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25 Years of Rep Stage

I founded Rep Stage in 1993 at Howard Community College and became its first Producer and Artistic Director. When I was considering founding an Equity theatre to bring high quality professional theatre to HCC and the surrounding communities, I went to New York City to the Actors’ Equity Association offices to negotiate a contract with the actors’ union. I was told that there were NO Equity theatres in residence at a community college in the country. Not being one who takes no for an answer without a fight, my response was, “So…we can be the first!”…and the rest is history. Please know that I and all of the artists at Rep Stage have been committed to providing you with the highest quality experience possible since the theatre’s beginning and are proud to be creating the magic of theatre for you this season and for many seasons to come.

—Valerie Lash Rep Stage Founding Producing Artistic Director

I had my first experience with Rep Stage over two decades ago with a production of “Moon for the Misbegotten.” It was an introduction which showed me a company that was committed to producing challenging and thought provoking theatre. With new leadership over the years, that commitment has remained strong and vibrant. Now I see deepening connections between the company and the college. I truly appreciate being part of an artistic endeavor that continues to grow and evolve in meaningful ways.

—Daniel Ettinger Scenic Artist

Rep Stage shaped me as a performer and as a person. I would not have to make my way to New York or live the life of the itinerant actor in the regional theatre circuit, I was already home. Rep Stage came of age as I came of age and we grew together. Rep Stage would become my first artistic home as a professional actor and for that I am eternally grateful. Here’s to 25 more years producing amazing work!

—Bruce Nelson Actor

Having grown up in Columbia, my relationship with Rep Stage goes back many years: from coming to see shows starting in high school, and getting to work with the shop as part of the curriculum while as a student at HCC, to now being the Resident Stage Manager. I feel lucky to be able to now call Rep Stage my artistic home and be able to make work in the arts and live right here in Columbia.

—Julie Debakey Smith Rep Stage Resident Stage Manager

Rep Stage has meant the world to me in my formative years as a director and artistic director of my own theatre. The great plays, professional theatre artists, and fantastic audiences have always created unforgettable theatre of the highest caliber.

—Vincent Lancisi Founder/Artistic Director of Everyman Theatre

As a scenic designer, what I find exciting about Rep Stage is the flexibility/adaptability of its theater spaces and the audience seating arrangements, which provides the opportunity to sculpt a unique performance environment for each production’s visual concepts.

—James Fouchard Scenic Designer

We love the variety of shows in each season at Rep Stage and the impeccable production values – the acting, sets, lighting, sound – everything. We especially enjoy the post show discussions with the actors and directors. We get to learn about all the creative decisions that are made before the curtain goes up.

—David Glaser & Judy Vogel Glaser Patrons

My first professional role being with Rep Stage was the best experience I could have asked for. Along with my training at HCC, Rep Stage gave me the confidence and guidance I needed to be the performer I am today. They pushed me to think about art as a vehicle of change rather than just as a form of entertainment.

—Liliana Evans, HCC Theatre Student

Howard Community College has a rich tradition of bringing the best in performing and visual arts to its faculty, staff, students, and community. An incredible part of that tradition is Rep Stage. For 25 years, Rep Stage, the only professional Equity theatre in residence in a community college in the US, has made award-winning , groundbreaking theatre accessible to the people of Howard County and beyond. I am a faithful supporter of Rep Stage. Its extraordinary productions are always thought provoking, boundary pushing, and leave me in awe. Happy anniversary, Rep Stage – I look forward to the next 25 years.

—Kathleen Hetherington President of Howard Community College

I look forward each year to the selection of plays to be presented. I know I will be enchanted, excited, enlightened, and probably emotional. I started years ago with only 2 subscriptions, now we are up to 8. I anticipate many more years of excellent theater and an ever increasing group of friends to enjoy them.

—Penelope Rice Patron

When I was 18 years old I walked into the Rep Stage office and asked if there was any way I could get involved in a small way at learning what professional theatre was all about. Never in a million years did I think I would get to actually work on a show, but that is exactly what happened. It was a game changer for me as it helped solidify my love of the theatre and my desire to be a stage manager. I will forever be grateful for that experience.

—Amanda Hall Resident Stage Manager/Associate Production Manager Everyman Theatre

For me, the theatre is a journey of discovery and expression of the human condition through the evocative and engaging stories it tells, and Rep Stage has been a very special and profound collaborator in that personal journey. I’m proud to say that Rep Stage has been my artistic home since its founding. I salute Rep Stage at the celebration of its first 25 years of bringing exceptional professional theatre to the region.

—Nigel Reed Actor

Rep Stage is a local gem and one reason we're proud to live in Columbia. Through live performances, we experience life through other people's hearts and minds. This small stage venue remains one of our guilty pleasures.

—John Blake & Kay Myers Patrons

We are constantly amazed by what Rep Stage manages to do each season. When we come to Rep Stage, we know we are going to see something thought-provoking and well-acted.

—Katie and Jack McCabe Patrons

The theatre presented by Rep Stage is extraordinary for a small regional theatre – featuring actors from throughout the region and beyond – performing in a broad and diverse range of plays – creative sets and costumes – well directed – professional in every respect. We are privileged to have such high quality theatre so accessible.

—Ken Lundeen Patron

Rep Stage produces evocative and engaging stories that have enabled me to better empathize with the struggles of my fellow human beings, whatever their views may be.

—Melissa Cunha Banach Patron

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