Our Mission: Growing Theatre in the Garden State
New Jersey Theatre Alliance began in 1981 with a membership of five professional theatres. Today, we have 33 members in 13 of the state’s 21 counties, thanks to the spirit of collaboration among New Jersey’s professional theatres, which is centered in the Alliance.
We are viewed by the state’s arts community and our colleagues in the service industry as a nationwide leader in developing model programs which foster collaboration, cooperation, and audience development.
“So much of our work is made possible, made easier, and indeed enhanced by the efforts of the excellent staff. We are all deeply grateful for the Alliance's existence and for their passionate commitment to the art form, and to the many artists and organizations that make up this supportive entity!”
-Bonnie Monte, Artistic Director, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
New Jersey Theatre Alliance unites, promotes, strengthens, and cultivates New Jersey’s professional theatres. We advance the theatre community by developing innovative, collaborative, and engaging programs and services for member theatres and their diverse audiences.
Based on our mission, the Alliance has the following objectives:
- To facilitate collaborative efforts and encourage information exchange among New Jersey's professional theatres.
- To educate and inform the public, the press, and the government about our members' concerns, and to advocate for support.
- To provide programming and services to its artists and organizational members which enhances knowledge, expands opportunities, and/or increases efficiency.
- To support and encourage professional theatre-arts activity, arts education, artistic presentations, and other programs designed to increase public access and exposure to, interest in, and understanding of the art of theatre.
Our Members include large and small theatres with a wide variety of repertoires, each theatre a fully functioning business that pays its staff and artists (designers, technicians, directors, and actors). Through their programming, these theatres inspire, challenge, and entertain about one million theatre-goers annually, which contributes substantially to the state’s economy. They also enrich communities through outreach programs and arts education.
New Jersey Theatre Alliance has been recognized for its leadership and excellence in service. Our awards include:
- A Citation of Excellence for receiving perfect scores for 27 consecutive years (the only New Jersey arts organization to receive this honor), as well as a Major Impact Award for 19 years, given only to leading arts organizations by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State.
- 2014 LEAD Community Asset Award presented by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to the Alliance's program director, Robert Carr, for his consistent leadership in making theatres, arts organizations, and cultural organizations throughout New Jersey accessible to people with disabilities.
- 2012 Byrne/Kean Arts Advocate Award from Paper Mill Playhouse.
- 2006 Thomas H. Kean Arts Partnership Award from New Jersey Network Public Television and Radio.
- 2005 Award Of Excellence from Electronic Information & Education Service of New Jersey for bringing live theatre to people with vision loss.
- 2004 Governor’s Conference on Tourism’s Advertising Award for the Alliance’s wide range of publications serving audiences, artists, arts managers, and educators throughout the state.
- Award of Excellence from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State for its leadership work in partnership building.
- Arts Advocate Award from ArtPride, New Jersey.
- 2004 New Jersey Governor’s Tourism Arts Award for NJArtsTix.org, the nation’s first statewide online discount ticketing program for the performing arts.
- 2004 National Accessibility Leadership Award from the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, National Endowment for the Arts, and Coca-Cola for the work of the Cultural Access Network, a partnership with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.
- 2004 Excellence in Accessibility Award from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation.
What people are saying about The Stages Festival:
"[The Stages Festival] helps us institute the joy of live theater to generations to bilingual audiences throughout the state, ... it has provided opportunities for members to partner and innovate with professional and experiential workshops, and ...it has provided us the opportunity to reach new audiences and gain a new following. "
—Ruth Fost, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Pushcart Players
"Thank you so much for your firm support of Mi Casa Tu Casa and for making it possible for us to develop the show in its new format. We've learned a lot from the four Stages performances in terms of the artistic/technical aspects of the show; but more importantly, we witnessed the impact the material has on communities with a predominantly Latino population. The need for culturally-relevant arts is clear and we now have strong feedback showing Mi Casa serves as one option to fill that gap."
—Dania Ramos, Education Associate, Luna Stage Company
"It was a pleasure to host The Stages Festival at the Manchester Branch of the Ocean County Library. We received positive feedback from community members who attended and were surprised that a magnificent theatrical performance could happen in the library. The actors and actresses delivered a flawless show by engaging the audience and transforming the library into a stage. We are excited to host The Stages Festival in the future and provide our community with a wonderful opportunity to experience theatre locally."
—Elaine Menken, Teen Services Librarian, Ocean County Library - Manchester Branch
"I wanted to give a big thanks to all the folks involved in making The Stages Festival possible. It is such an excellent program for families in the community. As a former researcher on children’s outcomes I am aware that cultural events (such as plays) are associated with higher academic achievement in children. Providing multiple opportunities for all children to enjoy professional theatre is an amazing feat. Thank you."
—Tami Videon, Parent
"All I can say is WOW! The production this evening was wonderful. I heard rave reviews from parents as they left the room and I was so impressed myself. The cast was enthusiastic and top-notch. The set was adorable. Thank-you (and all the sponsors) for giving us the opportunity to provide professional theater for our community. I hope we will be able to have another show in the future."
—Kathy Erikson, Youth Services Librarian, Berkeley Branch – Ocean County Library
What people are saying about our accessibility services:
"The Alliance's efforts go above and beyond. They're a fantastic support team. They have tremendous resources in connecting art practitioners with access specialists. ...We couldn't do our work without this crucial effort they put forth for us to focus on that audience. I want to thank John McEwen and the team for allowing that to happen."
—Michael Hurst, Managing Director, Two River Theater
What people are saying about our Board development services:
"I feel like over our 20 years we've used every service that the Alliance offers, but the one that I think was the most influential to us was John McEwen's training of our Board over the years. ...We invited John to come in and train [our Board], and we ended up with an incredibly strong slate of officers. That was the beginning of a real turning point for the company. We are indebted to the Alliance for all we've been able to do."
—Laura Ekstrand, Producing Artistic Director, Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre
What people are saying about njGreenRoom:
"Just a quick fan/thank you letter from all of us at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. We have benefitted a number of times now from the emails you send letting us know about items that people want to donate that might be of use to us. Each and every time we’ve responded, we’ve ended up with things that have really helped us out and in numerous ways!"
—Bonnie Monte, Artistic Director, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
In January 2019, New Jersey Theatre Alliance's Board of Trustees adopted a three-year strategic plan for the organization, which sets three main goals:
- To increase the public’s awareness of, attendance at, and engagement with New Jersey’s professional theatres.
- To strengthen and support an informed membership by offering a broad range of programs, services, and opportunities that have a wide-ranging impact.
- To enhance New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s organizational sustainability.
Read all about how we intend to achieve these goals in the Strategic Plan.