Tony Taccone to step down as Berkeley Rep’s artistic director in 2019

Tony Taccone, who has served as the artistic director of Berkeley Rep for 22 years, will step down after the company’s 50th season in 2018-2019 Photo: Berkeley Rep.

Tony Taccone, who has served as the artistic director of the Berkeley Repertory Theatre for 22 of his 33 years there, will depart the company at the end of its 50th anniversary season in 2018-19, the organization announced today.

“It’s been over thirty years, thirty amazing years,” Taccone said in a press release. “I’ve never been more excited about Berkeley Rep and the work that we’re doing than I am right now. But I also want to leave the job while I’m still ambulatory and give someone else the opportunity to provide artistic leadership. Announcing my departure this far in advance allows for a smooth transition that will take the theatre boldly into the future.”

Taccone’s tenure has been marked by the elevation of Berkeley Rep from a regionally-important to nationally or even internationally significant company. Berkeley Rep has sent 23 shows to Broadway, two to London, and one to Hong Kong, along with presenting numerous premiers. Among the best known include Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking; Tony Kushner’s Tiny Kushner; Sarah Jones’ Bridge & Tunnel; Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room (or the vibrator play); David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish; The Great Game: Afghanistan; No Man’s Land, starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart; Green Day’s American Idiot; and Amélie, A New Musical, according to the press release.

“Tony has, without question, secured Berkeley Rep’s reputation as a global leader in theatre,” Berkeley Rep Board President Stewart Owen said in a press release.


During his time at Berkeley Rep, the company expanded from a single stage to multiple theaters and multiple stages with state-of-the-art lighting and sound. Berkeley Rep also founded The Ground Floor, which nurtures budding and emerging playwrights.

In 2012, Taccone received the Margo Jones Award for “demonstrating a significant impact, understanding, and affirmation of playwriting, with a commitment to the living theatre.”

Berkeley Rep was founded in 1968 and in four decades has presented 400 shows to about four million people, according to a statement. These shows have gone on to win five Tony Awards, seven Obie Awards, nine Drama Desk Awards, one Grammy Award, and many other honors. Its facilities include the 400-seat Peet’s Theatre, the 600-seat Roda Theatre, the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, and a spacious campus in West Berkeley.