Connecticut Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA) brings the world to our stages, enriches lives and creates community through its mission to:
- Present and produce artistic programming of the highest quality to serve and educate diverse audiences and feature renowned artists of all cultures
- Operate and maintain world-class performance venues
- Strengthen our arts communities by providing facilities for resident companies and through partnership and collaboration, support those organizations
- Bolster the economies of the downtown communities we serve.
Connecticut Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA) / Shubert Theatre History
The Shubert Theatre opened on Friday evening, December 11, 1914 with “The Belle of Bond Street.” From its very first season, the Shubert Theatre has been a performing arts center presenting plays, musicals, dance and a variety of solo performances. Since opening, the theatre has played host to over 600 pre-Broadway tryouts, including over 300 world premieres and 50 American premieres. The totals are double that of any theater in New York City or any of the other try-out cities.
While the numbers of Pre-Broadway productions alone are impressive, even more impressive are the quality and importance of the work that has been presented on its stage and the array of celebrated artists who have performed there. The Shubert was the site for the “birth” of many of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s greatest triumphs. Seven of their musicals had their premieres at the Shubert starting with their first collaboration, “Oklahoma!” and continuing with “Carousel”, “Allegro”, “South Pacific” with Mary Martin; “The King and I” with a young Yul Brynner; and their final musical, “The Sound of Music”.
A small sampling of other World Premieres include: Lerner and Loewe’s “My Fair Lady” starring Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews, Cole Porter’s “Annie Get Your Gun” starring Ethel Merman and Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire” with Marlon Brando.
The theatre became known as the “Birthplace of the Nation’s Greatest Hits” for the number of long-run productions that first came to life on the Shubert stage.
The Shubert closed in 1976 and was threatened with destruction. Through the efforts of many the theatre was saved. The interior of the theatre was handsomely restored with particular care and attention given to historical accuracy. The Shubert, New Haven re-opened in December 1983.
Today, the Shubert is the heart of a thriving downtown neighborhood bustling with alluring restaurants, cafes, shops and museums and continues its role as a key economic driver for the community. The Shubert is a cultural centerpiece for New Haven and an economic engine for downtown growth, attracting more than 100,000 diverse audience members annually and generating an estimated $25 million in related revenue.
It is currently owned and operated by the Connecticut Association for the Performing Arts, Inc. (CAPA) a not-for profit arts, education, and community institution serving the people of Connecticut and in particular the City of New Haven. CAPA’s management of the Shubert has produced unique economies of scale with shared back office support with “parent organization” CAPA-Columbus. With this support programming has been enhanced by the increased buying power that a nine-venue consortium offers. Centralized accounting, advertising production, and development offer the potential for cross-venue collaborations and cost savings. All the funds that CAPA (Connecticut) raises go to support the functions of the Shubert Theatre.