James Houghton

James Houghton was the founding artistic director of Signature Theatre in New York City. For more than 25 years, Signature Theatre has celebrated playwrights as the voice of the community. Jim passed away on August 2, 2016.

Signature’s commitment to equity and access means tickets cost $25, which welcomes younger and more diverse audiences. The new Signature Center’s three-theater complex is built around an open lobby that is open 12 hours a day, seven days a week.  This community green in the middle of Manhattan is the site of “orchestrated collisions” between audiences, actors, visitors, and staff, providing a context for what happens on stage. As Jim puts it, “We don’t do plays, we do relationships.”

Signature’s productions and resident writers have been recognized with honors including a Pulitzer Prize, 11 Lucille Lortel Awards, 15 Obie Awards, and five Drama Desk Awards. In 2014, Signature Theatre was the first Off-Broadway theater to receive a Regional Theater Tony Award.