“Theatre can have a transformative impact on the local community. I’m thrilled that Reading Rep can tell the stories that play a small role in revitalising our cultural landscape.”
Paul Stacey – Founding Artistic Director
Reading Rep began when Artistic Director Paul Stacey took a £500 overdraft and invested it into a vision he had always believed in: to revitalise Reading’s cultural landscape by making and creating the highest quality theatre, with, by and for Reading.
The company moved into the black box theatre at Reading College, producing packed out plays on a shoestring. Before long, Reading Rep grew to be a beloved home and playground for many of the UK’s leading theatre-makers, including Barney Norris, Roy Alexander Weise and Mischief Theatre. Collaborations and co-productions with leading regional and London theatres including Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Arcola Theatre and Oxford Playhouse placed Reading within the heart of the national theatre landscape.
With community at the heart of the artistic vision of the company, Reading Rep created ENGAGE in 2015, our flagship community outreach programme providing access to the arts for Reading’s most vulnerable communities. We run a year-round programme of workshops, delivered in partnership with Reading Libraries, Reading Borough Council, the Cultural Education Partnership, the NHS and numerous others, that has reached 15,000 children, young people and adults in the last 18 months alone.
With critical acclaim and sell out success, Reading Rep was ready for a new and permanent home. In 2018, just six years after our first production, we began raising funds to convert a former Salvation Army Hall into a 170 seat theatre and cultural hub.
After raising £1million throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, the company is thrilled to be opening its new venue in 2021 with a bold new artistic season of work.
To enhance civic pride in Reading.
To transform lives through theatre.