Crafting Your Experience

New YorkHistory
NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

LGBT Theater District

This experience is sponsored, in part, by the generous support of American Express, Con Edison, a Humanities New York Action Grant, and the NYC & Company Foundation. As the birthplace of American theater, New York City is home to a vibrant theater district that has been disproportionally impacted by LGBT people for well over a century. Explore Broadway through LGBT-themed plays, production teams, performers, and related associations. In addition to celebratory contributions, learn about the impact of the Wales Padlock Law (1927), which forbade the depiction of “sex perversion” on the stage. The tour highlights: the Belasco Theater, connected to A Raisin in the Sun, by lesbian playwright Lorraine Hansberry; Ethel Barrymore Theater, associated with productions by gay playwrights Noel Coward, Tennessee Williams, and James Baldwin; Little Theater (now Helen Hayes), where gay-themed plays Gemini and Torch Song Trilogy were performed; and the Winter Garden Theater, where West Side Story premiered as the result of an all gay, lesbian, and bisexual creative team. This tour represents a selection of extant sites associated with LGBT history that are located within a small geographic area. As such, it does not represent the entire long LGBT history of New York City, nor does it entirely reflect the diversity of today’s LGBT community. This collection is limited to the research we have included on the project website so far. For more information or to suggest a site, please visit our website at

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