The famous James Earl Jones will soon be honored at New York City’s Cort Theater! The theater will be renamed James Earl Jones Theater in honor of his lifetime of contributions to Broadway and the whole cultural community.
A Broadway alliance of theater owners, producers, union leaders, playwrights, and casting directors issued a number of changes and commitments for the industry to ensure fairness, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility less than a year ago.
“The Shubert Organization is immensely honored to place James—an legend in the theater community, the Black community, and the American community—forever in the spotlight on Broadway,” said Robert E. Wankel, CEO and board chair of the Shubert Organization. “There is no doubt that James deserves to have his name memorialized on Broadway.”
Jones’ Broadway career began in 1957, with his first appearance at the Cort in 1958’s Sunrise at Campobello, and he later returned in the 2005 revival of On Golden Pond.
“It would have been unthinkable for me to be standing in this very building sixty-four years ago at the outset of my Broadway career that my name would be on the building today,” James said in a statement. “Let my experience from then to now serve as an example to all aspiring performers.”
Since his debut on Broadway, Jones has appeared in 21 productions, including two at the Cort Theater. He is the second Black musician to have a Broadway theater named after him, and he is one of five Black EGOT winners.
During the pandemic, the Cort was closed for substantial repair and building work, which is due to be completed this summer. In the future, a formal dedication in Jones’ honor will be held.