New Jersey's 10 Best Live Theater Venues!

No matter how far technology takes us, it is unlikely that any gadget could ever capture the pure magic that is attending a live theater performance. The energy of the actors, the emotion of the story, the shared rapture of the audience, all combined to create a transformative, transfixing experience. Thankfully, residents of the Garden State can enjoy world class theater in our very backyard. From Shakespeare to Broadway, grand locations or community based gems, the theaters of New Jersey are ready and waiting to break a leg and blow you away. 

Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, NJ

Opened in 1938 in an already historic paper mill, this Millburn location has provided New Jersey with literally hundreds of world quality productions throughout the years. Playing host at various times to huge names such as Jane Fonda, Gene Wilder, Eva Gabor, Tony Danza, and Anne Hathaway, and with multiple original productions moving on to bigger stages, Paper Mill Playhouse has claimed its rightful place as King of New Jersey Theater. Visit today for old favorites, instant classics, and even select Autism-friendly performances. 

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ

Attracting over 200,000 visitors annually, the State Theatre New Jersey is truly the culmination of decades of vision and dedication. Set beautifully in a converted vaudevillian and silent movie theater, this incredible organization puts forth productions for pleasure, education, and even families. Families can enjoy innovative relaxed performances, with modified lighting and the freedom to move about if necessary. More adult patrons can expect world class musicals, stand-up comedy, ballet, and riveting cultural performances.

Two River Theater, Red Bank, NJ

Two River Theater puts forth fabulous productions, but what really secures their spot near the top is a commitment to fostering the talent of emerging playwrights, and helping bring their stories to the world. Furthermore, this Red Bank gem works with schools to both introduce children to the theater, and assist at risk youth in communities throughout the region. Support both the arts and young people with a trip to Two River Theater. 

McCarter Theatre Center, Princeton, NJ

From classic favorites to daring innovation to community outreach, McCarter Theater Center brings a touch of brilliance to New Jersey. This Princeton location has seen the world premiere of works such as “Our Town,” and “You Can’t Take it With You,” and legendary stars such as Katharine Hepburn and Elaine Stritch have paced its stage. Every aspect of live entertainment approached by the McCarter Theater is carried out spectacularly, and they’ve tried their hand at just about everything. 

Bergen Performing Arts Center, Englewood, NJ

A not-for-profit dream of a theater. Bergen Performing Arts Center helps set the pace for quality theater in New Jersey, hosting over 200 events annually, and attracting over 150,000 patrons. Their performing arts school fosters creativity in children across the state with outreach programming, and has introduced countless young people to the joys of live theater. Consider supporting a true legacy with a visit to Bergen Performing Arts Center. 

Cape May Stage, Cape May, NJ

This member of the National Register of Historic Places continues to wow with sharp, quality theater and promising new talent. Be sure to check out their website before a visit, as Cape May Stage has paired with local restaurants to create discounted night-out packages, ideal for when you just have to try something new. 

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Madison, NJ

A 308-seat theater, with none measuring more than 32 feet from the stage, make the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey one of the most intimately breathtaking ways to take in live theater. As the state’s only theater dedicated to the Bar, this Madison location can claim uniqueness as well. Originally a summer stock situation in Cape May, the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey can today safely be called a world-class option for live performances. 

Broadway Theater, Pitman, NJ

Diverse productions, talented cast and crew, and a commitment to quality theater makes Broadway Theater an easy add to our list. This truly gorgeous Pitman location has hosted some of entertainment’s brightest stars throughout the years, from George Burns to George Carlin. Catch tomorrow’s icons early and take in a production at Broadway Theater. 

George Street Playhouse, New Brunswick, NJ

Since 1974, George Street Playhouse has brought both mainstream productions and issue-oriented theater to New Jersey, transforming a former supermarket into a world class stage. Recently rehomed to the former state museum of agriculture, George Street Playhouse is dedicated to continuing both quality theater in the state of New Jersey, and a love of the stage in her residents. 

