Considering The National Theatre’s location, it should come as no surprise that it has often mingled with national politics.  Matters of the state and society at large have played at The National onstage and off, culminating in moments of great progress and, in some cases, disappointment.  Like all theatres, The National has borne witness to significant political changes, as well as undergone a few changes itself.  In this site, we’ll take a look at some of the major political events and affiliations that have touched The National Theatre.

In A State Visit, you’ll learn about a significant occasion documented by Stage for a Nation, the most comprehensive book on The National Theatre: the arrival of several Native American chiefs to a summit in Washington, D.C.  Presidents Onstage and Off will take a look at some of the most notable visits by U.S. Presidents, as well as a few of the presidential dramas that have unfolded on The National stage.  Naturally, few dramas can match that which unfolded between Lincoln and Booth, both of whom frequented The National en route to their fateful meeting at Ford’s Theatre.  Finally, you’ll learn about the push for Desegregation of theatres across the nation – and The National’s onetime role in resisting that change.  As usual, you can learn more by checking out materials in the From the Archive section and tackling some questions in Consider This…

The National Theatre Corporation’s Teens Behind the Scenes program is made possible through the generous support of Jacqueline Badger Mars. These sites are curated by dramaturg Jared Strange. To learn more about The National Theatre and the Teens Behind the Scenes program, visit the About the Program page.


The National Theatre Corporation is the 501(c)(3) non-profit entity responsible for the continued operation and preservation of The National Theatre. Donations to the National Theatre Corporation help fund necessary capital improvements and maintenance to preserve this historic facility. Additionally, contributions support free community and educational programming, and make possible the management of a vast, content-rich archive. To make your tax-deductible contribution to the National Theatre Corporation, please visit our secure giving website, with our thanks. 

The Nederlander Organization manages and programs the theatre, including the Broadway at The National series. The name “Nederlander” has been synonymous with great entertainment since 1912. Led by James L. Nederlander, President, the organization continues the tradition of operating iconic, historic theatres, as well as producing and presenting the best in theatrical entertainment and concert performances. To learn more, please visit Nederlander.com.