Jerry Herman Ring Theatre
The theatre is widely known for having given birth to the acting careers of several notable actors and actresses, whose careers started at the Ring Theatre, including Steven Bauer, Ray Liotta, Sylvester Stallone and others.
The theatre is named for University of Miami alumnus Jerry Herman, whose career on Broadway has included composing and other credits for scores for hit Broadway musicals, including Hello, Dolly!, Mame, and La Cage aux Folles. The theater was founded in 1946, and 2006 marks its 60th anniversary.
Since its founding, the Ring has performed at three different sites. In addition to its current location, the Ring has been located previously in a circus tent and a round building used to train Allied navigators during World War II.
The name for the Ring grew out of the company's first in-the-round performance, which placed the audience in a "ring" around the stage. The current building was designed by Robert M. Little and Marion M. Manley and constructed started in 1951 with completion in 1953. Its unusual circular design and first-of-its-kind, flexible seating arrangement drew national attention in the world of theater. The main building has a roof constructed of poured concrete that is held in place by a large 3 inch wide steel ban like the ban placed old wagon wheels in the 1800s and heated then shrunk. The Ring Theater was designed and built to withstand hurricanes with winds up to 250-mph.
In the 1970s, the Ring permanently changed its seating configuration to three-sided thrust. After a complete renovation of the theatre house, the Ring has now returned to total flexibility and offer three different kinds of staging as well as three seating arrangements.
While the theatre itself is named for Jerry Herman, the new stage was named the Alvin Sherman Family Stage in honor of Alvin Sherman's generous support of the renovation project.
Prominent University of Miami and Jerry Herman Ring Theatre alumni (and their most notable credits) include:
- Steven Bauer - actor, "Manolo Ray" in Scarface.
- Jeff Coopwood - actor, voice of "The Borg" in Star Trek: First Contact.
- Gail Edwards - actress, "Vicky Larson" in Full House.
- Joshua Henry - actor, "Haywood Patterson" in The Scottsboro Boys (musical).
- Dawnn Lewis - actress, "Jaleesa Vinson-Taylor" on A Different World.
- Ray Liotta - actor, "Henry Hill" in Goodfellas.
- Ernie Sabella - actor, "Mr. Petrachelli" on That's So Raven.
- Saundra Santiago - actress, "Det. Gina Navarro Calabrese" in Miami Vice.
- Sylvester Stallone - actor, Rocky and Rambo.
- Jerry Herman Ring Theatre Official Web Site.
- University of Miami Department of Theatre Arts Official Web Site.
- Jerry Herman Official Web Site.