On the afternoon of Tuesday, October 4, Signature Theatre will unveil the 42nd Street and Dyer Avenue intersection in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood as the newly co-named Jim Houghton Way, celebrating the groundbreaking company’s founder, James Houghton (1958-2016). For this festive gathering, legendary members of the city’s theater community will come together in honor of Houghton, who formed the company in 1991 with a mission of supporting playwrights through a multi-play residency model designed to invest in a body of work and provide a supportive artistic home.
Houghton was beloved by the theatre community and known for supporting visionary playwrights and theatremakers including Edward Albee, Will Eno, Horton Foote, Athol Fugard, John Guare, Katori Hall, David Henry Hwang, Bill Irwin, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Adrienne Kennedy, and Sam Shepard.
Houghton tirelessly fundraised for and realized the building of Signature’s flagship three-theatre complex and cultural space, The Pershing Square Signature Center-its 75,000-square-foot facility designed by Frank Gehry Architects and opened in 2012. Houghton’s conviction about theatre’s integral role in community-building resulted in Signature’s Access ticket program (formerly Signature Ticket Initiative), providing over a million affordable, subsidized tickets since its launch; and the Pershing Square Signature Center’s open, public space that invites community gathering and connection.
Stars taking part include: Becky Ann Baker, actress; Dylan Baker, actor; Jo Bonney, director; Hon. Erik Bottcher, New York City Councilmember, District 3 ; Martha Clarke, MacArthur “Genius” playwright and choreographer; Will Eno, playwright; Paige Evans, Signature Theatre Artistic Director ; Family members of James Houghton ; David Henry Hwang, playwright, screenwriter, librettist; Marin Ireland, actress ; Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, MacArthur “Genius” playwright & television producer ; Timothy J. McClimon, Signature Theatre Executive Director; Charles Mee, playwright, historian, and author ; Sahr Ngaujah, actor and director; Edward Norton, actor and philanthropist; Ruben Santiago-Hudson, actor, playwright, director; Lois Smith, actress ; Harris Yulin, actor .
The event will take place on Tuesday, October 4, from 2-3pm at The Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 West 42nd Street.