About Us

theREP is the only LORT theatre in the 14-county Capital Region

Capital Repertory Theatre (theREP) is the Capital Region’s only professional, resident producing theatre, and the only League of Resident Theatres member within 14 counties. Since its founding, theREP has produced more than 300 shows across 6,000 performances, including 45 world premieres. Its mission: to create meaningful theatre with an authentic link to the community we serve.

In 1976, a group of professional artists founded Lexington Conservatory Theatre in the Catskill Mountains. Under the leadership of resident playwright and artistic director Oakley Hall III and executive director Michael Van Landingham, they established a reputation for artistic excellence and a commitment to new work. Over five summers, the Equity company produced main stage and development productions, Off-Broadway shows, readings and regional tours, while working toward the goal of establishing a permanent, year-round home. In 1980, the company left Lexington for Albany, and became Capital Repertory Theatre. Despite a successful premiere at The Egg and a season in residence at University of Albany’s Page Hall, the company faced growing financial challenges.

Producing artistic directors Bruce Bouchard and Peter Clough were appointed in 1981, and quickly galvanized community support. With the blessing of Mayor Erastus Corning 2nd, they renovated an abandoned downtown supermarket at 111 North Pearl Street. The new theatre opened in 1982 and established itself as a vital part of Albany’s cultural landscape. Over the next decade, theREP received national acclaim with world premieres of work by Toni Morrison, Granville Burgess, Shay Youngblood, Don Nigro and Elizabeth Diggs.

In 1995, after a nationwide search, the board welcomed Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill as producing artistic director. Under her leadership, theREP launched the NEXT ACT! New Play Summit, the On-The-Go! touring educational theatre series and rose to new heights in production, with world premieres by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Neil Sedaka, Suzanne Bradbeer and William Kennedy. The theatre also developed a partnership with Proctors Collaborative, resulting in an innovative affiliation in 2013. But after many years in an aging, leased facility, theREP needed a new home.

In 2017, theREP purchased 251 North Pearl Street in the historic Black neighborhood of Arbor Hill, launching a $15 million campaign to renovate the building. Three years later, the dream of decades became a reality when the theatre moved into its new and permanent home. A historic former bakery, the facility houses a 300-seat thrust-stage theatre, 100-seat black box theatre and rehearsal hall, café/lobby area, administrative offices and a costume shop. A nearby parking lot opened in 2022.

In response to its new neighborhood, theREP reoriented itself. It established Neighbors for Neighbors, a group of community stakeholders, to solve problems and build collaboration. Through touring educational productions, artist residencies at local schools and free neighborhood arts programs, the theatre serves its community in many ways. On stage and off, it supports diverse voices, artists and communities. Its EDIA commitment includes an Associate Artist program and commissioned and developed works from under-represented artists. The theatre hosts free community events for neighborhood groups and provides in-kind services to Black Theatre Troupe of Upstate New York, a community company in residence.

theREP continues to innovate. With world premiere productions selected from its open submission play summit and a commitment to its on-the-ground mission, Capital Repertory Theatre leads the region in artistic excellence, providing access to professional theatre for people of all ages and supporting emerging voices in American theatre arts.