About Florida Repertory Theatre
Florida Rep Becomes a Player on the National Stage.
Celebrating 19 years of Award-Winning Regional Theatre, Florida Repertory Theatre is a fully professional theatre company that The Wall Street Journal called "One of America's Top Repertory Companies!" Performing in the Historic Arcade Theatre, Florida Rep produces a wide variety of comedies, dramas and musicals, and brings more than 80,000 people to the Fort Myers River District annually throughout its October to May season. Florida Rep is the only theatre company of its caliber in Southwest Florida, and continues to make national headlines. For the seventh consecutive season The Wall Street Journal's acclaimed drama critic and best-selling author, Terry Teachout, gave Florida Rep a sterling review, saying in its January 2016 production of The Cocktail Hour that "FLORIDA REP'S PRODUCTION IS THE MOST SATISFYING STAGING I'VE EVER SEEN." adding to his 2009 praise, when he told two-million readers nationwide to "Make haste to Fort Myers, where the weather is warm and the theater fine!"
Florida Rep is one of Lee County and Southwest Florida's most important cultural and educational institutions, and has been named "Best Performing Arts Group" numerous times by Gulfshore Life Magazine and Florida Weekly, and its work was featured in the New York Times and covered in American Theatre Magazine. In addition to its work on stage as a regional theatre company, Florida Rep has very active and vital Education & Outreach arm that includes Theatre for Young Audiences & Lunchbox Theatre, Camp Florida Rep, an audition-only Theatre Conservatory Program, classes for youth and adults, artist in residency programs and the ACT UP program designed for children on the Autism Spectrum. With programs designed to supplement and enhance arts programming in the schools, and theatre programs that reach more than 25,000 young people annually, Florida Rep is one of the most active arts organizations in the area, and holds true to its mission to "improve the quality of life in our community through all the arts," and strives to continue to "Set the Bar High." -The Wall Street Journal.
See a play, take a class, make a donation. Join us in fulfilling our mission to make Southwest Florida a richer place to live. A contribution - of any kind - to Florida Rep is a contribution to the cultural landscape of Southwest Florida. By investing your resources in Florida Rep, you invest in the quality of life in this community.
Anyone who's ever been to a performance at the Rep has commented on our wonderful building. The Arcade Theatre, as it's called, was built in 1908 and proudly displays all the charm and splendor of early Florida. Originally used as a Vaudeville house, this was the very auditorium where Fort Myers resident Thomas Edison saw his first films, along with his friends Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone.
As movies became more popular, The Arcade was converted into a dedicated movie house and a wall was put up to divide the great proscenium stage in half in order to create two screening rooms. By 1989, the once grand theatre had fallen into severe disrepair, and appeared on the brink of its final curtain call.
Realizing the historical and aesthetic value of this building, the City of Fort Myers and famed ballet and film star Mikhail Baryshnikov organized a benefit in 1991. With the money raised, the Arcade was completely restored and the City of Fort Myers was able to rent it out to local organizations — one of which happened to be the Florida Rep. Thanks to the generosity and vision of the City, the Arcade became the permanent home of the Florida Repertory Theatre in 1998.