DC -- Penn Qtr -- Natl Theatre (1321 Penn Ave NW):
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- NATLT_200713_08.JPG: The personal and systemic injustice towards people of color in our nation continues to bring heartbreak and outrage.
Theatre and storytelling are part of what makes us human and play a critical role in actively bringing people together to learn and understand each other.
We are committed to learning more and to provide a safe place where these stories can be told and experiences can be shared.
Black Lives Matter
- NATLT_200713_17.JPG: National Theatre
Due to the ongoing health crisis, the National Theatre is currently closed to the public.
The following shows have been cancelled or rescheduled in response to social distancing mandates. ...
- Wikipedia Description: National Theatre (Washington, D.C.)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The National Theatre is located in Washington, D.C. and is a venue for a variety of live stage productions with seating for 1,676.
This historic playhouse was founded on December 7, 1835, by William Corcoran and other prominent citizens who wanted the national capital to have a first-rate theatre. The theater's initial production was Man of the World. The theater has been in almost continuous operation since, at the same Pennsylvania Avenue location a few blocks from the White House. It's name was changed at times to "Grover's National Theatre, "and Grover's Theatre," as management changed. Famed actor Joseph Jefferson managed the theatre at one time. The structure has been rebuilt several times, including partial reconstructions after five fires in the 19th century. The current building was constructed in 1920.
Located three blocks from The White House, the theatre has entertained every man who has been U.S. President since Andrew Jackson.
Like many theaters in the U.S. prior to the civil rights movement, the National Theatre was racially segregated. Black actors were allowed to appear, but African Americans were forbidden to attend performances. During the Washington run of Porgy and Bess in 1936, the cast—as led by Todd Duncan—protested the audience's segregation. Duncan stated that he "would never play in a theater which barred him from purchasing tickets to certain seats because of his race." Eventually management would give into the demands and allow for the first integrated performance at National Theatre. A movement to integrate the playhouse was spearheaded by actor Helen Hayes, educator Gilbert V. Hartke, O.P., Washington art impresario Patrick Hayes, and Washington Post theatre critic Richard L. Coe. When that effort failed, they persuaded Actors Equity performers to refuse to play at the theatre. Rather than desegregating, the New York management discontinued live performances in 1948. One prestige attraction, the Washington premier of the British film The Red Shoes, was presented. Then the theatre remained dark until it reopened as an integrated theater in 1952.
In 1974, the not-for-profit National Theatre Corporation was established by Roger L. Stevens, Maurice B. Tobin, Donn B. Murphy and others to save the failing enterprise, in the wake of racial riots, and a downtown made unfashionable by the growth of the surrounding suburbs.
The theatre underwent a major renovation in 1982-1983, when the original wing housing dressing rooms was replaced with a modern structure. Stage designer Oliver Smith superintended the interior design. The 1835 stone foundations and brick stage house still exist, although the rock work is now reinforced with steel caissons to resist erosion by the Tiber Creek, which flows beneath the building. From the stage, President Ronald Reagan saluted the refurbished "neighborhood theatre" in January of 1984.
Among the Broadway productions which have had out-of-town try-outs at the National are Amadeus, Crazy For You, Hello, Dolly!, Showboat and West Side Story.
The many performers who have appeared at the theatre include Pearl Bailey, Ethel Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore and John Barrymore, Warren Beatty, Sarah Bernhardt, Claire Bloom, Edwin Booth, John Booth, Fanny Brice, Carol Channing, George M. Cohan, Claudette Colbert, Katharine Cornell, Hume Cronyn, Tim Curry, Ruth Draper, Todd Duncan, Maurice Evans, Lillian Gish, Ruth Gordon, Julie Harris, Rex Harrison, Helen Hayes, Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn, Joseph Jefferson, James Earl Jones, Eva LeGallienne, Jerry Lewis, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, Eartha Kitt, Ian McKellen, Mary Martin, Ethel Merman, Rita Moreno, Helen Morgan, Rosie O'Donnell, Laurence Olivier, Annie Oakley, Geraldine Page, Robert Redford, Debbie Reynolds, Chita Rivera, Will Rogers, Rosalind Russell, George C. Scott, Kevin Spacey, Sting, Jessica Tandy, Norma Terris, Marlo Thomas, Lily Tomlin, Franchot Tone, Rip Torn and Liv Ullmann. Winston Churchill once spoke from the stage.
Today the National Theatre mostly hosts traveling Broadway musicals. It is managed by the non-profit Shubert Organization which also runs 16 Broadway theatres.
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