The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ), originally called the "New Jersey Shakespeare Festival,” is one of the leading Shakespeare theatres in the nation, serving approximately 75,000 adults and children annually. It is New Jersey's largest professional theatre company dedicated solely to Shakespeare's canon and other classic masterworks. Through its productions and education programs, the company strives to illuminate the universal and lasting relevance of the classics for contemporary audiences. STNJ’s official mission statement reads:
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s mission is two-fold: to bring new, relevant life to the world’s classics for a diverse audience; and to use those masterworks to provide transformative experiences on stage and in classrooms. As a teaching theatre, the company is dedicated to using the classics as interdisciplinary teaching tools for artist training and arts education.
The company's dedication to the classics, and its commitment to excellence, endeavors to set critical standards for the field. Under the leadership of artistic director Bonnie J. Monte since 1990, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is proud of its extraordinary record of consistent critical acclaim. Now in its 61st season, it is the longest-running Shakespeare theatre on the east coast. It is the only independent arts organization in residence on the Drew University campus in Madison, NJ. Through the Theatre's involvement with the University, Drew has been able to offer theatre students the opportunity to enjoy an active relationship with New Jersey's only professional theatre dedicated to the classics.
The annual Main Stage season, presented in the intimate, state-of-the-art F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre in Madison, runs May through December. An Outdoor Stage production is presented each summer at The Greek Theatre, an open-air amphitheater located on the College of Saint Elizabeth campus in nearby Florham Park.
The institution's staff of nearly 30 full-time employees works year-round to produce the company's performance season, educational programming, various other special events, and fundraising and marketing campaigns. Each year, STNJ works with over 200 artists and students during the course of the season and through its various Main Stage, Outdoor Stage and touring productions plays to approximately 75,000 audience members each year, primarily from New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware and Pennsylvania. Through non-traditional casting and significant outreach efforts, the Theatre continues to build a culturally and geographically diverse audience.
In 2002 and 2006, The Star-Ledger named the company "Regional Theatre of the Year." In 2014, The Wall Street Journal singled STNJ out as "The Best Company of the Year." In 2002, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation awarded the Theatre a prestigious Strategic Partnership Grant in the amount of $1 million, "in recognition of the artistry, achievements, and leadership of this acclaimed Madison, New Jersey-based performing arts and education organization." STNJ has garnered numerous other awards and recognitions over its long history.
Learn more about the talented people who create and sustain the work of the Theatre, on both the staff and Board side of the table.
Learn more about the Theatre’s practices, policies, and philosophy in regard to ensuring that the work and workplace of STNJ are as diverse, equitable, and inclusive as possible.
Whether you're on stage or behind the scenes, there are many ways you can work with The Shakespeare Theatre. We have staff, volunteer, and seasonal positions available.
There are opportunities to volunteer in a number of areas at STNJ both in our various shops and administrative offices, as well as at our performance venues as ushers and front-of-house support.
Check out the latest reviews on our current productions as well as information on upcoming events. You can also access select features and articles about STNJ from past seasons.
The Shakespeare Theatre has three facilities: our Main Stage is at The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre on the campus of Drew University; our Outdoor Stage is located at St. Elizabeth University in Convent Station; and The Thomas H. Kean Theatre Factory is in Florham Park.