Orlando Rep's New Name

ORLANDO — The Orlando Repertory Theatre, the iconic theater in Loch Haven Park that dates back to the 1920s and is known for its family-friendly shows, has a new name. They are now Orlando Family Stage, although as its board of directors points out, the theater long known simply as Orlando Rep won’t be changing the kind of high-quality shows that have appealed to audiences of all ages.

“We were looking for a more identifying name,” noted Adam Scheinberg, chairman of Orlando Family Stage’s board of directors. “If look around town, many organization’s names tell you more or less what they do.”

Noting local examples such as the Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando Science Center, Orlando Ballet, and Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Scheinberg said the board wanted its mission to become a part of the theeater’s name.

Why Did They Become Orlando Family Stage?

The Orlando Rep has a long history in Orlando, having been founded in 1926 as the Orlando Little Theatre, which at the time was part of the City of Orlando’s Recreation Department. The theater company moved to Loch Haven Park in 1968 when their name was changed to the Central Florida Civic Theatre. They became the Orlando Repertory Theatre in 2000 when they also took ownership of their building.

As Scheinberg noted, the board of directors felt their mission has stayed the same over the decades: to provide great family entertainment suitable for all ages. So they decided the word “family” belonged in their title.

“We seized on the opportunity to have a correct and clear name, a refreshed brand, and a name that ties us to the arts and brings attention to our niche programming, serving family audiences,” he noted. “Our new name is not only the logical evolution of who we have become, but points to who we continue to be and aim to serve.”

This wasn’t a decision that was made quickly, or lightly, he added, but has been in the works for years.

“Following several years of consideration and over 18 months of research, stakeholder interviews, and a brand audit, the organization’s board of directors approved the new name in a unanimous vote in February of 2023,” he said.

The new name is now part of their website as well.

What’s Coming Up at Orlando Family Stage?

The first production under the new name will be Disney’s Descendants The Musical, which opens on July 14, from the hit movie, and offering comedy, adventure and the popular songs from the film.

Orlando Family Stage will also be announcing its complete 2023 – 2024 season on Thursday, June 22, so stay tuned.

Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright, and author of the book A Christmas Eve Story. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.

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