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NJ Theaters

There are 22 professional not-for-profit theatres in New Jersey. They are all members of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, a valuable and supportive organization founded in 1981 to help promote and develop professional theater in the Garden State. In addition to these, there are also 9 up-and-coming developing theatre companies, known as Associate Member Theaters, all looking to upgrade as the Alliance's requirements and standards are met.

12 Miles West Theatre Company
562 Bloomfield Avenue
P.O. Box 1663
Bloomfield, N.J. 07003
(973) 259 - 9187

The Bickford Theatre
6 Normandy Heights Road
Morristown, NJ 07960
(973) 971 - 3706
(973) 538 - 7945 (fax)

Cape May Stage
31 Perry Street
Cape May, NJ 08204
(609) 884 - 1341
(609) 884 - 4686 (fax)
This theatre has, over the past 20 years, produced 90 plays including 41 original and 18 world premieres in their intimate 110 seat theater which is housed in a Renaissance Revival building (c 1853) in the historic district of beautiful (and very Victorian) Cape May. The season usually runs from late May until late December.

Centenary Stage Company
In residence at Centenary College
400 Jefferson Street
Hackettstown, NJ 07840
(908) 979 - 0900
(908) 979 - 4297 (fax)

Crossroads Theatre Company
7 Livingston Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 545 - 8100
When the Crossroads Theatre Company won the Tony in 1999 as the Outstanding Regional Theatre in the United States, it had survived and thrived 22 years to be commendably recognized as the country's foremost theatre dedicated to the African-American experience. Expectations for the future were high, a new theater had been built, and full houses greeted many fine productions. Mismanagement, however, followed that high and a couple of financially rough years saw the company go broke and into debt and suspend productions. There is a concerted effort by the community and its board of directors to revive the fortunes of Crossroads by presenting one-person and small-scaled shows on a limited budget in a short season. Many of its patrons have remained loyal with the hopes that the glory days will soon return.

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre
Oakes Center
120 Morris Avenue,
Summit, NJ 07901
Their mission: "to tell stories with an intimacy that allows artists and audiences to connect; stories that reflect our lives, relationships and our world today. . .with a core company of professional local actors who perform contemporary work."

The East Lynne Theater Company
In residence at The First Presbyterian Church of Cape May
500 Hughes Street
Cape May, NJ 08024
(609) 884 - 5898 (609) 884 - 0297 (fax)
This company celebrating its 26th year is dedicated to presenting American Theater classics from its early history as far back as the Federal era. It presents these rarely seen plays during the summer season.

The Garage Theatre Group
Becton Theatre at Farleigh Dickinson University
960 River Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666
(201) 569 - 7710
(201) 569 - 7710 (fax)

George Street Playhouse
9 Livingston Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 846 - 2895 (732) 247 - 9151 (fax)
Following the fortunes of the George Street Playhouse from 1974 when Eric Krebs was artistic director to the appointment of David Saint as artistic director in 1998 to the present has been as rewarding an experience as this or any reviewer could want and expect. Their first class productions of the classics, world premieres of contemporary work, and the sprinkling of recent Broadway and Off-Broadway hits have all been graced by professional know-how. Stars of TV, film and the stage are often cast. As things turn out, not every play is a winner, but every production is given a professional sheen that keeps the patrons coming back for more. Another plus is their location on Livingston Avenue, between the Crossroads Theatre and the State Theatre, a performing arts venue. There are also numerous restaurants and safe parking within walking distance.

Growing Stage Theatre: Children's Theatre of New Jersey
At the Historic Palace Theatre
Route 183
Netcong, NJ 07857
(973) 347 - 4946
(973) 691 - 7069 (fax)
The mission of the well respected, popular, and appreciated theater is "to nurture the development of the performing arts through education, and to create, produce, and perform works that engage the whole family."

Luna Stage Company
695 Bloomfield Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07042
(973) 744 - 3309
(973) 509 - 2388 (fax)
Luna Stage prides itself in offering an intimate Off-Off Broadway setting where every seat is closer to the stage than most commercial theatres' front rows. Situated in the heart of Montclair's vibrant town center, within walking distance of the Montclair Art Museum and many wonderful restaurants, Luna boasts two black box theatres, seating 99 and 50 people respectively, and a 50-seat studio theatre. Luna Stage was founded in 1992 by Jane Mandel, Artistic Director, and it became an Equity Theatre in 1995.

McCarter Theatre Center
91 University Place
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 258 - 6500
(609) 497 - 0369 (fax)
Visitors to the McCarter Theater Center, have, of course, the opportunity to see more than the play. For those with the time or those making the trek for the first time, there is the lure of the famed and venerable University, a stroll on its beautiful campus, and the charming town, particularly bustling Nassau Street to add to a rewarding experience. The McCarter now boasts two theatres. The larger and older Matthews provides the Broadway ambiance and the smaller and newer Berlind, is hospitable to more intimate plays. There is free and ample parking near the theater, although there are no restaurants within easy walking distance.

