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The Actors Repertory Theatre (ART), is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to bringing Broadway and off-Broadway quality theatre to our audiences. As a company, performing under agreement with Actors Equity Association — the national union of professional stage actors — ART has been an important and innovative force in the theatrical communities of southeastern Virginia, NYC and the metro Washington, DC area, since first opening our doors in December, 1996.

In April, 2003, after helping co-produce the film version of our world premiere stage show, Player's Joy, ART began exploring the development of new works for the medium of digital film. Working with Soular Films, our goal is, and has always been, to be a major contributing force to the cultural life of the communities in which we are located, as well as reaching an even wider audience with our collaborative stage & film projects.

The Khedive Masonic Temple, our former home in Norfolk, VA


ART's history began in a 75-seat second floor loft in the Ghent section of Norfolk, VA. Our doors opened under the name, 2nd Story Theatre. In 2002, now operating out of the former Khedive Masonic Temple, we changed our name to Actors Repertory Theatre. Since 1996, the theatre, several of the original works we produced, as well as our actors & directors, have been nominated for more than 40 awards for theatrical achievement.  Mal Vincent of The Virginian Pilot called us "The most daring and innovative theatre in Hampton Roads," and “head and shoulders above the rest.”  Critic Robert P. Arthur of Portfolio Weekly, the former arts and entertainment magazine of southeastern Virginia, concurred, having bestowed, among others, Best New Play, Best Actor, Best Actress and Most Innovative Theatre Awards on ART/2nd Story and its productions.  We also mounted more full productions of new works than any other theatre in Virginia, including many written by playwrights living within the state.

Among the brand new works we brought to VA, we also brought in productions new to the state, including the original NY cast of From The Fires: Voices of the Holocaust.  Additionally, in an effort to be as innovative as possible, ART began presenting post-show open mike coffeehouses, cabaret performances, dance recitals, poetry competitions, improv nights, art and photography exhibits and ongoing classes, workshops and seminars. In 2004, ART produced the World Premiere of  Ralph Elias's Player's Joy, a one-man show which, at the end of it's run was moved to the renowned NARO Theatre in Norfolk, where it became ART's first play to be filmed live-in-performance during the 2004 Virginia Festival of Jewish Film. The resulting film was had it's first screening during the 2005 Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, where it won an award for Dramatic Achievement.

Past shows presented by ART/2nd Story include: The Players from Chelm, produced in cooperation with Norfolk's famed Chrysler Museum of Art and performed on their stage; The Search For Signs of Intelligent Life In The Universe, Spic-O-Rama, Manly Men: An Evening Chock Full of Lies and Testosterone, The Holy Fool, The Lunar Project, Quetzal Red and Green,The Music of Leaves:  A Tribute to Vincent Van Gogh (a multi-media choreopoem in poetry, music, and dance), Caged Gorillas, Shirley Valentine, the Virginia premiere of screenwriter Pamela Gray’s Supernormal Clutches. In 2007, ART moved to NYC, where we produced the NYC premiere of Manly Men, as well as the 2008 World Premiere of Managing Director Tanya Marten's romantic comedy, Euphoric Tendencies. In 2016, ART, now working with Soular Films to develop works for both stage  screen, moved to the Washington, DC area. We are currently working on a film version of Euphoric Tendencies, as well as The Reel Life, a satire of the film industry.

Tanya Marten, Managing Director
Jonathan Marten, Artistic Director

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