Repertory Theater

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Repertory Theater


a type of theater that has existed in England since the late 19th century. It has a permanent repertoire, thus differing from theaters that present a single play as long as it remains a box-office success. The first repertory theaters were the Shakespeare Memorial Theater in Stratford-on-Avon (opened in 1879) and the Independent Theater (1891–97), the Old Vic Theater (a repertory theater from 1912 to 1963), and the Court Theater (1904–07) in London.

In the 1960’s, there were more than 100 repertory theaters in Great Britain. Most of them arose in the provinces after World War II. Other repertory companies have no permanent base and are touring companies. Similar to repertory theaters are theaters founded by clubs; the most important is the Unity Theater, founded in 1937 and located in a working-class district of London. Other such theaters are in Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Oxford, Liverpool, Coventry, and London and include the Theater Workshop, the English Stage Company, and the Mermaid Theater.

Efforts to establish a state-endowed repertory theater resulted in the founding of the National Theater (1963), which is housed in the former Old Vic Theater. The Covent Garden Theater and the Royal Ballet are considered to be repertory theaters. Repertory theaters also exist in the USA, Italy, Ireland, and Australia.


Sovremennyi angliiskii teatr. Moscow, 1963.
Elsom, J. Theater: Outside London. London, 1971.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Milwaukee Repertory Theater, (414) 224-9490,
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* Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj (Brooklyn, N.Y.) was the co-founder and artistic director of Asbury Park Repertory Theater in New Jersey.
She was the managing director of Milwaukee Repertory Theater for 21 years, and served as TOG board president from 1980 to 1982.
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