History of the Kaye
Each season The Kaye Playhouse hosts over 200 events, bringing an eclectic mix of live performances to over 100,000 theatergoers annually, making the Kaye Playhouse a venue of extraordinary programming for Manhattan's Upper East Side.
Dedicated in 1942 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College began its notable history as The Playhouse at Hunter College. At that time, concerts were presented under the auspices of the Hunter College Concert Bureau and many of the world’s most famous artists made their New York debuts at The Playhouse. Marian Anderson, Jussi Bjoerling, Renata Tebaldi, Andres Segovia, Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham and many other legendary artists appeared at The Playhouse until the Concert Bureau closed its doors in 1975.
In 1993, the Playhouse was renovated and reopened as The Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College. Since its rededication, The Kaye has presented over 1,800 performances of some of the world’s most renowned, provocative and unique artists and performance companies. In the past decade, celebrated artists Martina Arroyo, Regina Resnik, Marcel Marceau, Ruby Dee, Phillip Glass, Audra MacDonald, Max Roach, James Levine, Mario Vargas Llosa, Brian Bedford, Rosemary Harris and Harold Bloom, as well as a varied international roster of performing arts companies, have performed on the stage of The Kaye Playhouse.
The Kaye has entered the 21st century as one of New York City’s leading performing arts institutions and continues to honor its exceptional artistic heritage in hosting internationally-acclaimed artists and music, dance and theatre companies for New York audiences, as well as serving as the centerpiece for the performing arts at Hunter College.