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Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey facts for kids

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The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
Address 36 Madison Avenue
Madison, New Jersey
United States
Type Regional theatre
Capacity 308
Opened 1963

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is one of the largest professional Shakespeare companies in North America, serving over 100,000 adults and children annually. Located in Madison, New Jersey, it is the state's largest theatre company dedicated to the works of Shakespeare and other classic masterworks, including rarely-produced epics.

Bonnie J. Monte has been artistic director since 1990. The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is one of the longest-running Shakespeare theatres on the east coast, and is listed as a "major festival" in the book Shakespeare Festivals Around the World by Marcus D. Gregio (Editor), 2004.

In both 2002 and 2006, the Star-Ledger named the company "Regional Theatre of the Year." In 2002, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation awarded the theatre a $1 million strategic partnership grant "in recognition of the artistry, achievements and leadership of this acclaimed Madison, New Jersey-based performing arts and education organization."

The company's annual main stage season runs from May to December, presented at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre on the campus of Drew University in Madison. An outdoor stage production is presented each summer at the Greek Theatre, an open-air grass-and-stone amphitheatre inspired by the Theatre of Dionysos in Athens, and one of the only theatres of its kind in the United States to host a professional company. It is located on the St. Elizabeth University campus in nearby Florham Park, New Jersey.

The company employs over 250 members during the season and through its main stage, outdoor stage, and touring productions plays to approximately 100,000 audience members each year, primarily from the New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania region.

Financial support comes from more than 1,500 individuals, government agencies, corporations and foundations.

It is a member company of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.


The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey was founded by Paul Barry in 1963 as the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, part of a summer-stock season at the Cape May Playhouse in the resort town of Cape May, N.J. The festival was relocated in 1972 to a permanent home on the campus of Drew University.

In October 1990, the board hired Bonnie J. Monte as artistic director. Monte, along with former managing director Michael Stotts, oversaw the renovation of the old Bowne Gymnasium, which was reopened in June 1998 as the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre.

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