2023 New Jersey Theatre Alliance Annual Report

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On Your Feet – Paper Mill Playhouse

FY23 ANNUAL REPORT Supporting Theatre Engaging Audiences

Dear Valued Supporters & Partners, We are proud to present to you New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s FY23 Annual Report.

The report summarizes the highlights of the past year and the impact of the Alliance’s programs to lift up our theatre community and advance the arts in our state and region. On behalf of the entire Board of Trustees, staff and member theatres, we are grateful for your encouragement and partnership that enable us to promote, strengthen, and support our amazing 42 member theatres. Audience development initiatives, programs to move our field towards a more equitable and just sector, ensuring that the arts are accessible to everyone, and offering a wide range of learning opportunities to provide our theatres with the tools and resources they need to sustain themselves as businesses, are just a few of the Alliance’s services to help advance our community. These remain challenging times for the theatre and arts community; however, through your support and the collaborative spirit of the Alliance and our members, we are happy to report that we have not lost one theatre. Thank you! As always, we welcome the opportunity to hear from you if you have any questions on our programs or ideas on how we can further our mission.

Laura Ekstrand

Marshall Jones, III

John McEwen

Board Chair

Board President

Executive Director

Clyde’s – George Street Playhouse

About Us New Jersey Theatre Alliance was founded in 1981 by five professional theatres on the belief that the theatre community is stronger united, not divided, and that one theatre’s success is a success for all. Today we serve forty-two professional theatres in New Jersey and the region, representing sixteen of the state’s twenty-one counties as well as Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Mission The mission of New Jersey Theatre Alliance is to unite, promote, strengthen, and cultivate 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.

Off the Map — Centenary Stage Company

Vision New Jersey Theatre Alliance and its members envision a field that is flourishing, collaborative, and equitable for artists, administrators, member theatres, organizations, and audiences. Rent – Paper Mill Playhouse

Core Values Equity & Access Innovation & Creativity Collaboration & Partnership Integrity & Accountability Living & Breathing – Two River Theater

Balloonacy — Mile Square Theatre

Addams Family – Centenary Stage Company

Soft Animals – Vivid Stage




Shelley – Hudson Theatre Works


Parade – American Theater Group










Avenue Q – Axelrod Performing Arts Center

$852K $50K

16K 65







Curtain Call From Left to Right: Connie Alexis-Laona, John Wooten, John McEwen, and Patricia Barksdale

New Jersey Theatre Alliance's Curtain Call event was held on April 16, 2023 at Kean University. This annual event is an opportunity to applaud and celebrate individuals who have made an impact on the Alliance and our community of professional theatres. John Wooten, Producing Artistic Director of Premiere Stages at Kean University, was the recipient of The Star Award recognizing his leadership as the Alliance's Board Chair for the past six years and his impact as a treasured colleague to the Alliance's member theatres.

From Left to Right: Mike Stotts, Dr. Stuart Weiss, and John McEwen

Bottom from left to right: Paul Dennison, Olga Levina, Stephanie Kingsbury, and Tom Romano. Middle from left to right: Danny Campos, Lori Lawrence, and Steve Fredericks. Top from left to right: David O'Neill and Matthew Fralley

Dr. Stuart Weiss was given The Beacon Award for providing outstanding medical updates and guidance to the member theatres as they developed and adjusted policies to ensure their audiences, artists, and staff were safe during the pandemic. Awards of Excellence were given to an individual from each member theatre who was instrumental in guiding the theatre through the pandemic. The event attracted 225 theatre managers, artists, and supporters and raised $95,000 in support of the Alliance's programs and services.

Member theatre staff, volunteers, New Jersey Theatre Alliance staff and Career Accelerator Fellows at Curtain Call 2023

Quarter Rivan – Mile Square Theatre

Stages Festival In its 26th year, The Stages Festival took place in March, April, and May 2023. This year, 35 of our member theaters participated in the Festival, offering 108 events (a majority of which were offered free of charge), with 1064 artists involved, ⅓ of whom identified as artists of color. The festival reached approximately 16,000 audience members, and 13 out of the 35 participating member theatres offered accessibility services such as audio description for those who are Blind/low vision and sign language interpretation. As a result of the Alliance’s support, our member theatres presented a wide array of events, including full productions, plays for young people, readings of new plays, youth showcases, and workshops with community partners, including medical and educational centers, senior centers, and direct service organizations. Additionally, at least 6 of our member theatres offered events centered around healing and caregiving.







