff, Amsterdam, Berlin). Performed by Courtney Walsh, our one-woman show Clytemnestra: Tangled Justice has toured Greece (Nafplion, Athens), New Zealand (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin), and Australia (Sydney). 

 

Our Future

In 2017, SRT presents workshops on Beckett (Paris) and Greek tragedy (Nafplion). This summer we mount our 19th Summer Festival, The Many Faces of Farce. Please see OUR 2017 Season Tab.


Stanford Repertory Theater in the Press