BRT strives to be a dominant force in strengthening the quality of life for area residents. We are firmly rooted in our community and derive our strength from it. We seek to enliven the spirit and consciousness of our audiences through the new and unexpected or the old and rediscovered.
Bristol Riverside Theatre (BRT) is a professional regional theatre in the historic district of Bristol Borough. The theatre, located in a renovated movie house, combines the excitement of a large stage with the intimacy of a 300-seat theater, along with outstanding lighting and sound technology. Since 1986, BRT has brought consistently acclaimed professional theater to Bucks County and maintained a long-term commitment to finding and developing new plays. BRT has developed such new works as country music star Larry Gatlin's musicals Alive and Well (And Livin' in the Land of Dreams) and Texas Flyer; Jules Tasca's critically acclaimed and Barrymore Award-winning drama The Balkan Women; Mark Medoff's The Majestic Kid, and Garson Kanin's Happy Ending, and Shielah Rae, Thomas Edward West, and Michele Brourman's I Married Wyatt Earp.
BRT has also brought nationally renowned theater artists to the region in a number of capacities, including Katherine Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Micki Grant, Adrian Pasdar, Kim Hunter, John Henry Redwood, Stephen Schnetzer, Keir Dullea, Hugh O'Gorman, Ron Link, Susan Powell, Bethe B. Austin, Aileen Quinn, Rita Taggart, and Richard White.
BRT is the recipient of over 50 nominations for The Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theater, given annually by the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. A few of the past nominees and winners are BRT's Artistic Director Keith Baker, nominated for his direction of BRT's World Premiere of The Balkan Women, Larry Gatlin, winning for the best original music of Texas Flyer, Bethe B. Austin winning for Best Supporting Actress in a musical for Texas Flyer, Jules Tasca, winning the Best New Play Award for The Balkan Women, Brad Little winning for Best Actor in a musical for Evita, Christopher Gatelli winning Outstanding Choreography/Movement in a Musical for Altar Boyz and Douglas Campbell winning for Best Actor in a play for The Dresser.
In addition to five mainstage productions, the theatre has an extremely popular summer musicale series, a new play series called America Rising, a summer jazz weekend, a winter musicale in December, and several children's' theatre productions year-round. The theatre frequently serves as a cultural hub for the community, showing exhibitions of local visual arts, as well as local performing artists. In 2008, BRT featured its first annual Poetry Slam which gave local students an opportunity to make their voices heard and compete for cash prizes. BRT also hosts a summer camp called Artrageous which includes a variety of performance classes and ends with a show on the BRT stage.