New York City’s Cort Theater will soon be named after the legendary James Earl Jones! In recognition of his lifetime of immense contributions to Broadway and the entire artistic community, the theater is set to be renamed James Earl Jones Theater.
The rename comes less than a year after a Broadway coalition of theater owners, producers, union leaders, creators, and casting directors delivered a series of reforms and commitments for the industry to ensure equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.
“The Shubert Organization is so incredibly honored to put James—an icon in the theater community, the Black community, and the American community—forever in Broadway’s lights,” said Shubert CEO and board chair Robert E. Wankel. “That James deserves to have his name immortalized on Broadway is without question.”
Jones’s Broadway career began in 1957 and he played his first role at the Cort in 1958’s Sunrise at Campobello, later reappearing on stage in the 2005 revival of On Golden Pond.
“For me standing in this very building sixty-four years ago at the start of my Broadway career, it would have been inconceivable that my name would be on the building today,” James said in a statement. “Let my journey from then to now be an inspiration for all aspiring actors.”
Jones has appeared in 21 Broadway productions since the start of his career, including two at the Cort Theater. He is one of five Black EGOT winners and now the second Black artist to have a Broadway theater named after him.
The Cort has been closed for extensive renovation and construction work during the pandemic, with the work expected to be finished this summer. However, a formal dedication in Jones’ honor will take place in the future.
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