Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre
Listed among the best new architectural structures around the globe (Wallpaper magazine, 2019), the Boston University Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre and the College of Fine Arts Production Center provide CFA theatre students with countless opportunities to experiment, innovate, and take the audience from 820 Commonwealth Avenue to another world. Located at the heart of the Boston University Charles River campus, Booth Theatre creates a 21st-century learning environment, educating the next generation of artists.
Flexibility Yields Experimentation
Through the configuration of seating risers, the opening of a single trap door, the installation of set pieces and drapes, and the use of creative lighting, the space at Booth Theatre is easily transformed. The building’s massive tipped façade serves as a mirror, coupled with a proscenium-inspired wrapper, to put pedestrians and Comm Ave on stage.
Not only do performances take place here. Classes are taught in the state-of-the-art facility by professors who are experts in the field. Students are sketching and bringing their costume designs to life in the Costume Shop. Others are building and painting sets and props throughout the Paint Shop and Scene Shop, transporting them to the stage.
The best part about Booth Theatre? No production looks the same, making each performance a unique experience for both the students and the audience.
Setting the Stage for Sustainability
The award-winning dramatic arts complex recently earned the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certification for its green features, including operations and maintenance of a resource-efficient, healthy, and cost-effective space.
The Boston University Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre and the College of Fine Arts Production Center project are 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. It was designed by internationally-recognized Elkus | Manfredi Architects and the construction for this complex was managed by the Bond Brothers.
“The Booth Theatre has provided me with a playground. Pretty much anything you imagine possible can be done in that theatre.”—Yo-EL Cassell, CFA Assistant Professor, Movement
“It feels like a new world we’ve stepped into. The Booth Theatre allows you to have as much space as you need to experiment.”—Nicholas Walker (CFA’20)
By the Numbers
- $10M naming gift from BU trustee Steve Zide
- 75K square-foot theatre complex with theatre, production and costume shops, design labs, classrooms, and plaza
- 250 seat theatre
- 13 productions to date
- 9 motorized trusses for lighting and scenic elements
- 1 motorized lighting catwalk
- 290 parking spaces
Experience Booth Theatre
A lot happens behind the scenes at Booth Theatre. Immerse yourself in the experience by taking our virtual tour of the performing arts center.
Watch clips of previous performances and hear from faculty and students about the opportunities Booth Theatre has given them on CFA YouTube.
Booth Theatre in Photos
Check out some of our favorite moments at Booth Theatre:
In the Press
Susan Mickey Brings a Designer’s Eye to the School of Theatre BU Today (February 20, 2020)
State of the Arts Bostonia (September 19, 2019)
CFA Presents Two-Part Pulitzer Winner Angels in America BU Today (October 18, 2018)
A Galloping Rhinoceros Opens Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre BU Today (February 21, 2018)
New Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre Opens BU Today (December 7, 2017)
$10 Million Gift Names New CFA Theater BU Today (March 13, 2017)
Media and News Coverage
10 Questions with Ross Cameron Interior Design (October 29, 2019)
Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre and the College of Fine Arts Production Center at Boston University Arch Daily (September 24, 2019)
Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre and the College of Fine Arts Production Center at Boston University Avontuura (July 12, 2019)
Boston University’s Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre takes center stage with concrete and aluminum The Architect’s Newspaper (June 27, 2019)
‘Runaways’ highlights homeless youth stories on Booth Theatre stage The Daily Free Press (December 12, 2018)
Boston University Celebrates First Anniversary of Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre Complex Broadway World (December 7, 2018)
At BU’s new Booth Theatre, room to move and to imagine The Boston Globe (April 17, 2018)
Take a Look Inside Boston University’s Brand-New Fine Arts Building Boston Magazine (December 11, 2017)
BU Theater Program Gets A New Home – And A Different Experience for Students wbur (December 6, 2017)
Students, faculty celebrate new College of Fine Arts theater The Daily Free Press (September 7, 2017)
Awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification (2020)
Honor Award for Design Excellence American Institute of Architects New England (AIA) (2020)
Honorable Mention in Architectural Design/Educational Buildings Architecture MasterPrize (2020)
Rendering Award of Excellence – Architecture in Perspective American Society of Architectural Illustrators (ASAI) (2020)
Building blocks: new structures around the globe in 2019 Wallpaper (December 2, 2019)
Honor Award for Design Excellence Boston Society of Architects (BSA)/AIA (2019)
National Design Award of Honor Society of American Registered Architects (SARA) (2019)
Project Achievement Award – New Construction Construction Management Association of America (CMAA)-New England Chapter (2018)
Plan Your Visit
Current Production Season
Our 2021-2022 production season is filled with powerful and dynamic stories. See what shows are playing at Booth Theatre on CFA’s School of Theatre Production Season webpage.
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.)
Public Transit Options
- Accessible by the MBTA Green Line. Take the B line to the BU West station.
- Accessible by the MBTA CT2 and 57 bus lines.
- BU Shuttle stop M2.
Where to Park
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.
Accessible entrance through the Production Center doors on Essex street.
Tickets for BU Community
All Boston University students, faculty, and staff receive free admission with their BU ID to watch performances at Booth Theatre.
COVID Safety Guidelines
Please reference BU’s Back2BU website for the latest information and updates. More information on safety guidelines for guests and visitors is forthcoming.