Orlando Repertory Theatre (The REP) is pleased to announce the award of a $150,000 grant as part of the Orange County Arts and Cultural Affairs Cultural Facilities program, to be used for the activities of The REP’s 14-15 season. This grant was unanimously approved this morning by the Orange County Board of Commissioners and is a 100% increase over last year’s award.
“We are delighted”, says Gene Columbus, Executive Director of The REP. “Our mission is to create experiences that enlighten, entertain, and enrich the lives of family and young audiences, and this grant enables us to extend our reach in doing just that as we continue to strive to become the finest in family theatre.”
It is the REP’s belief that a student’s exposure to theatre at a young age, and consistently as they move through their elementary and middle school careers, will illuminate new possibilities for life-long learning and appreciation for art and culture in their communities. Numerous studies report that the arts in any form can provide benefits including better self discipline, increased self-esteem, more hope for the future, reduced truancy, increased motivation and less interest in high-risk behaviors.
The REP is a place where young audiences can experience the adventure and creative wonder of watching their favorite literary characters come to life on stage. The staff and Board of Directors recognize their obligation to connect students to literature and theatre, and find ways to fill the arts void that exists in local schools and communities – particularly those classified as low-income and underserved.
The merger between the University of Central Florida Theatre Program and the Civic Theatre of Central Florida created the Orlando Repertory Theatre in the year 2000. The REP, as it is commonly known, is a professional theatre for young audiences, which offers a mainstage season, classes, camps, outreach and performance opportunities for young artists, and a Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre for Young Audiences.
In October 2003, The REP marked the historical opening of a six-show performance series for family audiences in the old Civic Theatre Complex, known now as the Orlando Repertory Theatre. Already unique in Florida and the southern region, the Orlando Repertory Theatre strives to become a theatre of national and international prominence. The REP is now in it’s 11th complete season.