Home Art & Culture Jacob’s Pillow Theater, Site of Dance Festival, Destroyed in Fire

Jacob’s Pillow Theater, Site of Dance Festival, Destroyed in Fire

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A theater at Jacob’s Pillow, a destination for dance performance in Massachusetts, was destroyed on Tuesday in an early morning fire.

The fire was reported around 7 a.m. at the Doris Duke Theater in Becket, Mass., according to a statement from Jacob’s Pillow. Videos from the scene showed a collapsed building engulfed in smoke with firefighters blasting water onto heaps of charred wood. The damage to the theater was extensive, the statement said, but was contained to the one building.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Credit…Christopher Duggan

The performance space is one of two indoor theaters at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, an annual summer event that attracts some of the world’s leading companies. The festival was canceled this year because of the pandemic.

The theater that was destroyed is the newer one of the two on campus. It opened in 1990 as a smaller, more informal space compared to the main Ted Shawn theater, which opened in the 1940s. The Doris Duke Theater had about 230 seats and a back wall that could open to the surrounding wooded area. It was created as a space intended for up-and-coming companies to perform.



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