Timeline of Events

For four decades, Seattle Repertory Theatre has been the Northwest's leading regional theatre and is an acknowledged national leader. Following are some of the highlights of the theatre's history.

1962 Seattle stages a successful World's Fair. One by-product is the Seattle Playhouse built as a performance space
1963 Under the leadership of Bagley Wright, Seattle Repertory Theatre is born. Founding Artistic Director Stuart Vaughan organizes an acting company that includes Seattle native Marjorie Nelson and a young associate member out of the University of Washington, John Gilbert, both of whom will become mainstays on the Northwest stages

King Lear, directed by Vaughn, opens the new company to critical acclaim on November 13th.
1964 Executive Director Donald Foster joins the staff.

First summer "Theatre-in-the-Park" production by The Rep: Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew

The Rep's first Northwest tours: Twelfth Night and Ah, Wilderness!

A young management intern joins The Rep: Peter Donnelly on a Ford Foundation grant
1967 Allen Fletcher follows Stuart Vaughan as Seattle Rep's second Artistic Director
1966 Seattle Rep "Off-Center", with a focus on contemporary works, is initiated with The Death of Bessie Smith and The American Dream, two one-acts by Edward Albee
1968 Seattle Rep is invited to the Bergen International Festival
1970 Peter Donnelly, previously General Manager, becomes the second executive lead by becoming Seattle Rep's Producing Director

W. Duncan Ross becomes the Rep's third Artistic Director
1971 Richard Chamberlain stars in Richard II
1972 Seattle Repertory Theatre's artistic role in the state is acknowledged with the Washington State Governor's Arts Award

Seattle Rep begins "Rep 'n' Rap" summer tour program with Thurbermania
1973 Special Presentation of Promenade All directed by Hume Cronyn, and starring Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, and Biff McGuire with Russ Thatcher
1974 The Rep begins "The 2nd Stage" with Max Frisch's Biography
1975 Seattle Rep conducts a tour of Western States with Seven Keys to Baldpate by George M. Cohan
1977 Seattle Center Bond Issue passes by voters that provides the initial $4.8 million for a capital campaign to build a new theatre for Seattle Rep
1978 Dorothy Simpson assumes the role of chair of the capital campaign drive. Her leadership and commitment, with a $1 million naming gift from Bagley Wright and a consortium of friends, results in the funds to complete the new theatre in 1983
1979 First "Mobile Outreach Bunch" (MOB) tours Washington and Idaho schools with The Energy Show, launching SRT's education programs

John Hirsch joins Seattle Rep as Consulting Artistic Director with Daniel Sullivan as Resident Director

"Plays-in-Progress," initiated by Daniel Sullivan, begins workshopping new plays for the stage at Seattle Rep
1981 Daniel Sullivan becomes Artistic Director

Seattle Repertory Organization holds the first "Elegant Elephant Sale", an event that continued for nearly two decades

On December 29th, Seattle Rep breaks ground for the new Bagley Wright Theatre
1983 The Bagley Wright Theatre opens with the world premiere of Michael Weller's The Ballad of Soapy Smith, directed by Robert Egan, and featuring a cast of Seattle's finest actors including Dennis Arndt (in the title role), John Aylward, Frank Corrado, Paul Hostetler, Richard Riehle, Michael Santo, Marjorie Nelson, Ted D'Arms, Kurt Beattie, Clayton Corzatte, and William Ontiveros. Also in the cast are Kevin Tighe and Kate Mulgrew
1984 Herb Gardner's I'm Not Rappaport starring Harold Gould, Cleavon Little and David Strathairn opens at Seattle Rep prior to its Broadway run

Seattle Rep begins "Dollar Theatre" with Big and Little, selections from Botho Straus
1985 Benjamin Moore is appointed Managing Director of Seattle Rep, only the third administrative director in the theatre's history
1988 Seattle Rep premieres Bill Irwin's Largely/New York
1989 Seattle Rep premieres Bill Irwin's Largely/New York; Reading of The Heidi Chronicles by Wendy Wasserstein. The following year we launched the national tour.
1990 Seattle Rep is awarded the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre
1991 Inspecting Carol, developed by Daniel Sullivan and the SRT company, premieres as part of Seattle Rep's "Stage 2" productions

