Museum & Galleries

The Ward Theatre

Jamaica / Americas

The Ward Theatre is a handsome building on North Parade, in downtown Kingston, dating from 1912 by Colonel Charles James Ward (1887-1913), Custos of Kingston, and nephew in the company J. Wray and Nephew licquor and merchandise company, who presented the theatre to the Mayor and Council of the City of Kingston in 1912.  It is the third theatre to stand on the same site since 1775.  The first was the Kingston Theatre which was destroyed by fire and the second was the Theatre Royal, which was destroyed in the 1907 earthquake. 

The first production staged here was on 16 December 1912 with Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance. Seating is provided in parquette, dress circle and gallery levels. The stage is 30feet deep and there are twelve dressing rooms.

The Ward Theatre was declared a National Monument on 7 January 2000.  It was badly damaged by Hurricane Dean in 2007. In 2012 a fundraising drive was established for its  restoration and renovation.  It re-opened as a performing arts theatre in 2017.

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