13 of 35 participating member theatres offered accessibility services during their events.

ing, ten women participated In partnership with Allies in Car e week program to learn the (and one man joined!) in a thre personal experiences, and turn skills of theater, share their It ance for the general public. them into a theatrical perform ny ma e, ticipants and the audienc was moving for both the par ck to expect and were taken aba of whom did not know what was ng the performance. It by the emotion they felt followi ing at how this model can look tly wonderful and we are curren e programs. be embedded as one of our cor Katrina Foy, Former Managin

g Director, Eagle Theatre Stages Festival Event at Eagle Theatre

be the first The audience was amazed to material to hear a new work with new . It also never performed live before t to a new helped our company reach ou audience in Bloomfield. Sam Scalamoni, Artistic Dire

ctor/Co-Founder, Skyline The


Stages Festival Event at Skyline Theatre

in for a wonderful I just wanted to thank you aga I’d ever heard any show! This was the first time amazing to see it of this piece read and it was a talented director come to life. You have such all did in a short and cast of actors. What you l. There was such period of time was wonderfu the shows. care and heart put into all of Audience member from the

Jersey City Theater Center Stages Festival Event at Jersey City Theatre Center

Equity & Access Land Acknowledgment by Oleana Whispering Dove

From left to right: Deonté Griffin-Quick, Linda Harrison, Gina Pisasale, Alysia Souder, and Chase Jackson

Performance by Yahaya Kamate

The Creating Change Network continued to bring together artists and arts leaders committed to elevating the conversation around equity and justice in the arts sector. The Network, a program of the Alliance in partnership with ArtPride and guided by a steering committee of arts and social justice leaders, offered four virtual roundtables to provide key support and learning to the arts community. In January 2023, the Alliance also coordinated the participation of 13 arts organizations in the National Day of Racial Healing organized by the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Center at Rutgers University - Newark. In May 2023, the Alliance held its third annual summit entitled “Creating Change 2023: Collective Liberation for the New Jersey Arts Community” during which 200 arts leaders participated in 12 breakout sessions on a variety of issues affecting the arts sector, including recognizing, navigating, and interrupting micro-aggressions, and an accountability check-in.

inception ting Change Network since its I have been chair of the Crea have made mendous impact our efforts tre the ted cia pre ap ve ha d an more arts organizations to build a for ls too ing vid pro y rse Je in New nsistently mming committee works co inclusive culture. The progra attendees ensure that the conference and with a determination to r ir organizations and grow ou the to ck ba ng bri to ls too rn lea te of ist arts organizations in the sta commitment to build anti-rac New Jersey. , Diversity, Equity and Inclusion or, vis Ad r nio Se , ne uh r-K Donna Walke Center New Jersey Performing Arts

I truly enjoyed and found . support I didn't know existed Please keep us gathering! it Participant Creating Change 2023 Summ


This past year, New Jersey Arts Administrators of Color (NJACAC) held three in-person gatherings to provide networking opportunities to the 211 members of the Network and build a community of arts leaders of color dedicated to strengthening New Jersey’s arts sector. The program aims to build a community that affords members the opportunity to develop personal and professional connections, share resources, and foster emerging leaders.

Such a pleasure to connect in person at such an incredible production [at Paper Mill Playhouse]! The chance to connect with my peers in the warm cozy environment provided by the NJACAC event allowed me to learn more about them, connect on a personal and professional basis and to build or strengthen relationships face to face, beyond the boundary of a screen. The interactions are so valuable on a personal level, giving strength to this often siloed work we do. Susan Justiniano (RescuePoetix) NJACAC Member



Photos from the in-person gathering to see Rent at Paper Mill Playhouse

Career Accelerator Program The Career Accelerator Program, a paid mentorship and internship program for emerging leaders of color, launched with three inaugural fellows. Through the six-month program, these three emerging leaders of color built their professional networks and learned about theatre management in real-world contexts. In addition to hands-on experience, the 3 fellows participated in professional development seminars, one-on-one mentoring meetings, and check-ins with the Theatre Alliance staff. In this inaugural year, our fellows were placed with 6 of our member theatres: Luna Stage, Eagle Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center, Mile Square Theatre, Two River Theater, and Yendor Theater Company.

