Founded in 1979 by a group of committed civic leaders, Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s mission is “to advance the cause of human understanding by creating theatrical productions at the highest level of artistic excellence and making them affordable to the broadest possible community.” Merrimack Rep’s unique artistic vision is shaped by a passion for excellence and a profound commitment to its community. It strives to enhance the community’s quality of life while contributing to its economic strength, measuring success by the depth of the company’s artistic and social contribution to the region.
Since its founding, Merrimack Rep has served as a vital cultural, educational and economic resource for the Merrimack Valley, Greater Boston and Southern New Hampshire regions. With annual attendance of over 40,000, Merrimack Rep’s producing objectives strike a balance between artistic achievement and accessibility, producing exceptional works while offering a variety of discount programs for underserved and low-income communities, students and seniors. The company has established a theatrical legacy through its dedication to arts education, new works and collaborations with the local business, non-profit and artistic communities. In fulfillment of its mission, Merrimack Rep annually produces an eclectic season of contemporary productions, engaging the best actors, designers and directors available for each production while promoting accessibility among diverse audiences. Productions are presented in Liberty Hall, the company’s 308-seat theatre adjacent to Lowell Memorial Auditorium in downtown Lowell. Over the last 30 years, Merrimack Rep’s education, outreach and discount programs have served over 200,000 students and senior citizens and have built working partnerships with more than 50 different community and ethnically based service organizations.
Consistent with its mission, MRT is dedicated to: (1) Developing and presenting new plays that address contemporary issues and reflect the community’s diverse heritage; (2) Producing established plays that offer a broad range of topics and styles; (3) Ensuring the most expansive reach and deepest involvement of the community by subsidizing ticket costs and offering a variety of outreach programs; (4) Creating a collaborative environment for artists and staff in order to encourage artistic growth and excellence; and (5) Developing young, diverse audiences through its educational programs.
Artistic Director Charles Towers’ vision for the theatre makes an important contribution to the advancement of the American theatre through the production of new works of literary merit, support of emerging playwrights, actors and designers, and the development of new audiences for the theatre. MRT has gained a local and national reputation for the excellence of its productions of vibrant contemporary plays, which are consistently performed at the highest level of artistic quality. MRT has received numerous Boston Critics Awards and nearly 100 other accolades, awards, citations and tributes, including recognition in American Theatre Magazine, The Boston Globe, Boston Magazine and The New York Times for artistic excellence and its contribution to the community. MRT’s history comprises more than 200 productions including 14 world premieres and 32 regional premieres, contributing significantly to the canon of the American theatre and bringing new plays to audiences throughout New England.