History of Hammer

  • Founded in 1980, the San José Repertory Theatre Company became known during its early years as the fastest growing professional theatre company in the U.S.
  • Its mission was to produce classics as well as new and innovative theatrical works mirroring the inclusive diversity of San José.
  • As a top-notch repertory theatre company, the Rep needed a permanent home. In 1997, the company collaborated with the San José Redevelopment Agency to construct the Hammer Theatre. The theatre is named after former mayor Susan Hammer and her husband, Phil Hammer.
  • San José Repertory Company disbanded, and the Hammer Theatre was shuttered in June 2014.
  • A partnership between San José State University and the city of San José enabled the Hammer Theatre to reopen in March 2016 as a modern performance venue. The Hammer now showcases live theatre, music, dance, and film expressive of the city’s diversity and Silicon Valley’s innovations.