diately uare Theatre, I was imme When I was at the Mile Sq te in the and was able to participa integrated into the team ctions. of their main stage produ project of putting up one it means to be an artistic It gave me insight on what ic team working within the artist administrator, especially tors and playwrights, and and reaching out to the ac thinking through scripts. ral Fellow Jamie Goodwin, an Inaugu

nnecting not only lights for me was co gh hi e th of e on k I thin twork of but with her own ne t, tis ar ng gi er em with one troduced to Luna is tists that Amoria in ar e th of e On . ds frien r coming tant Director on ou sis As an as us th wi g the working was not only durin ct of the program pa im e th So . on ue seas contin d to residence, but has in s wa ia or Am at 8 weeks th season. collaborations next ripple out into our na Stage tistic Director @ Lu Ari Laura Kreith, Ar ) (FY23 Host Theatre

ArtsPay NJ In collaboration with ArtPride NJ, Arts Ed NJ, Dance NJ, New Jersey Alliance of Museums, South Jersey Cultural Alliance, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, we launched ArtsPay NJ, New Jersey’s first compensation and demographic study of the nonprofit arts sector. Working with Baker Richards, a UK research firm with arts compensation study experience, the data gathered will help the field to assess and make changes to pay equity policies, and help arts workers in their negotiations with current and future employers. Findings from the study will be released in late 2023.

From left to right: John McEwen and Maureen Heffernan

Cultural Access Network Project In its 32nd year, The Cultural Access Network Project, a partnership between the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, is guided by a 20member Steering Committee. This past year, the Cultural Access Network Project offered 6 Access Thursday Roundtables, conducted 12 accessibility awareness trainings, assisted 54 arts organizations in the development of their Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) plans, and offered 4 training sessions to expand the number of audio describers and theatrical interpreters.

Thank you again for the opportunity to become a part of the Cultural Access Network community. I am really grateful to the Committee for the meaningful recognition, and look forward to using the $500 award toward a Zoom license that will offer a platform to host accessible art tours with closed captioning. Julie Averbch of smARTee Tours, Innovation Award Winner

In June 2023, the Cultural Access Network Project hosted its 14th Annual Excellence in Cultural Access Awards. We were pleased to present Innovator Awards to Epic Actors’ Workshop, the Moorestown Theater Company and Julie Averbach of smARTee Tours for finding creative solutions to cultural accessibility. A founding member of the Cultural Access Network Project Committee, Maureen Heffernan, received the Champion Award for her long-standing commitment and dedication to the Cultural Access Network Project and helping to advance accessibility across the state.

CULTURAL ACCESS NETWORK PROJECT COMMITTEE Krystle Allen (New Jersey Commission for the Blind & Visually Impaired), Bonnie Brown (Allaire State Park), Susan Coen (Consultant), Lisa Cooney (Paper Mill Playhouse), Janet Zoubek Dickson (Educator), Donald Ehman (Arts Advocate), Diane Feldman (Arts Advocate), Pamela Gaston (New Jersey Commission for the Blind & Visually Impaired), Julie Hain (South Jersey Cultural Alliance), Maureen Heffernan (Arts Advocate/Teaching Artist), John McEwen (New Jersey Theatre Alliance), Eileen Murray (Matheny Medical and Educational Center’s Arts Access Program), Peri Nearon, MPA (Division of Disability Services, NJ Department of Human Services), Beth Prevor (New Jersey Theatre Alliance & HandsOn), Arlene Romoff (Hearing Loss Association of NJ), Cathy Roy (The Mayo Center for the Performing Arts), Michael Schnoering, FAIA (Mills + Schnoering Architects, LLC), Jack Tomy (Paper Mill Playhouse), Wanda Williford (The New Jersey Council for the Blind), Miss Ruth Williams (Writer & Low Vision/Disability Rights Advocate), Members Ex Officio: Allison Tratner (New Jersey State Council on the Arts), Mary Eileen Fouratt (New Jersey State Council on the Arts)

