Broadway’s former Cort Theatre renamed in honor of actor James Earl Jones
Acting legend James Earl Jones received a high honor on Broadway with the renaming of a theater in his honor.
The James Earl Jones Theatre was dedicated on Monday. The dedication was the culmination of effort years in the making.
“I’m among many who’ve been trying to make this happen,” says actor Brian Stokes Mitchell.
Mitchell is among the founding members of Black Theatre United, a group that pressed Broadway theater owners to rename at least two additional theaters after BIPOC artists.
Jones has appeared in 21 Broadway productions and received three Tony Awards. And while the 91-year-old was unable to attend the dedication in person, he recently visited the renovated former Cort Theatre to record a video.
“I spoke my first line ever on Broadway in this theater,” Jones said.
Jones’ legacy is felt by the artists who attended the dedication.
“One of the standards that we always had was to be a James Earl Jones,” says actor Samuel L. Jackson.
“It is satisfying to see this happening, to be here on this day. Not owning it, but definitely feeling that our voice has been heard,” says actor Tamara Tunie.
The first play that will be performed in the James earl Jones Theatre will star Audra McDonald in “Ohio State Murders.” It begins in November.
Another Broadway theatre is set to be renamed. The Brooks Atkinson where the musical "Six" is performed will be renamed after the late singer and actress, Lena Horne.
The James Earl Jones Theatre is owned by the Shubert Organization.