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.
Stanford Repertory Theater has become an award-winning company, thanks to the collaboration of many artists and the support of our sponsors and patrons, both within and outside of the university community. In 2014, for example, SRT's productions of Moby Dick - Rehearsed and War of the Worlds received ten Theater Bay Area award nominations, and Moby Dick - Rehearsed won for Outstanding Production, Direction, Ensemble, and Sound Design.
Over the years we have benefited enormously from the contribution guest actors, directors, and designers from the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and New York, including Andrew Robinson, Geoff Hoyle, L.Peter Callender, Michael Keck, Rod Gnapp, Geoff Sobelle, James Carpenter, Jeffrey Bihr, David Arrow, Anthony J. Haney, Kay Kostopoulos, Marty Pistone, Leith Burke, Annie Abrams, Peter Ruocco, Jaroslav Trusczcynski, Alexandra Wolska, Patrick Jones, Jennifer Erdmann, Peter Maradudin, Roselyn Hallett, Julian Lopez Morillas, Thomas Freeland, Ed Iskandar, and Amy Freed. We are particularly proud of our ongoing collaboration with Courtney Walsh, who has appeared in twenty-nine SRT productions, co-directed our award winning Moby Dick - Rehearsed, and who performs the title roles in our 2018 production of Euripides' Hecuba/Helen.
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 (2014, 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, Clifford Odets, and Vsevolod Meyerhold. 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 and continuation of World War I, with two different performances, Words to End All Wars and Words and Images 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
- George Packer's Betrayed
- Bertolt Brecht's The Exception and the Rule
- Michael Frayn's Copenhagen
- Democratically Speaking, compiled by Rush Rehm and Lindsey Mantoan
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).
From March 23 - March 31, 2018, SRT Artistic Director Rush Rehm leads Stanford Classics majors on a trip to the Argolid in Greece. He then participates in a conference “Euripides – the Innovator, part III” in Gardzienice, Poland, May 10 – 13, 2018, where he will discuss motifs of marriage, sacrifice, and death in Euripides’ Hecuba and Helen. On May 29, 2018, at 8:30 pm, he lectures on SRT’s Hecuba/Helen production for Classics and Theater students at the University of Rethymnon, Crete.
SRT will mount a production of Hecuba, translated and directed by Rush Rehm, with choreography by Aleta Hayes, in Athens, Greece, at the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation theater September 7, 8, and 9, 2018 at 8 pm with an all Greek professional cast,. SRT is proud to bring this great tragedy back to the city of its origin. Performed in English with Greek super-titles, Hecuba continues SRT's ongoing work with Greek artists and theaters. Please see here.
On Saturday February 2, 2019, at 7:30 pm, SRT joins Humanities West for a program entitled "Democracy Then and Now" at Marines Memorial Theater. We will perform excerpts from our 2016 theatrical piece Democratically Speaking, with Rush Rehm, Courtney Walsh, and Thomas Freeland.