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California Theatre

Tony Award-Winning Regional Theatres in California


Besides annual awards to productions and performers appearing in New York City, the prestigious Tony Awards also recognizes one regional theatre troupe each year. Since the Regional Theatre Award was first given out in 1976, eight California companies have won.

American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco

It started in Pittsburgh in 1965, migrating to San Francisco two years later. In 1979, A.C.T. won the Regional Theatre Award.

Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Berkeley

California's most recent award winner (1997). Performs on two stages and mounts an impressive selection of world, U.S. and regional premieres every season.

La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego

In the past 20 years, no less than ten plays (including Jersey Boys, Memphis and The Who's Tommy) have launched their path to Broadway success from La Jolla Playhouse stages, with seven of them winning Tony Awards and one garnering a Pulitzer Prize. They won their own Tony in 1993.

Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles

LA's premiere company won their Tony in 1977, but they haven't been sitting idle since then, performing in three venues, including their newest, the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.

Old Globe Theatre, San Diego

They got their Tony in 1984 and their season includes both Shakespeare plays and other works, including many world premieres.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland

Yes, we know Oregon isn't in California, but it's so close to the border (and such an excellent company) that we just had to mention it. This repertory company performs far more than the word Shakespeare in its name suggests, with a wide variety of classic works and new ones. They got their Regional Tony in 1983.

San Francisco Mime Troupe

As mimes, the winners of the 1987 Tony for Regional Theatre probably didn't have much to say. They don't have a permanent home stage, but instead take their performances to the streets, often appearing in local parks for free.

South Coast Repertory Theatre, Costa Mesa

South Coast Rep won their Tony in 1988 and nowadays, they perform in beautiful Segerstrom Hall, a technologically perfect, 507-seat theatre where no seat is more than 13 rows from the actors.

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