Honoring the spirit of Unique Theatrical Events created in 1966
New Los Angeles Repertory Company
The original Los Angeles Repertory Company was founded in 1966. It strove to bring theatrical experience to its highest form. Until it paused operations in 2006, LA Rep maintained a credo that the quality of the work should take precedence over all other considerations. In concentrating on quality rather than quantity, the Rep built a steady following of avid theatre-lovers, who knew that the experience they receive in our theatre cannot be found in any other media. The Los Angeles Repertory Company is dedicated to presenting wide-ranging visions of life and experience focused through the sharp lens of the living energy of audience and actors. We draw upon the past legacy of memorable playwrights and we explore the new theatrical horizons of contemporary writers through a concerted ensemble approach.
The New LA Rep is inspired by the vision of the original co-Founder and Artistic Director, Robert Ellenstein, who received LA Weekly’s career achievement award in 1994 for his lifetime of contributions to the theatre. LA Rep's aims are both educational and inspirational. Our main concern is vivid theatre, maintaining high standards for production of important plays reaching out to new audiences. In our productions, we seek to ensure that no single element dominates (be it the acting, setting, lighting, costumes, music), but rather, everything serves to clarify and enhance the experience of the total play.
Through our company workshops we foster a collaborative sense to enrich our work as a whole. Plays are chosen, new or old, for their literary merit. We select works that employ heightened language---that are theatrical in nature rather than everyday---that are affective and meaningful to the present lives of the playgoers. Equal attention is given to developing new work and reviving forgotten theatrical treasures, re-creating (in the best sense of the word) the wealth of our popular heritage to be enjoyed by younger generations.
Over its first 40 years, the original LA Rep produced the plays of William Shakespeare, George Bernard Shaw, Thornton Wilder, Eugene O'Neill, Samuel Beckett, Michel deGhelderode, Jean Giradoux, Jean Paul Sartre, Clifford Odets, Martin Sherman, Brendan Behan, Stephen Sondheim, as well as numerous other dramatists in a wide variety of Southern California theatres, parks and schools. prior to pausing its activities in 2006, the Rep provided some of the most exciting theatrical events in Southern California. Including the professional L.A. premiere of George Bernard Shaw’s magnum opus "Back to Methuselah, multiple productions of our award-winning six-actor "Hamlet," the L.A. premiere of Stephen Sondheim & John Weidman’s smash hit, "Assassins", Brendan Behan’s "The Hostage", the West Coast Premiere of Martin Sherman's "Messiah" and Chaim Potok's "The Chosen" and a multiple Award-winning "King Lear". We also toured Southern California’s elementary schools with free performances of "Face 2 Face", an educational musical about racial tolerance by Richard Hellesen & Michael Silversher. Other LARep productions of note included: George Bernard Shaw’s "Misalliance" and Clifford Odets' "Rocket to the Moon", Henryk Ibsen's "A Doll's House", all of which garnered tremendous critical praise and numerous awards.
In addition to LA Rep's own productions and theatre classes, the Rep regularly provided services and donations to other local, non-profit theatres. In addition, we offered dozens of readings of plays free to the public (many written by our company members). We hosted professional training classes with world renowned instructors in all areas of performance, and created alliances with many other theatre and arts organizations in cooperative childrens' outreach and fundraising efforts. The New LA Rep created in the fall of 2021, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Peter Ellenstein and many our past members and collaborators, we will carry the oiginal Rep's stellar legacy of productions into an exciting future; reigniting the intense theatrical passion and attention to detail that the original LA Rep's Founders envisioned back in 1966.