fbpx vie magazine subscribe button


Community Theater Making a Big Difference

By Marsha Dowler | Photography courtesy of Seaside Repertory Theatre

Seaside, Florida, is credited worldwide with revolutionizing the way America builds by launching a return to sustainable and traditional building practices—the movement known as New Urbanism. Celebrated for its iconic architectural character and intimate town plan, Seaside emerged from the dunes along Scenic Highway 30-A and became a vibrant center for culture and the arts that has transformed the experience of community life on the Emerald Coast. From this small community of just over three hundred homes, five distinguished nonprofits make an enormous impact in the region through a compelling array of creative and performing arts, education, and spiritual life.

At the center of this unique intersection of architecture and the arts is an intimate seventy-five-seat black box theater located in the very heart of downtown. Founded less than twenty years ago as part of a homeowner-led grassroots renaissance, the Repertory Theatre (The REP) in Seaside is Northwest Florida’s premier professional theater and one of the region’s most beloved cultural institutions. Located in the award-winning Hybrid Building designed by international architect Steven Holl, The REP mounts more than three hundred performances with audience totals of over twenty-five thousand per year. This astounding output is created through rigorous attention to every detail by hard-working staff and a supremely talented professional company of actors who take on multiple roles as a close-knit theatrical family.

“Whether you have been going to The REP for years or are visiting us for the first time, you instantly become part of our family when you step through our doors,” declares Aubrey Ainsworth, the director of artistic operations, as she flashes her megawatt smile and welcomes guests with a honeyed laugh. Ainsworth also serves as stage manager and costume designer and helps select actors and technicians at regional auditions. Under the guidance of executive director Brook Stetler—who also acts, writes, and directs—The REP’s creative programming has expanded to new horizons. In addition to putting on superb outside-the-box theatrical experiences, The REP also provides enriched learning for students in Walton County schools through educational and mentorship programs. The year-round Live@TheREP Concert Series attracts extraordinary music artists and singer-songwriters from across the country. The REP Film Club, launched this year by local enthusiasts, screens compelling documentaries, art films, and popular classics. During the relative quiet of the winter season, the nationally recognized Escape to Create Arts Residency presents classical chamber music, the annual Valentine to 30A concert, and works by visiting playwrights and authors.

This astounding output is created through rigorous attention to every detail by hard-working staff and a supremely talented professional company of actors who take on multiple roles as a close-knit theatrical family.

Throughout spring and summer, The REP maintains a whirlwind schedule of shows rescripted by Stetler to spark a love for the arts in the young while providing fresh entertainment for audiences of all ages. Something magical happens when Stetler dons a lampshade and, along with company actors, cavorts with childlike abandon in a wig, tulle skirt, and high-tops. Young and old alike surrender to uncontainable laughter, and a shared joy lingers long after the final bows. Original productions of Alice in Wonderland and Stories By the Sea, written to engage kids of all ages in an interactive storytelling experience, can be enjoyed in Seaside’s outdoor central amphitheater throughout the high season. Jack and the Beanstalk is performed exclusively at Rosemary Beach on the beautiful tree-lined green in North Barrett Square. Adventures in Alys is an hour of energetic children’s improv that exercises young imaginations through creative storytelling and wordplay.

When vacationing families depart from the 30-A corridor for the start of another school year, it is time to pause and appreciate both our patrons and our artists and celebrate the many contributions The REP makes toward the vibrant community life of 30-A. The October Membership Party has all the intimacy of a joyful reunion. The annual Tribute Concert is a themed concert featuring local music artists in support of the theater as the region’s top venue for intimate music performance. Both events are vital fund-raisers for the nonprofit theater.

With its high standards of artistic excellence and dedication to providing memorable theater experiences, The REP Theatre in Seaside is the epicenter for arts and entertainment on 30-A.

The year will close with the tenth anniversary run of Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and Then Some!), which is refreshed each season almost to the point of comedic combustion. The laughs begin with the opening line of this fast-paced, hilarious romp through Christmas traditions from around the world, every carol that was ever sung, and every iconic Christmas character with a dizzying array of props and costume changes. All elements of successful theater are on full display in this routinely sold-out play. One has the clear sense the actors are having as much fun as the audience is. What better way to celebrate the holidays than by sharing joy and laughter with friends, family, and perfect strangers?

With its high standards of artistic excellence and dedication to providing memorable theater experiences, The REP Theatre in Seaside is the epicenter for arts and entertainment on 30-A. “Our mission is to present theatrical and other artistic performances that engage, entertain, and inspire people of all ages,” states board chairman Bert Trucksess. Our rapidly growing coastal community is made far richer thanks to our beloved REP.

