Berkeley Repertory Theatre was born in a storefront, and has moved to the forefront of American theatre. Founded in 1968 by Michael Leibert, the theatre quickly earned respect for presenting the finest plays with top-flight actors. In 1980, with the support of the local community, Berkeley Repertory Theatre built the 400-seat thrust stage where its reputation steadily grew over the next two decades. It gained renown for an adventurous combination of work, presenting important new dramatic voices alongside refreshing adaptations of seldom-seen classics. In recognition of its place on the national stage, Berkeley Repertory Theatre was honored with the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1997. The company celebrated by unveiling a new 600-seat proscenium stage in 2001, the state-of-the-art Roda Theatre. It also opened the Berkeley Repertory Theatre School of Theatre, the permanent home for its tradition of outreach and education programs. The addition of these two buildings transformed a single stage into a vital and versatile performing arts complex, the linchpin of a bustling downtown arts district which has helped revitalize Berkeley. In four decades, four million people have enjoyed 300 shows at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, including 50 world premieres. The theatre now welcomes an annual audience of 180,000, serves 20,000 students, and hosts dozens of community groups, thanks to 1,000 volunteers and more than 400 artists, artisans, and administrators. In the last two years, four shows seen at Berkeley Repertory Theatre have gone on to New York: Bridge & Tunnel, Brundibar, Eurydice, and Passing Strange. Now America gets a taste of Berkeley with Wishful Drinking.