CREATING CHANGE NETWORK COMMITTEE Creating Change Steering Committee Chair: Donna Walker-Kuhne (NJ Performing Arts Center) Steering Committee: Rachel Aponte (Visual Arts Center of NJ), Dr. Antoinette Ellis-Williams (New Jersey City University), Vince Hall (ArtPride New Jersey Foundation), Deonté Griffin-Quick (Artist Communities Alliance), Chase Jackson (Ocean City Arts Center), Sharnita Johnson (Victoria Foundation), Marshall Jones, III (Rutgers University), John McEwen (New Jersey Theatre Alliance), Elizabeth Murphy (Rathú Consulting), Erica Nagel (Erica Nagel (New Jersey Theatre Alliance), Trinity Norwood (Arts Educator), Adam Perle (ArtPride New Jersey Foundation), Alysia Souder (The Institute of Music for Children), Sheldon Steele (Newark Symphony Hall), Sharon Stroye (Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Center, Rutgers-Newark)

Water by the Spoonful — Eagle Theatre

Torn Asunder — Luna Stage

Always, Patsy Cline — Bucks County Playhouse

Passing Strange — Vanguard Theater Company

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus — The Growing Stage: Children’s Theatre of New Jersey

Eden Praire — New Jersey Repertory Company

White Christmas — Surflight Theatre


Listing from July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023

We are grateful to the following individuals and organizations for their support and encouragement of our programs and events that enable us to carry out our mission. SUSTAINERS

($50,000+) Anonymous Donor New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Grunin Foundation New Jersey State Council on the Arts


($25,000 +) F.M. Kirby Foundation New Jersey Cultural Trust The Shubert Foundation


($10,000+) The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation The Horizon Foundation of New Jersey Diane Parker


($5,000+) ArtPride New Jersey Carolyn Ferolito George Ohl Trust E.J. Grassman Trust Kean University MidAtlantic Arts Foundation Mills + Schnoering Architects, LLC. Newark Museum of Arts NJM Insurance Union Foundation


($2,500+) Joseph and Nan Benincasa Larry Capo and James Olson Customers Bank Fund for the New Jersey Blind Inc. Ruth Fost The Sosland Foundation Stages Consultants, LLC. Stuart Weiss, MD


($1,000+) Connie Alexis-Laona Rose Cali Seth and Amy Geldzahler Merrill G. and Emita E. Hastings Foundation Laura and Tom Hay Michael Hurst Marshall Jones, III and Chantal Jean-Pierre Melonie Marano Maryann Pascarella Belinda and Ferrill Roll Mary Chris Rospond and Marc Podems Michael Schnoering and Jennifer Stark Gayle Stahlhuth Alec Stoll and Heather Fisher-Stoll Elliot and Susan Stupak John Wooten and Andrea Bianchi


($500+) Meredith Burns Dance New Jersey Etta Denk Laura Ekstrand and Joseph Zawila William Engel Diane Feldman Eugene Schaefer and Diane Genco Thomasina Hyland Donald Ehman and Linda Kinsey Olga Levina and Ben LoPiccolo Mayo Performing Arts Center Dr. Carole Shaffer-Koros Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Pamela and William Starkey Steve and Gail Steiner Michael Stotts and David Mayhew Suzanne Trauth Paul Whelihan and Ellen Beattie Nina Mitchell Wells and Theodore Wells


($250+) Michael Bzdak & Meredith Arms Bzdak, PHD Heather Barberi Patricia Barksdale Jeanne and James Barrett W John Bauer Neha Bhalani, Esq. Robert Bingaman Nancy Boucher Carol Cronheim Eagle Theatre William and Anne Eddy Janeece Freeman Clark Ralph Fylstra Diane Gallo Stephanie Green Intelligent Crowd Solutions Virginia Johnston Sharon Karmazin Linda Pacotti Paper Mill Playhouse Premiere Stages Susan Settles Stephanie Simons Neal and David Neal


($250+) Stone Mountain Printing Lydia Whitefield Zachary Wright


($100+) American Theater Group Art House Productions Audrey Bartner Beach Wires Kellie Clifford John Dias Patricia and Stewart Docherty King Downing Epic Actors' Workshop Rachel Evans Stacie Gogo Angie Hankins Sharon Harrington Karen Lee Hart Alan and Betsy Haveson Laura Kramer Richard Limekiller Wendy Liscow and Michael Pollard Holly and Bill Logue Risa Lower Benjamin Marshall Emma Massey McCarter Theatre Center Karen McGhee Mile Square Theatre Millburn Middle School Cheryl Mintz and Harris Richter Kevin O'Brien Passage Theatre Company Julie Ellen Prusinowski Pushcart Players Arlene Romoff Kelly Ryman Rozalyn Sherman Susan Speidel Speranza Theatre Company Harriett Trangucci Denise Womack Judith Wooldridge Ruth Zamoyta

