August Wilson Theatre
Guild Theatre, ANTA Theatre, Virginia Theatre
|Address||245 West 52nd Street|
Manhattan, New York City
|Architect||C. Howard Crane and Kenneth Franzheim|
The August Wilson Theatre, formerly the Guild Theatre and Virginia Theatre, is a Broadway theatre at 245 West 52nd Street in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Named after Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright August Wilson (1945–2005), the August Wilson is owned and operated by Jordan Roth of Jujamcyn Theaters. The theatre has 1,222 seats, and its longest-running show was Jersey Boys (2005–2017).
Designed by architects C. Howard Crane and Kenneth Franzheim and constructed by the Theatre Guild, it opened as the Guild Theatre in 1925 with a revival of George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra. Theresa Helburn of the Theatre Guild presided over the groundbreaking ceremony.
In 1943, the building was leased to WOR-Mutual Radio as a studio. The American National Theater and Academy purchased it in 1950 and renamed it the ANTA Theatre. In 1981, the theatre was purchased by Jujamcyn Theaters and named the Virginia Theatre for owner and Jujamcyn Board member Virginia McKnight Binger.
After the death of Binger's husband James H. Binger in 2004, Jujamcyn producer and president Rocco Landesman announced that he planned to buy Jujamcyn. He told The New York Times he had a long-standing understanding with Binger that he would buy the corporation's five playhouses. The theatres had an estimated net asset value of $30 million.
On October 16, 2005, fourteen days after playwright August Wilson's death, the theatre was renamed in his honor. That same year, Jordan Roth joined Jujamcyn Theaters. In 2009, Landesman was nominated to head the National Endowment for the Arts Foundation. Landesman sold half his interest to the successful 33-year-old theater producer, Jordan Roth. Roth assumed full control of operations as Landesman departed for the NEA and still owns and operates the company today.
The theatre closed March 12, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The production playing at the time, Mean Girls, played its final performance the night before. The theatre reopened on August 4, 2021 with Pass Over, making it the first theatre to resume performances since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Box office record
Mean Girls achieved the box office record for the August Wilson Theatre. The production grossed $1,994,386 for the week ending December 30, 2018.
- 1926: Pygmalion
- 1928: Major Barbara
- 1931: Mourning Becomes Electra
- 1936: And Stars Remain with Clifton Webb as Overton Morrell
- 1938: The Merchant of Yonkers
- 1941: Ah, Wilderness!
- 1951: The House of Bernarda Alba
- 1952: Golden Boy
- 1955: A Day by the Sea, The Skin of Our Teeth; Seventh Heaven
- 1958: Say, Darling; J.B.
- 1961: A Man for All Seasons
- 1964: The Owl and the Pussycat
- 1965: The Royal Hunt of the Sun
- 1968: Maggie Flynn
- 1969: Our Town
- 1971: Purlie
- 1972: Different Times
- 1974: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
- 1975: Summer Brave
- 1976: Bubbling Brown Sugar
- 1978: First Monday in October
- 1980: The Suicide
- 1981: Copperfield
- 1983: On Your Toes
- 1988: Carrie
- 1989: Run for Your Wife
- 1989: City of Angels
- 1992: Jelly's Last Jam
- 1993: My Fair Lady
- 1995: Smokey Joe's Cafe
- 2000: The Wild Party
- 2002: Flower Drum Song; The Crucible
- 2003: Little Shop of Horrors
- 2005: Little Women
- 2005: Jersey Boys
- 2017: Groundhog Day; Home for the Holidays
- 2018: Mean Girls
- 2021: Pass Over; Slave Play
- 2022: Funny Girl
- Jones, Kenneth (January 22, 2013). "Jordan Roth Is Now Principal Owner of Broadway's Jujamcyn Theaters". Playbill. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- "August Wilson Theatre". Playbill. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- McKinley, Jesse (October 17, 2005). "Virginia Theater Takes a New Name: August Wilson". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
- Cohen, Patricia (September 8, 2009). "Jujamcyn Names Jordan Roth President, Signaling a Broadway Youth Trend". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- "Pass Over Moves Up Its Broadway Opening Night by Three Weeks | TheaterMania". www.theatermania.com. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
- "10 Broadway Box Office Records That Were Shattered Last Week". New York Shows. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- Parker, John (ed), Who's Who in the Theatre, 10th revised edition, London, 1947: 1430
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