Plays-In-The-Park, Edison, NJ

As perhaps the most pleasant manner of enjoying live theater in New Jersey, Plays-In-The-Park hosts three full-scale musicals per annum in their incredible amphitheater in Edison. This incredible, affordable (children under 12 are free and adult tickets cost just $7) option for live theater is a great way to be thoroughly entertained, introduce children to theater, and spend some time outdoors. 

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475 Demott Lane, Somerset, NJ
Mission Statement : The Villagers Theatre was founded in 1960 by twenty people who dedicated their organization to bringing ongoing cultural enri... Read More
721 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick, NJ
Our Mission StatementTo encourage and nurture participation in the theater arts, promote the educational and communal values of live theater and pr... Read More
103 College Farm Road, New Brunswick, NJ
Mission & HistoryFounded in 1974 by former Rutgers faculty member Eric Krebs, George Street Playhouse started life in a repurposed supermarket ... Read More
11 Livingston Ave,, New Brunswick, NJ
Genesis Festival of Plays is back for a three-day run of three new works that stand true to the theatre’s history of telling stories that hig... Read More
7 Suydam Street, New Brunswick, NJ
Mission:Since 1975, Cabaret Theatre has been committed to providing the university and its surrounding community with a wide variety of theatrical ... Read More
15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ
Our MissionState Theatre New Jersey exists to enrich the lives of people from diverse backgrounds in New Jersey and to contribute to a vital urban ... Read More
85 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ
Mission: Mason Gross School of the Arts is the flagship public arts conservatory of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, a Big Ten researc... Read More
7 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ
Mission The Crossroads Theatre Company is dedicated to creating and producing professional theatre of the highest standards of artistic excellence... Read More
5557 Frist Campus Center, Princeton, NJ
About Us: In February of 1920, a group of Princeton student thespians staged their first production. Their theater was a dormitory room. Their curt... Read More
Hamilton Murray Theater, Princeton, NJ
Since its inception over years ago, Princeton Summer Theater has provided the Princeton community with great works of theater produced by the sta... Read More
Hamilton Murray Theatre, Princeton, NJ
Our History:Since its inception over forty years ago, Princeton Summer Theater has provided the Princeton community with great works of theater pro... Read More
91 University Place, Princeton, NJ
Mission Statement: McCarter Theatre Center is recognized as one of this country’s leading regional theaters, and is the only organization in... Read More
84 Joyce Kilmer Avenue, Piscataway, NJ
About The Livingston Theatre Company, Rutgers' Premiere Musical Theatre Organization, is a home for theatrical arts at Rutgers University. Founded... Read More
475 Marlboro Road, Old Bridge, NJ
Welcome to the New Jersey Center of Dance & Performing Arts "where dancing becomes an art form."With TWO convenient locations to serve you, our... Read More
10 Hamilton St. Bound Brook NJ 08805, Bound Brook, NJ
All Italian-Indian-Latino etc. comedy nights in a no cover-no minimum-smoke free-alcohol free newly restored theatre. Read More
689 Amwell Road Route 514, Hillsborough, NJ
In 1967, a PTA group at Vanderveer Elementary School in Somerville started a thespian troupe. The curtain went up on the Somerset Valley Players (S... Read More
1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor, NJ
Mission: The Yardley Players Theatre Company's (YPTC)  purpose is to produce plays in, expose the community to, and  assist in the educa... Read More
70 County Rd 516, Old Bridge, NJ
Mission Statement: To provide for the cultural enhancement of our patrons, participants and community by the production of high quality theatrical ... Read More
1 Pine Drive, Edison, NJ
Middlesex County's Plays-in-the-Park is a unique partnership that represents better than 54 years of unparalleled government initiative, artistic e... Read More
458 North Avenue, Dunellen, NJ
Parties representing movie interests came to Dunellen, New Jersey in November of 1910, to see if the area could support an attraction of this kind.... Read More
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