222 West 45th StreetNew York, NY
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House Electrician, Booth Theatre
Jeffrey Eric Jenkins
Laurel Ann Wilson
House Manager, Booth Theatre
The Booth Theatre was originally built in 1913 for Winthrop Ames, an independent producer with an architectural background who partnered with the Shubert Brothers to create a small theater to present great drama.
Convinced that smaller venues fostered intimate theater, Ames specified that the theater contain only 600 seats. Designed by Henry B. Herts, the interior was English Tudor and emphasized intimacy. When it opened in 1913, the Booth Theatre was the second playhouse in New York City to bear the name of Edwin Booth, the great Shakespearean actor who also had the distinction of being the brother of John Wilkes Booth, President Lincoln’s assassin. The Booth and Shubert Theatres were built on either end of Shubert Alley, occupying one lot between 44th and 45th Streets, and their backstage areas are back to back, separated by a brick wall. True to Ames’s vision, the Booth has been home to many Pulitzer Prize–winning productions including You Can’t Take it With You, The Time of Your Life, That Championship Season, Sunday in the Park with George, and Next to Normal.
Henry B. Herts was known as a technical innovator and inventive designer.
Born in New York, he was the son of Henry B. Herts of the Herts Brothers firm of decorators. He originally went to City College but left before graduation to work in the office of architect Bruce Price. Herts eventually graduated from Columbia University in 1893 then traveled to Europe to study architecture at the École des Beaux-Arts and the universities of Rome and Heidelberg. Herts is best known for his partnership with Hugh Tallant. Although, Herts & Tallant were well-known theater architects, the partnership dissolved in 1912, and Herts continued designing with his assistant Herbert J. Krapp and on his own. Herts pioneered the use of steel cantilevers to eliminate the problem of blocked sightlines from pillars supporting the balcony. He also served as architect for the Playground Commission of New York City and helped improve fire codes.
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Bernard B. Jacobs