The Summer Professional Training Program

COMPANY OF THE YEAR!The Wall Street Journal

The acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is one of the leading classic theatres in the nation, serving 100,000 adults and young people annually.  With its acclaimed productions and numerous education and training programs, the company strives to illuminate the universal and lasting relevance of the classics for contemporary audiences.  The longest-running Shakespeare theatre on the East Coast and one of the largest in the nation, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey launches its 56th Season in 2018.

The company’s 2018 season will feature six Main Stage productions at its 308-seat F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre from May through December.  In the summer, an Outdoor Stage production will be presented at the Greek Theatre, an open-air amphitheatre nestled in a hillside on the campus of the College of Saint Elizabeth in nearby Florham Park.

In addition to being a celebrated producer of classic plays and operating Shakespeare LIVE! (one of the largest educational Shakespeare touring programs in the Mid-Atlantic region), The Shakespeare Theatre is also deeply committed to nurturing new talent for the American stage by providing an outstanding training ground for aspiring, young artists of the theatre.  The Shakespeare Theatre also cultivates audiences for the future by providing extensive outreach opportunities for young people across New Jersey and beyond. 

From The Artistic Director   |      From The Director of Education

Mission & History
What the Critics are Saying!
An Artistic Home

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A Message from the Artistic Director


The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is deeply dedicated to the pursuit of excellence and to creating a culture of lifelong learning within the ever-widening group of artists with whom we collaborate. Every aspect of our work is ruled by our endeavor to create at the highest possible level of artistry, and through that process we seek always to learn.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is very proud that in these difficult times for the arts, we have remained steadfast in our mission to train the classical artists of tomorrow. While many places and people are anxious to use talent, most are not willing to groom or nurture it. Creating a structure and environment in which talent can emerge and develop is an arduous task, and it is a process that we believe is never-ending. Being an artist means you never “graduate.” It is a lifelong commitment to improvement and to achieving an ever-higher level of knowledge and skill. In the 10 weeks you will spend with us, we will provide you with tools and direct you toward paths that will help you create your own ongoing learning process as you move into the professional arena. You will learn to strive ­and often struggle for excellence, and to relish the exuberance that comes from finally achieving it. And, without question, you will witness it all around you on our stages and behind the scenes as you work side-by-side with the prestigious and seasoned theatre artists that make up our company.

I inaugurated the Summer Professional Training Program over a quarter-century ago, and each season we endeavor to improve the experience and learn from the participants on how to make it work better. It has evolved into an extraordinary program that helps prepare one for an equally extraordinary life in the theatre. Join us!

Bonnie J. Monte,
Artistic Director

Hear Ms. Monte talk about the importance of Shakespeare as part of the Shakespeare Central web project and Shakespeare Is… documentary currently in production; created and produced by Steve Rowland.







A Message from the Director of Education

In late May of 1996, I walked into The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey as a young intern eager to learn and anxious to explore the classics. I had no idea how much the summer that followed would change my life and refocus my career as a theatre artist. In my summer, I learned more about Shakespeare and the workings of a professional theatre than in all my undergraduate years combined. I was most impressed, however, by the supportive community that I found and the company’s unwavering dedication to nurturing young talent.

With a long-standing commitment to the development of young theatre artists, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey endeavors to nurture each member of the Training Program, providing clear instruction along with thoughtful and candid evaluation within a professional theatre environment. Here, no student is just another face in the crowd. We are committed to giving each student individual attention at an affordable cost, with significant contact with instructors, mentors, the artistic and education staff, and professional company members.

This is not to say, however, that a summer at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is for everyone. The Summer Professional Training Program is by no means a summer camp — nor is it a “labor factory.” It is a demanding, intense program designed to nurture theatre artists and to help them strive for and achieve higher standards in their work. Members of the program must be dedicated and motivated individuals, determined to improve their skills and level of artistry, and committed to a strong work ethic. If you are ready to take this serious step in your theatrical training, this may just be the program for you.

Brian B. Crowe,
Director of Education


“…one of America’s half-dozen best classical repertory companies…I’ve never seen a bad show there,” –The Wall Street Journal

“A model for regional classical theatres in the United States.” –The Star-Ledger

“Directed to the point of perfection...the finest acting you will see.” –BroadwayWorld

“If you want to see the best Shakespeare in the best productions, there’s no better place than this.” –The Princeton Packet

“One of the best companies in the New York area…more than capable of casting its spell on modern audiences.” –The Wall Street Journal

“…unfailing stylishness, highly inventive...” –The New York Times

“As Artistic Director…Ms. Monte has made dreams happen.” –The New York Times

“…a real tribute to its stature as one of the nation’s top regional theatres.” –History News Network

“Another triumph that we have come to expect from Bonnie J. Monte and this unique New Jersey treasure.” –The Examiner

“Thank the stars for The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, which has once again reinforced its reputation for solving the Bard’s ‘problem plays.’” – The Daily Record


Currently, nearly 25% of the company’s full-time staff are alumni of the Training Program. On average, more than 40% of the technical over-hire and run-crew each year is made up of Training Program participants and alumni. Of the performers on stage each season, over 30% are Training Program participants or alumni. The Theatre’s extraordinary commitment to nurturing quality classic theatre artists of tomorrow is clearly exemplified by the number of young artists who continue to call The Shakespeare Theatre their “artistic home.”