Major US ballet house burns down

Major US ballet house burns down


norman lebrecht

November 17, 2020

Fire destroyed the Doris Duke Theatre in Massaussetts early today.

The Doris Duke theater, which seats 216, is one of two indoor theaters on the Becket campus of the Jacob’s Pillow performing arts center, home to a major dance festival.



  • Dance Duder says:

    This photo is of the Ted Shawn Theatre and not this Doris Duke which was lost to fire today.

  • BruceB says:

    How awful. Raising money for this kind of rebuilding project it always difficult, even during normal times with lots of wealthy patrons.

  • Bill says:

    How ironic it would be if the fire was started by a cigarette!

    • John Marks says:

      Baad, baad, baad!

      Go to Confession!


      PS: The real Doris Duke preferred to drive over her inconveniences… by mistake, of course. That Newport ploy got tired; so Claus von Bülow had to come up with something different. BTW, I helped that sack of plant fertilizer Alan Dershowitz get Mr. von Bülow a new trial for his failed attempt.

  • Ken says:


  • Sharon says:

    What a shame! Jacob’s Pillow was a major tourist attraction in Massachusetes. The Williamstown summer theater, Tanglewood and Jacob’s Pillow were in easy driving distance of each other. Prior to Covid my parents took a three day holiday to the area with a senior citizens’ group every year. And yes, with so many pressing needs due to Covid and the reduced state base it will be difficult to find the money to rebuild.

    • Stephen Owades says:

      The main tourist draw at Jacob’s Pillow is the much larger Ted Shawn Theatre (pictured above by mistake), which was untouched. The Doris Duke Theatre that burned is/was much newer and smaller, and is used for more experimental projects. No one has yet said how well the Pillow was insured, but it shouldn’t be prohibitively expensive to rebuild it.