— V —

Visit LoveTheREP.com to learn more or get tickets.

Read Responsibly

VIE Magazine January 2021 Special Commemorative Edition
VIE Magazine September 2020 Wanderlust Issue, Fancy Camps, The Idea Boutique
VIE Magazine August 2020 Art & Culture Issue, Nathan Alan Yoakum Art
VIE Magazine - Architecture & Design Issue - July 2020
VIE Magazine - Decor and Home Issue - June 2020
VIE Magazine May 2020 Entertainment Issue, Leslie Odom Jr
VIE Magazine - April 2020 Culinary Issue
VIE Magazine March 2020 The Fashion Edit, VONDOM, Alys Beach Fl, Digital Graffiti, Tres Chic, isidro dunbar Modern Interiors, Digital Graffiti Festival
VIE Magazine February 2020 Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine - Travel Issue - January 2020 - Tanzania Safari Cover
VIE Magazine - Women's Issue - December 2019 - Tina Brown Cover
VIE NOV19 Goodness Issue
VIE Magazine, September 2019 Art & Culture Issue, Paul Hanninen
VIE Magazine - August 2019 - The Architecture and Design Issue
VIE Magazine - July 2019 - The Artist Issue
VIE Magazine - June 2019 - Fashion Edit
VIE Magazine - May 2019 - Culinary Issue
VIE Magazine - April 2019 - The Health & Wellness Issue
VIE Magazine - Special Entertainment Edition - March 2019
VIE Magazine February 2019 Luxury Homes & Technology Issue with Robbie Antonio of Revolution Precrafted
VIE Magazine - January 2019 - Southern Sophisticate Issue Cover
VIE Magazine - Special Anniversary Travel Edition - December 2018
VIE Magazine - The Goodness Issue - November 2018
VIE Magazine - The Art & Culture Issue - October 2018
VIE Magazine - Home & Garden Issue - September 2018
VIE Magazine - August 2018 Animal Issue
VIE Magazine - July 2018 Architecture & Design Issue - Subscribe to the magazine!
VIE Magazine - June 2018 Travel & Tech Issue
VIE Magazine - May 2018 Couture Issue
VIE Magazine - The Culinary Issue - April 2018 Cover - Chef James Briscione and Brooke Parkhurst
VIE Magazine - The Entertainers Issue - March 2018
VIE Magazine - February 2018 Destination Travel Issue
VIE Magazine - January 2018 Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine, The Sophisticate Issue, December 2017
VIE Magazine - November 2017 Art & Culture Issue
VIE Magazine - October 2017 Home & Garden Issue
VIE Magazine | September 2017 | The Stories and Storytellers Issue
VIE Magazine - The Adventure Issue - August 2017
VIE Magazine - July 2017 - Art & Artist Issue
VIE Magazine - The Voyager Issue - June 2017
VIE magazine 2017 March-April Cover South Walton Fashion Week
VIE Magazine - January/February 2017 - The Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine - Nov/Dec 2016 The Sophisticate Issue
christian siriano vie magazine september october 2016 vie magazine
the modern minimalist issue
the culinary and couture issue march april 2016 vie magazine
the voyager issue alys beach vie magazine january february 2016
cultural issue vie magazine november december 2015
home and garden issue vie magazine september october 2015
the art and style issue vie magazine july august 2015
the wedding issue 2015 May June vie magazine
the food and fashion issue vie magazine march april 2015
the travel issue vie magazine january february 2015
the music issue vie magazine 2014 november december
The Animal Issue vie magazine september october 2014
the home and garden issue vie magazine july august 2014
the wedding issue vie magazine may june 2014
emeril lagasse food and fashion vie magazine
the men's issue january february 2014
the music issue november december 2013 vie magazine
the home and garden issue 2013 october september
the wedding issue vie magazine july august 2013
the artist issue may june 2013 vie magazine
the food and fashion issue march april 2013
the men's issue january february 2013 vie magazine
The Holiday Issue
the love issue july august 2012
the all american summer may june 2012
the entertainment issue march april 2012
the fashion issue vie magazine winter 2011
the home and garden issue vie magazine fall 2011
the anniversary edition vie magazine summer 2011
the wedding issue vie magazine spring 2011
vie magazine the holiday issue 2010 Dec
vintage swimsuits vie magazine 2010 Fall
judith march designer vie magazine summer 2010
wedding giveaway vie magazine spring 2010
holiday gift guide vie magazine winter 2009
emarketing explosion vie magazine fall 2009
tribute to mother's day vie magazine summer 2009
james and robert redford vie magazine spring 2009
zz top vie magazine fall winter 2008
project dreams vie magazine new york fashion week
Sign-up for VIEmail

Sign up for VIEmail