Sunday, June 27, 2021

STNJ's popular Outdoor Stage Re-opens This July

July 8–August 1. All performances other than the 5:00 p.m. Sunday Twilight Shows will begin at 8:00 p.m.
Greek Amphitheatre, Saint Elizabeth University Campus, Convent Station

TICKETS: The company is very pleased that they will be able to continue their Free Tickets for Kids 17 and Under program, as well as its $30 Under 30 ticket price for adults 30 and under. All other adult tickets will be $40 on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday evenings. Adult tickets for Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and the 5:00 p.m. Sunday Twilight Performances are $45. 
For more information about The Shakespeare Theatre’s Outdoor Stage performances, please call the Box Office at (973) 408-5600, or log onto

On July 8th, 2021, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ) will re-open the figurative doors to its ever-popular Outdoor Stage venue, located on the bucolic campus of Saint Elizabeth University. Since 2002, the company’s annual productions at this Greek-style amphitheater have provided people throughout the region with delightful productions under the stars. In 2020, the stone seats remained empty as the pandemic necessitated its closure. 

To re-launch the venue in grand style, STNJ will, for the first time, be presenting two productions in repertory, so that theatre-starved patrons can enjoy not just one live performance, but two if they choose to do so. As always, this season’s shows are comedies and appropriate for all ages – from the youngest tots to venerable seniors.

The four-week run will preview on July 8th, with Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, directed by resident director Brian B. Crowe, a regular at the company’s Outdoor Stage. On alternate nights, STNJ will present the premiere of a new play, Snug, written and directed by Bonnie J. Monte, the company’s artistic director. The performances will run until August 1st.

Ms. Monte said, “There is such excitement about the re-opening of our Outdoor Stage, and we wanted to start back up with a bang. So, partly to make up for the show we lost last summer, and partly to kick things off again in high celebratory fashion, we decided to give our audiences not just one, but two shows.”

Comedy of Errors, one of Shakespeare’s earliest comedies, is the perfect show to welcome people back,” said Brian B. Crowe, who is helming the production. “It is a rollicking, fantastical, fun farce, with an outrageous plot and colorful characters, and yet for all of its slapstick silliness, there is a beautiful message about reuniting with people from whom we’ve been separated and being with loved ones again. Its sweet and earnest ending could not be more apt for this reunion with our audience.” Comedy of Errors will be presented in a 90-minute version.

Snug, a brand-new play, was written this past spring by Ms. Monte, and it was inspired not only by Shakespeare’s beloved Mechanicals from A Midsummer Night’s Dream but also by the company of actors that has been isolated with STNJ’s “skeletal pandemic staff” since the start of the COVID shut-down. “Getting to know this group of nine actors so well over the course of the past 14 months has been a privilege and a blessing,” said Ms. Monte. “Their unstoppable energy, good hearts, earnest desire to create art in the middle of the pandemic ‘desert’ as well as their often delightful hijinks, made me want to write a play about them in the guise of the characters they played for us in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I wanted to craft a piece that would delight both halves of our audience—those who tend to avoid Shakespeare, and those who adore him. What came out in ink was a kind of Secret Lives of the Mechanicals in Their Off-Hours, capped with an Elizabethan Noises Off-like finale.” Snug will run approximately 90 minutes.

While STNJ will re-open its Outdoor Stage in compliance with all CDC and NJ State COVID-19 recommendations and requirements, those recommendations are changing almost weekly. As of now, people who are vaccinated do not need to wear masks at outdoor events unless they wish to, and STNJ is waiting for new developments regarding the social distancing requirements.