SUSTAINING PARTNERS Programming made possible by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Operating Budget Earned(Membership Dues, Fees for Service) 7%

INCOME Contributed: 93% Earned (Membership Dues, Fees for Service): 7% TOTAL: $980,788*

Contributed 93%

Special Events 11%

CONTRIBUTIONS BY CATEGORY Government: 39% Corporations: 7% Foundations: 32% Individuals: 7% Special Events: 11%

Individuals 7% Government 39%

Corporations 7%

Foundations 32%

Fundraising 12%

EXPENSES Management 18%

Programs: 70% Management: 18% Fundraising: 12% TOTAL: $925,825 Programs 70%

*The FY23 surplus will be invested into the organization's cash reserves to ensure the Alliance remains a critical resource to the region's theatre and arts community. You can find the New Jersey Theatre Allaince's audited financial statement on the organization's website at https://njtheatrealliance.org/about-us/ or ask for a copy of the audited financial statement by contacting John McEwen, Executive Director, at jmcewen@njtheatrealliance.org

Board of Trustees & Staff Laura Ekstrand, Chair

Stephanie Haas

Vivid Stage

Development & Grants Manager

Marshall Jones, III, President

Lauren Mancuso

Rutgers University

Manager of Digital Communications and Marketing

Michael Stotts, Vice Chair

John McEwen

Paper Mill Playhouse

Executive Director

Michael Schnoering, FAIA, Treasurer Mills + Schnoering Architects

Deputy Director

Janeece Freeman Clark, Secretary Vanguard Theater Company

Premiere Stages at Kean University

Diane L. Parker

CSG Attorneys at Law


Joseph Benincasa

Kelly Ryman

Entertainment Community Fund

McCarter Theatre Center

Meredith Burns

Gayle Stahluth

Art House Productions

Arts Advocate

Etta Denk

Alec Stoll

Bank of America

Stages Consultants

Seth Geldzahler

Paul Whelihan

JLL-Northeast Region

Pushcart Players

Laura J. Hay

Trustee Emeritus Larry Capo

New Jersey State Council on the Arts

Michael Hurst

Summer Dawn Reyes Administrative Coordinator

Neha Bhalani, Esq.

Carol Herbert

Beth Prevor Access Coordinator

John Wooten, Immediate Past President

KPMG Insurance

Erica Nagel

Daria M. Sullivan Director of Programs and Services

Arts Advocate

Ruth Fost Arts Advocate

Arts Advocate Standing Ovation from Curtain Call 2023

Member Theatres American Theatre Group

McCarter Theatre Center

Art House Productions

The Meta Theatre Company

Atlantic City Theatre Company

Mile Square Theatre

Axelrod Performing Arts Center

The New Jersey Play Lab

Basking Ridge Jersey City

Atlantic City Deal

Black Box Performing Arts Center Englewood

Bucks County Playhouse New Hope, PA

Camden Repertory Theater Camden

Cape May Stage Cape May

Centenary Stage Company Hackettstown

The Company Theatre Hackensack

Crossroads Theatre Company New Brunswick

Eagle Theatre Hammonton

East Lynne Theater Company West Cape May

Elizabeth Youth Theater Ensemble Elizabeth

Epic Actors’ Workshop Old Bridge

Franklin Theatre Works Old Bridge

George Street Playhouse New Brunswick

The Growing Stage – The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey Netcong

Hudson Theatre Works Weehawken

Jersey City Theater Center Jersey City

Luna Stage Company West Orange

Princeton Lebanon


New Jersey Repertory Company Long Branch

Paper Mill Playhouse Millburn

Passage Theatre Company Trenton

Paterson Performing Arts Development Council Paterson

Premiere Stages at Kean University Union

Pushcart Players Verona

Ritz Theatre Company Haddon Township

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Madison

Skyline Theatre Company Bloomfield

South Camden Theatre Company Camden

Speranza Theatre Company Jersey City

Surflight Theatre Beach Haven

The Theater Project Maplewood

Two River Theater Red Bank

Vanguard Theater Company Montclair

Vivid Stage Summit

Yendor Theatre Company Newark

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New Jersey Theatre Alliance PO Box 124 Allenhurst, NJ 07711 Phone: (973) 250-6661 Email: info@njtheatrealliance.org

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