Stages Repertory Theatre

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Stages Repertory Theatre

Stages Repertory Theatre is a theatre company in the city of Houston, Texas. It generally produces more experimental plays in a more intimate setting than the city's Alley Theatre: the Houston Chronicle calls it "the equivalent of off-Broadway in Houston".[1]


Stages Repertory Theatre was launched in 1978 by Founding Artistic Director Ted Swindley in the damp basement of a downtown Houston brewery with a mission to "produce new work, interpret established work in new ways, and nurture talent to invigorate culture for the good of the community."[2] Ted Swindley's vision brought success to the new theatre company with a combination of long running Off Broadway hits such as "Bent" and "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You" as well as cutting edge productions of classic work such as Sartre's "No Exit" and Shakespeare's "Taming of The Shrew" presented on roller skates as an homage to underground Houston's Urban Animals. Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" was SRO with two gender bending productions performed on alternate nights. Ted's creative leadership also brought theater notables such as playwrights Jules Feiffer, Marsha Norman and Jack Heifner to Houston for World Premieres of their plays. Both the Texas Playwrights Festival and The Susan Smith Blackburn Women's Playwright Festival were conceived and launched by Ted Swindley. Stages quickly became an integral part of the Houston theatre community. Even the recurring flooding from the Chinese restaurant overhead and the ever-present raccoon thespians making unscheduled guest appearances did not slow ticket sales. In 1985, Stages moved to its present location in the former Star Engraving building at 3201 Allen Parkway, which was designated a local historic landmark in 1986 through the efforts of board member Mimi Kilgore.[3]

Stages today[edit]

Stages is a professional Equity theatre and has won national recognition for its work as Houston's "maverick" theatre, including coverage in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Variety, Vogue and American Theatre magazine.[4] Productions at Stages are created and produced by a team of artists, performers and craftspeople largely from the Houston area, sometimes in collaboration with guest artists from around the world.

In addition, Stages introduces young audiences to live theatre through its EarlyStages series. Each year, thousands of local children experience dramatic interpretations of classic folktales, stories from diverse world cultures, along with plays and musicals commissioned especially for EarlyStages.[5]

Its current Artistic Director is Kenn McLaughlin.


  1. ^ "Stages Repertory Theatre". Fresh Entertainment, Ultimate Fun & Games 2006, Houston Chronicle (October 17, 2006). Retrieved 2007-06-07. 
  2. ^ "Mission". About Stages, Stages Repertory Theatre. Retrieved 2007-06-07. 
  3. ^ "History". About Stages, Stages Repertory Theatre. Retrieved 2007-06-07. 
  4. ^ "Stages Repertory Theatre". Performing Arts, What to do, Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (1996-2007). Retrieved 2007-06-07. 
  5. ^ "Stages Repertory Theatre". Organizations, ArtsHound, Houston Arts Alliance (2007). Retrieved 2007-06-07. 

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