Changes to 23/24 Season and Calls for Support from St. Louis Community to “Rally for The Rep”

Wednesday | Oct. 18, 2023

Theatre creates new production of a holiday classic, cancels two productions, amid $2.5M budget shortfall

St. Louis, MO – (October 18, 2023) The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis today an­­­­­nounced that it needs significant support from the St. Louis community by the end of 2023 to continue its programming in the second half of the 2023-2024 season, which kicked off last month with a widely-acclaimed production of The Lehman Trilogy. In response to a projected $2.5M budget shortfall facing the theatre, similar to financial challenges facing theatres across the country, The Rep has streamlined its season, replacing its annual holiday spectacular, A Christmas Carol, with an adaptation of the beloved holiday film It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play and canceling the previously announced productions of The Lion and The Greatest Love for Whitney: A Tribute to Whitney Houston.  It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play will feature local actors and crew members who were originally scheduled to perform and work on A Christmas Carol. To address the budget shortfall, The Rep is also launching a “Rally for The Rep” campaign to encourage the St. Louis community to support the theatre.


“The theatre is at an inflection point, and we need to raise $2.5M through ticket sales and philanthropy by the end of 2023 to continue to produce works in the second half of our season. The St. Louis community has sustained us for nearly six decades, and now more than ever, we need them to invest in our future. Although we are calling on the community for support as we are cutting back this season, The Rep is dedicated to honor our longstanding commitment to bringing St. Louis audiences world-class theatrical experiences from the most exciting emerging and established voices in American theatre,” said Danny Williams, Managing Director of The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. “The slower-than-hoped-for return of audiences following the pandemic exacerbated financial challenges and necessitated that we make these significant and difficult changes. We need patrons to bring friends and family and show support in any way that they can to help us ensure that the productions we have planned in 2024 can happen.”

In the past decade, theater companies across the country have seen major shifts in their business models, and The Rep was no longer able to respond to these shifts in an effective manner. The Rep’s decision to update the 2023-2024 season comes at a time when theaters across the country are facing financial hardships, due in part to the Coronavirus pandemic. Since 2020, audience attendance at theaters has significantly declined, and the number of shows produced nationwide has decreased by 41%, according to a study conducted by Jacobson Consulting Applications, Inc. While The Rep's critically acclaimed productions of The Lehman Trilogy and Twisted Melodies far exceeded the national trends for attendance, the gaps still remain, and crucial community investment is needed to fully mount the 2023-2024 Season. 

The Rep plans to bring world-class, adventurous new works and beloved classics to its stages at the Loretto-Hilton Center in the second half of its 2024 season but needs to raise $2.5M through its “Rally for The Rep” campaign to do so. Currently scheduled for 2024 is Lookingglass Theatre Company’s adaptation of Moby Dick in February and Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County, which begins performances in March 2024.

The Rep is reaching out directly to season subscribers and current ticket holders regarding all changes.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call the Box Office, Monday – Friday from 10:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at (314) 968-4925. The Rep Box Office will also be available for in-person support at the Loretto-Hilton Center, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.




It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

The beloved American holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast!

December 1 – December 23

Loretto-Hilton Center

Made possible with support by The Berges Family Foundation


Adapted by Joe Landry

It’s a Wonderful Life is based on the story The Greatest Gift by Philip Van Doren Stern


Engage your imagination in the world of vintage radio broadcasting as you rediscover the magic of the holiday season with It's A Wonderful Life - A Live Radio Play. Experience the Golden Age of Radio through this classic holiday film reimaged as a live radio performance. Bear witness to this timeliness holiday story that explores the life of George Bailey, a compassionate and selfless man, standing on the brink of despair, when an angel named Clarence is sent down to Earth to teach George the power of kindness, the importance of family and friends, and the realization that each life, no matter how ordinary it may seem, is truly wonderful.




The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (The Rep) is the region’s premiere theatre for compelling, award-winning theatrical experiences that entertain, engage, and illuminate audiences’ shared humanity. Founded in 1966, for more than five decades The Rep has sustained and built upon its commitment to artistic excellence by creating, developing, and curating adventurous new works and beloved classics from the most exciting emerging and established American voices. The Rep builds bridges within the St. Louis community and beyond by offering productions that allow audiences to see themselves and the stories that matter to them represented on stage, through the organization’s robust community engagement programs, and across its educational initiatives.


The Rep welcomes audiences with inspiring and expansive productions at several inviting stages across St. Louis including the Virginia Jackson Browning Theatre at the Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts and other venues around the St. Louis area. A thought leader in the national theatre landscape, The Rep is a dedicated partner with arts organizations in St. Louis and across the country, expanding audiences’ appreciation and understanding of the world through theatre. For more information, please visit and follow @repstl.