The C. Walsh Theatre, at 55 Temple Street, is Suffolk University’s premiere performance space.

Newly renovated in 2006-7, the theatre welcomes visitors with a warm, modern design that recalls the essence of the original space and reflects the youthful energy of the University.

Enhancements include new seating, lighting, improved infrastructure for sound, light, and media use, and increased accessibility.

The transformation draws its inspiration from the color palette and the materials of the theatre’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. The gracious, expanded lobby leads into a transformed chamber of vibrant greens and rich browns. Patinated copper laces the new proscenium arch framing the front of the stage, and elegant wood paneling enrobes the orchestra.

History

Suffolk University founder Gleason Archer built the C. Walsh Theatre in the early 1920s to accommodate large gatherings of Suffolk Law School students. Revenues from its daytime use as a movie theatre financed Law School operations. The building’s marquee once touted that inside was the “largest pipe organ in New England.”

Many esteemed guests have appeared at the C. Walsh Theatre during its 80-year history, including:

  • Nobel Prize winners Shirin Ebadi (Peace) and Derek Walcott (Poetry)
  • Congressional candidate John F. Kennedy
  • Supreme Court Chief Justices William O. Douglas and Clarence Thomas 
  • Scholar Henry Louis Gates, Director of Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute 
  • Robert Brustein, scholar, playwright, and founder of the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard 
  • Human rights activist Coretta Scott King and Samantha Power 
  • National Book Critic’s Circle Award winner Maxine Hong-Kingston 
  • Pulitzer Prize winning composer John Harbison, pianists Russell Sherman and Robert Levin, and opera director Sarah Caldwell 
  • Academy Award winning actor Jane Wyman and nominees Greer Garson and Felicity Huffman; novelist and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter John Irving; actors Ed Begley, Jr., Christopher McCann, Jennifer Westfeldt, and Paul Guilfoyle; and filmmakers Frederick Wiseman and Tamara Jenkins 
  • Tony Award winning composers William Finn and Jeanine Tesori 
  • The C. Walsh Theatre has hosted visiting professional performing artists and arts organizations, including: 
  • Hagoromo – “The Feather Robe” – presented by the Kanze School of Noh Theatre, Japan Classical ensemble Emmanuel Music presenting the work of Franz Schubert. 
  • Me Am I – presented by the Milwaukee Dance Theatre 
  • Requiem for Srebrenica, a production of the French director Olivier Py and Centre Dramatique National 
  • OPENINGS Theatre Company of Dublin’s Moll 
  • Collage New Music presenting cutting-edge modern classical music 
  • United States premiere presentation of the Daita International Nagauta Music Ensemble of Tokyo 
  • The American Repertory Theatre’s Obie-award winning production of The Cryptogram