The Great Hall
Just up from our reception lobby, the Great Hall is dominated by a 20-ton fireplace and mantel of white African slab marble. This was designed by Stanford White to incorporate the seal of The Players, with its masks of comedy and tragedy. Over the fireplace mantel hangs a Robert Sully painting of Junius Brutus Booth, Edwin Booth’s father, in costume as Hamlet.
This room is a popular choice for receptions preceding special dinners, gatherings before entertainment evenings, and traditional events such as The Players Founders’ Night on New Year’s Eve. Our Pipe Nights, when celebrated performers and others eminent in the theatrical professions are honored for their work, begin in the Great Hall.
A more recent addition to the room is a 1901 Steinway grand piano that resided for some years in the Paris apartment of Noël Coward at 22, Place Vendome. Here in New York, it has found a room worthy of its heritage of wit, song, and laughter.
Among the best known images in the permanent collection, the iconic portrait of Booth as Hamlet dominates the wall opposite the fireplace at the head of the stairs. Portraits of first two presidents of The Players, Edwin Booth posing as Richelieu and Joseph Jefferson as Bob Acres in The Rivals, face each other at the entrance to the Dining Room.