In April 2013, the Pudding celebrated the 125th anniversary of its ancestral home, located in the middle of the Harvard campus at 12 Holyoke Street. With the exception of its famous neo-Georgian façade, today’s theater has seen a lot of change since it was first erected in 1888. In 2005, the building was completely renovated, breathing new life into an old structure in need of an update. It was renamed Farkas Hall in 2012 and is now one of the primary performing arts centers at Harvard.
Our theater was originally funded by alumni donations raised by alumnus John C. Ropes of Ropes & Gray and was designed by Peabody and Stearns, the firm best known for the Customs House Tower in Boston. The building opened on April 3rd, 1888, just in time for the Pudding’s annual show.
Since then, the building has become a site of historical importance in its own right. This is the building where a young Franklin D. Roosevelt took Eleanor for dances before they were married, and where classmates John F. Kennedy and Alan Jay Lerner would stay up all night playing pool. It holds the stage where Jack Lemmon first wore heels, where George Plimpton got his first taste of “professional amateurism” before founding the Paris Review, and where some of the biggest celebrities of the day remember what it is like to be a kid again.
Even in its new iteration, it continues to pulse with the spirit of the Pudding. Feathers and glitter coat the dressing rooms, the peacock blue lobby has been dedicated as the “Hasty Pudding Lobby” – a permanent museum of original artwork and ephemera from the Pudding’s illustrious past – the auditorium rings with groans and laughter, and passionate people grace the stage, wings, orchestra, office, and auditorium seats.