Who says you must travel to Broadway to see outstanding theatrical productions? Certainly not any savvy theatergoers in the Garden State – particularly those who follow news from the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, an organization whose mission is to nurture professional theater in New Jersey. The alliance works to build partnerships between theaters and the community, connect actors and playwrights with theaters and organizations, create statewide networking opportunities for theater staff, celebrate industry achievements, and introduce new audiences to its member theaters through dedicated marketing and promotions. The group also strives to make the arts accessible to people with disabilities, provides theaters with training and consulting services for fundraising and planning, and advocates for local, state, and national funding for New Jersey arts.
All of this is just a portion of the work the alliance does to assist New Jersey theaters and the countless professionals, audience members, staff members and volunteers who are involved in supporting their success.
For theater fans, one of the best and certainly one of the most entertaining ways you can support the New Jersey Theatre Alliance is by attending performances at one or more of its member venues throughout the state. With 45 options from which to choose, there is sure to be a theater or performing arts organization conveniently located near you or staging something that piques your interest. Performance genres include classical music, comedy, dance, drama, family shows, jazz/pop/rock music, lectures, musicals, opera, Shakespeare, spoken word/poetry, staged readings, workshops and more.
During the spring months of March, April and May, the New Jersey Theatre Alliance also hosts The Stages Festival, an annual statewide celebration of free and low-cost events such as theatrical performances, classes, workshops and play readings. Some are held inside theaters; others are presented at other locations such as libraries, senior centers and outdoor venues.
As part of its objective to make the arts not only appreciated but also affordable, tickets for shows at the member venues are made available year-round from the New Jersey Theatre Alliance through NJArtsTix, an online discount ticketing website that offers access to last-minute ticket deals. They can be purchased 48 hours before a performance or, for those who would like to plan a bit further in advance, up to a week ahead of time with an annual (and tax-deductible) VIP membership that costs just $30. The discount ticket inventory is updated daily, so it’s recommended to check often to find the latest deals. Of course, full-priced tickets may also be available for your performance of choice when purchased directly through the theater. To stay updated with the latest news, insider info and ticket discounts, sign up for the NJArtsTix newsletter at NJTheatreAlliance.org/newsletter.
In just the next two months alone, area offerings from NJArtsTix will include, as of press time, “Midwives” at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, “Bone on Bone by Marylou DiPietro” at the New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch, “A Little Shakespeare: Twelfth Night” at the Two River Theater in Red Bank, “Unmasked: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber” at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, “Bunnyboy” at The Growing Stage: The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey in Netcong, “Bachelorette” at the Centenary Stage Company in Hackettstown, “Hair” at the Eagle Theatre in Hammonton, “Sunshine Boys” at the Centenary Stage in Hackettstown, “Pass Over” at the Luna Stage Company in West Orange, “August Wilson’s Radio Golf” at the Two River Theater in Red Bank, and “Be Here Now” at the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre in Summit.
Check the NJArtsTix website at NJTheatreAlliance.org/artstix for additional performances, venues and dates coming up – and book your tickets for a seat in the front row!