The Romea Theater was built in 1863 as a private theater. Its initial name was Teatre Català, because its intention was to represent plays mainly in Catalan, and the audience it wanted to address were the popular classes and the petty bourgeoisie of Barcelona. The Teatre Català was one of the most important cultural spaces of expression in Catalan and only from 1939 to 1945 no plays were performed in this language. The change of name to Teatre Romea was a tribute to Julián Romea Yangüas, an outstanding actor and writer from Murcia in the 19th century. In 1981 the Romea Theater became the Centro Dramático de la Generalitat and in 1999 began its new stage under the management of Grup Focus, which entrusted the artistic direction to Calixto Bieito, one of the most internationally renowned Spanish stage directors. After Bieito, the artistic direction of the Romea passed through the hands of Julio Manrique, Borja Sitjà and Carles Canut until reaching its current director, Josep Maria Pou, actor and director, and one of the great figures of Spanish and Catalan theater. All generations of Catalan actors have passed through the Romea Theater, from Enrique Borrás and Margarita Xirgu, to Joan Capri and Josep Maria Pou himself.
The Romea Theater receives the support of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Departament de Cultura) and Ajuntament de Barcelona (Institut de Cultura).
Transgression, provocation, reflection and entertainment
The Teatre Romea has become a space of artistic actuality, which takes risks with innovative and entertaining proposals. Provoking and thought-provoking are also the hallmarks of this contemporary production center.
An award-winning theater
Among the various awards that the Romea Theater has received, it is worth mentioning the Award for Best Theater Programming in Spain, awarded by the International Theater Fair of Huesca in 2005; the Max Award for the Performing Arts as Best Theater Entrepreneur or Producer in 2007; the Gold Medal for Cultural Merit from the Barcelona City Council, in 2014, and the Creu de Sant Jordi from the Generalitat de Catalunya, in 2015.
The Petit Romea
The Petit Romea is not another theater attached to the main hall, it is a cycle of Viu el Teatre amb el Teatre Romea, which offers families and schools a program of shows and activities aimed at children from 0 to 14 years. The goal: to awaken the creative vision of the youngest through the performing arts.