Seattle Rep premieres Conversations With My Father by Herb Gardner
1992 National tour of Inspecting Carol
1994 Seattle Rep premieres London Suite by Neil Simon.
1995 Seattle Rep, with Tom Hulce and Jane Jones, develops The Cider House Rules, adapted by Peter Parnell from John Irving's novel as part of the New Play Workshop Series
1996 The Leo Kreielsheimer Theatre (the "Leo K") opening celebration in December, in great part thanks to a generous $2 million naming gift from The Kreielsheimer Foundation, a $1 million gift from board chair Marsha S. Glazer, and the leadership of capital campaign chairs Ann Ramsay-Jenkins and Stanley Savage
1997 Sharon Ott becomes Artistic Director of Seattle Rep

In conjunction with the Leonardo exhibit at Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Rep stages The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, in the new Leo K Theatre, written and directed by Mary Zimmerman.
1999 Seattle Rep premieres Sisters Matsumoto by Philip Kan Gotanda

Seattle Rep presents the first "Stars and Stories" special event to benefit SRT's education programs. The event features readings by a variety of community leaders and artists including Lesley Stahl, Charles Johnson, Phyllis Campbell, Marjorie Nelson, Tina Podlodowski, John Aylward, Nancy Guppy, Kevin Tighe, Marcie Sillman, Barbara Dirickson, Dan Sullivan, and Robert Fulghum
2000 Lily Tomlin's one-woman show by Jane Wagner, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, plays at Seattle Rep prior to its engagement on Broadway
2001 Seattle Rep leads a consortium of theatres in presenting Peter Brook's Hamlet in the Mercer Arts Arena

Daniel Sullivan returns to direct Proof, for which he won the Tony Award on Broadway, launching its national tour.

Seattle Rep announces a $15 million Endowment Campaign under the leadership of Chap Alvord and Janet True
2003 Seattle Rep celebrates its 40th Anniversary Season
2005 David Esbjornson becomes Artistic Director of Seattle Rep
2006 Seattle Rep premieres Cathay: Three Tales of China, Ariel Dorfman's Purgatorio and Restoration Comedy, by Amy Freed, which went on to be nominated for Best New Play by the American Theatre Critics Association

Seattle Rep puts on a moving tribute to August Wilson, featuring performances from all 10 of Mr. Wilson's plays
2007 Seattle Rep becomes the only theatre in the country to fully produce all of August Wilson's work with the completion of Gem of the Ocean, directed by Phylicia Rashad. Seattle Rep is the first regional theatre to stage Doubt and My Name is Rachel Corrie
2008 Premiere of Kevin Kling's How? How? Why? Why? Why?, which was followed by another premiere, Breakin' Hearts and Takin' Names the following year.

Seventeen acclaimed local actors appear on stage in You Can't Take It With You.

Carrie Fisher's one-woman show Wishful Drinking sells more single tickets than any other show in Rep history.
2009 Despite nation-wide economic crisis, Seattle Rep supporters rally to raise $1 million in new or increased gifts, ensuring a matching loan from the SRT Foundation. The result allows the theatre to end its fiscal year with a balanced budget.

The New Play Program is officially re-energized, kicking off with a reading of The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later.
2010 Long-time Seattle Rep Casting Director Jerry Manning becomes Artistic Director.

Launch of the Yes Project, an initiative to inspire young artists and audiences.

Alan Alda and Adam Rapp develop new plays at Seattle Rep through the New Play Program.

Seattle Rep celebrates the 25th anniversary of August Wilson's Fences with a special remounting of the production.

Seattle Rep receives a National Endowment for the Arts grant to support its teacher-training program, Bringing Theatre Into the Classroom.

World premiere of An Iliad by Denis O'Hare and Lisa Peterson.
2011 Seattle Rep hosts first annual Seattle August Wilson Monologue Competition for high school students. One student goes on to take second place in the national competition on Broadway.

Seattle Rep holds the most successful Gala in its history, raising $275,000 (net) for the theatre's artistic and education programs.

Launch of The Writers Group, a two-year residency program to support Seattle writers.