New Jersey Repertory Company
At the Lumia Theatre
179 Broadway
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 229 - 3166
(732) 229 - 3167 (fax)
There is no doubt that the primary mission of this theater is "to develop and produce new plays with diverse themes." And there is no question that the talented husband and wife team (Gabe Barabas, Producer and SuzAnne Barabas, Artistic Director) is committed to their theatre and have earned a faithful and supportive following of those who want to see new plays, some of which are not always as fully developed as one might hope. But a sense of discovery is always present. There are some very fine restaurants in this shore town. When you call, ask SuzAnne to tell you what restaurants offer discounts if you present your theatre tickets.

Paper Mill Playhouse
Brookside Drive
Millburn, NJ 07041
(973) 379 - 3636
(973) 376 - 0825 (fax)
This wonderful theatre is very special to me, as I saw my very first show here in 1944. It was The Student Prince. My enthusiasm was such that my parents took me to New York that same year to see Oklahoma. I was hooked. Times are changing and the time of the operetta has long since gone. Even the revivals of musicals from Broadway's golden age that the Paper Mill excellently revived for many years are failing to attract the younger generation. There appears to be an on-going effort to create a new image, through new management, and build a new audience, but that remains to be seen. The productions, still trying to please what remains of the old guard, however, are handsomely staged.

Passage Theatre Company
Mill Hill Playhouse
Front and Montgomery Streets
Trenton, NJ 08611
(609) 392 - 0766
(609) 392 - 0318 (fax)
It's always a trek for me to get down to Trenton, but nine out of ten times, the trip is worth it due to the quality of the plays I see there. This is in large part due to the leadership of Producing Artistic Director June Ballinger, who is in her eighth season at Passage. They mostly develop and produce new plays with an emphasis on N.J. based playwrights. One is likely to get a first peek at the newest play from William Mastrosimone and Leslie Ayvasian. The Old Mill Playhouse is quaint and comfortable, but seems to be in the middle of nowhere, but Trenton and vicinity has some really fine restaurants.

Playwrights Theatre
33 Green Village Road
Madison, NJ 07940
(973) 514 - 1787
(973) 514 - 2060 (fax)
This small theatre is dedicated to nurturing and developing new plays. In addition to its season of two or three fully produced plays, the public is also invited to staged readings of new plays and encouraged to enter into a dialogue with the playwright, director, and actors. Anyone interested in this kind of close-encounter theater experience will find it rewarding and fun. Downtown Madison is only a couple of blocks from the theatre where there are many fine restaurants.

Premiere Stages
Kean University
1000 Morris Avenue
Union, NJ 07083
(908) 737 - 4092
(908) 737 - 4636 (fax)

Pushcart Players
197 Bloomfield Avenue
Verona, NJ 07044
(973) 857 - 1115
(973) 857 - 4366 (fax)
A touring company with a wonderful reputation that has developed theatre for young audiences over the past 33 years, mainly original mini-musicals. Their outreach is not only to schools and organizations in the USA and guest appearances at the White House, but international as well.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
36 Madison Avenue
Madison, NJ 07940
(973) 408 - 3278
(973) 408 - 3361 (fax)
This company presents most of their plays at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theater located on the beautiful campus of Drew University, 36 Madison Avenue at Lancaster Road, Madison 07940. During the summer, one play is presented at the nearby outdoor theatre at The College of St. Elizabeth concurrent with the one on the main stage. This company, under the artistic director Bonnie J. Monte, is dedicated to the classics of dramatic literature with an emphasis on the Bard. Performances resume in May, 2007.

Surflight Theatre
Engleside and Beach Avenues
Beach Haven, NJ 08008
(609) 492 - 9477
(609) 492 - 4469 (fax)
This popular theatre began life under a tent in 1950. It has a long history (visit website) on its way to becoming Ocean County's only professional theater. Patrons fill its 450 seats for both large scaled musicals and intimate plays from May to December. Beach Haven is one of many communities on Long Beach Island, known for their family-friendly ambiance and activities as well as for its fine sea-food dining.

Two River Theater Company
21 Bridge Avenue
Red Bank, NJ 07701
(732) 345 - 1400
(732) 345 - 1414 (fax)

Women's Theater Company
The Parsippany Playhouse at the Parsippany Arts Center
1130 Knoll Road
Lake Hiawatha, NJ 07034
(973) 316 - 3033
This theatre has, over the past 20 years, produced 90 plays including 41 original and 18 world premieres in their intimate 110 seat theater which is housed in a Renaissance Revival building (c 1853) in the historic district of beautiful (and very Victorian) Cape May. The season usually runs from late May until late December.

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