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Merrimack Repertory Theatre partners with Free Soil Arts Collective

Merrimack Repertory Theatre and Free Soil Arts Collective, Lowell’s only Black-owned theater company, recently announced a partnership agreement.

After a yearlong collaboration, the two nonprofits have formalized that relationship by establishing Free Soil as MRT’s first official Company in Residence. Under the arrangement, MRT will provide Free Soil with rehearsal, performance, and office space.

Additionally, the two groups will jointly promote their respective programs, and Free Soil founder Christa Brown will join the MRT artistic staff and participate in season planning; casting; equity and antiracist work within MRT; and initiatives for emerging leaders. The Merrimack Repertory Theater performs seven works annually at its 279-seat Nancy L. Donahue Theatre at Liberty Hall in Lowell.


Courtney Sale,MRT’s artistic director, said she is “beyond excited” at the partnership with Free Soil. “We have so much to learn from their artistry and engagement. The winner in this ‘coming together’ is the people of the Greater Lowell region.”

John Laidler can be reached at