Broadway is about to make history. on Thursday, Netherlands Organization announced that it would name the Brooks Atkinson Theater after famed artist Lena Horn, who died in 2010 at the age of 92. The move marks the first time a Broadway theater has been named after a black woman.
The Brooks Atkinson Netherlands is one of the organization’s nine Broadway theaters and is currently home to the Tony-winning Six: Music, Built in 1926, the name of the venue was changed to a late, long new York Times Theater critic Atkinson in 1960.
To Advertisement for the playname change is as follows an agreement was reached Between Black Theater United — A Collection of black theater leaders With founding members including Billy Porter and Vanessa Williams — and three of Broadway’s major landowners last year. The agreement called for each homeowner to name “at least one” of their theaters after a black artist, among other works that seek to re-establish their collective commitment to diversity and racism.
Schubert Organization previously announced that it would have a Court Theater renamed for James Earl JonesWhile a venue at Jujamsin Theaters is named after the late Pulitzer Prize winning playwright August Wilson,
Horn was an acclaimed singer and renowned actress. She earned four Grammy Awards – including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989 – as well as a Tony Award in 1981 Lena Horn: The Lady and Her Musicamong countless other accolades.
In addition to his many achievements in show business, Horn was also a passionate civil rights activist and a devoted proponent of the nationwide civil rights movement.
one in StatementHorn’s daughter, Gail Lumet Buckley, and the Horn family considered the relationship between Atkinson and the actress.
“On February 13, 1939, Brooks Atkinson wrote a review of the music Blackbirds of 1939 for new York Times, Their reviews were generally unfavourable, except for mentions of “a dazzlingly beautiful girl, Lena Horn, who would be the winner after proper directing”. The right direction came from within Lena,” Buckley said.
“She sought an artistic education, and a political education. She sought her voice, found it, and then fought for the right she had always been denied—the right to tell her own story. In 1981, James M. Nederlander offered her their stage and Lena’s One Woman Show, woman and her music Lasted for over a year. 366 performances, in three countries. It was his full expression as an artist and storyteller. We are grateful to the Netherlands organization for changing the name of this venue to Lena Horn Theatre. We are hopeful that actors and audiences alike will narrate their stories here.”
Six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald – another founding member of Black Theater United – spoke about the name change, saying, “I am very pleased that the Netherlands organization will rename a theater in her honor to honor the powerful legacy of Lena Horn. is respected. Representation is everything. It is powerful for a black woman to be recognized and remembered as such. Lena Horne was a woman of fierce talent, incredible strength, and profound conviction. With the utmost grace, she broke down barriers Beyond her indelible work on stage and screen, she was a civil rights activist who continues to inspire many of us today.
She continued: “With her name rechristened, the Lena Horne Theater will confirm that black women and girls are seen; we are heard, we belong and when we stand in her theater, we stand on her mighty shoulders.” And will also stand on his endurance. Legacy. It is indeed a historic day.”
The Netherlands organization will host the christening ceremony this fall, with an official date to be announced in the coming weeks.
Back in 2021, ET spoke with the iconic artist’s granddaughter, Jenny Lumet, who is developing a series based on the stage and screen legend’s life.
Describing his grandmother’s indelible legacy, Lumet told ET, “I am the luckiest person in the whole world to have these people in my life.” “If she really meant so much to so many people it meant they would fully embrace her… her struggle was [that] People often wanted her to be a specific thing, and for her to be a complete woman is the journey for her.”
“My job is to document a woman finding herself,” Lumet continued. “Finding myself within this crazy whirlwind of America, of blackness, of fun.”
Looking at the challenges Horne faced and conquered, Lumet marveled at the grace and determination displayed by her grandmother.
“People didn’t want to do her hair, people didn’t want to do her makeup, people didn’t want to dress her. There were issues about what entrance she was allowed to use,” Lumet said, “and then You also saw this excellent artist and this exquisite beauty in front of you.”
In the face of these struggles, Horn managed to break down barriers and open up possibilities for other artists as well.
Lumet explained, “There are some people who, by their very nature, lift us all up and take us along.” “I think she’s quite the miraculous.”
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