Thursday, March 31, 2016

Shakespeare LIVE! STNJ's touring company for young audiences enters its 20th season

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s acclaimed touring company for young audiences enters its 20th season in 2016. Since 1997, Shakespeare LIVE! has presented more than 1,700 performances to more than 600,000 students at more than 850 schools and performing arts centers throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, traveling as far south as North Carolina and as far north as Maine.

Bonnie J. Monte, the Theatre’s artistic director, said, “We are thrilled that Shakespeare LIVE! has proven to be such a resounding success. It has been a thrill to watch this program grow and evolve over the years and we are so proud that we have had such a profound influence on the education landscape here in our home state. Over 550,000 New Jersey kids so far have seen Shakespeare performed live on stage before they graduated from High School because of our program and this is something of which Brian B. Crowe, our Director of Education, and I are very proud.”

Shakespeare LIVE! is part of Shakespeare in American Communities, a national program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. This is the 11th year of the Theatre’s inclusion in this prestigious NEA initiative, which represents the largest tour of Shakespeare in American history. Through this program, Shakespeare LIVE! has been able to reach over 50,000 students in economically challenged districts who would otherwise not have the opportunity to bring a live performance of Shakespeare to their school. Additional funding for the touring company is provided by The Investors Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, The Provident Bank Foundation, and the Turrell Fund.

In this 20th anniversary year, there are still select opportunities to book the touring company for schools and/or other venues throughout the state and wider region with 60 to 75-minute versions of two of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. To inquire about bringing Shakespeare LIVE! to your school or venue, call 973-845-6745 or e-mail

For those unable to schedule a tour to their school, Shakespeare LIVE! will perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet on April 23 at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Avenue, at Lancaster Road in Madison. Tickets are $16. For tickets, call 973-408-5600 or visit A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a thrilling first Shakespeare for youngsters, and a riotous rollercoaster ride for those already familiar with the Bard. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is recommended for ages six and up.

In Romeo and Juliet, two idealistic teens are pitted against their privileged families and a society consumed with senseless hatred and brutality. A lyric depiction of young love, Romeo and Juliet examines the effects of violence and the redeeming power of devotion and love. Romeo and Juliet is appropriate for students in middle school and up.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s 2016 Main Stage season begins in mid-May and continues through January. The ambitious line-up features works by Shakespeare, Noël Coward, Eugene Ionesco, Lolita Chakrabarti, and Dylan Thomas. For its annual Outdoor Stage production at the Greek amphitheater at the College of St. Elizabeth in Morris Township, The Shakespeare Theatre will present Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield’s comedy The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)(revised).

The acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is an independent, professional theatre company located on the Drew University campus. The Outdoor Stage is located on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth and the Theatre’s support and education facility is in Florham Park.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional major support is received from The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, F.M. Kirby Foundation, The Edward T. Cone Foundation, The Samuel H. Scripps Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, and CTW Foundation, as well as contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, government agencies and individuals. The 2016 Outdoor Stage production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)(revised) is sponsored by Bank of America.

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