Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre
“To hold, as ’twere, the mirror up to nature.” -Hamlet, act 3, scene 2
The 250-seat Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre is located at the heart of the Charles River campus at 820 Commonwealth Avenue. The intent behind the Joan & Edgar Booth theatre is exact: create a 21st century learning environment to educate the next generation of artists and engage audiences in an immersive experience.
The purposeful, flexible design of the Booth Theatre allows for the evolution of performances and a deep engagement with audiences. Through the configuration of seating risers, opening of the single trap door, installation of set pieces and drapes, and use of creative lighting, the space can be transformed to create a unique performance and audience experience. The building’s massive tipped façade serves as a mirror, coupled with a proscenium-inspired wrapper, to put pedestrians and Comm Ave on stage.
The project is funded in part by a naming gift of $10 million from BU trustee Steve Zide (LAW’86). The theatre is named after Steve’s theatre-loving wife, Janet Zide’s parents, Joan and Edgar Booth. Edgar Booth passed away recently, but Zide’s mother-in-law, Joan Booth, remains an active patron of the arts and a Broadway aficionado.
Boston University Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre and the College of Fine Arts Production Center was listed among the best buildings of 2019, a list of new architectural structures around the globe, in Wallpaper* magazine.
By the Numbers
- $10M $10 million naming gift from BU trustee Steve Zide
- 250 seat theatre
- 1 motorized lighting catwalk
- 9 motorized trusses for lighting and scenic elements
- 450 students in the School of Theatre impacted by this new space
- 290 parking spaces
Experience Booth Theatre
Jim Petosa, Director of the School of Theatre, explains how the purpose-built performance area at the Boston University Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre helps the student and audience expand their imagination.
Booth Theatre is a playground for performers by giving our students a space to experiment and stretch the boundaries.
The state-of-the-art CFA Design & Production Center gives students the opportunity to imagine and construct scenes directly next to the Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre.
Take a peek at a few of the highlights from this past season:
820 Commonwealth Avenue
Brookline, MA 02446
(For GPS, use 808 Commonwealth Avenue. Boston University Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre and College of Fine Arts Production Center are located right next door.)
Accessible entrance through the Production Center doors on Essex street!
Street parking is available on and around Commonwealth Avenue. BU parking lots and garages are also available. Lot F is the parking lot at Booth Theatre; garage entrance is at 128 Essex Street, Brookline MA. This lot will open 90 minutes prior to performances. Rates will vary. Please consult bu.edu/parking for more information.
In the Press