State Theatre New Jersey


State Theatre New Jersey Special Events — A Year in Review

Each year, in addition to providing our community with a diverse lineup of high quality performances, State Theatre New Jersey is committed to growing our involvement in the community and getting to know our guests better. One of the ways that we are able to do this is through a variety of fun special events and receptions we hold each year.

The 2016-17 season was full of exciting occasions, including a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to open our new administrative offices at 40 Livingston Avenue. But whether it’s a community based event, like Family Day, a reception held by a corporation, such as Johnson & Johnson Evening, or one of our two big fundraisers, the Classical Season Celebration and the Gala, each special event is aimed at getting to know you better and letting you get to know us more!

Special Events


Our two big fundraisers each season are the Classical Season Celebration and the spring Benefit Gala. These events aim to raise money to support our education and outreach programs, and supplement costs for our mainstage performances. This season’s fundraisers collectively raised nearly $685,000.

Classical Season Celebration: this year’s CSC was held on October 23 and honored Peter and Maggie Stavrianidis. The performance this year was from the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, with piano soloist Seong-Jin Cho, winner of the 2015 International Chopin Piano Competition. (at right: CSC honorees Peter and Maggie Stavrianidis)

Benefit Gala: Tony®, Grammy®, and Emmy Award®-Winner Audra McDonald headlined this year’s Gala, which took place on Saturday, May 13. At this year’s Gala we honored American Benefits Consulting (Corporate honoree), Brent and Susan Podlogar (Patron honorees), and Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios and the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders (Leadership in the Arts honoree). (at right: 2017 Gala Honorees and Leadership)



Keeping our focus on the diverse culture of our neighborhood, this season we worked to connect more with our local communities. Developing a Latino Outreach Committee and LGBT Committee, we collaborated with these groups on some special receptions.

Latino Nights: we kicked off our new initiative events this year with three special receptions around performances in the fall – Thalia, Gilberto Santa Rosa, and Havana Cuba All-Stars. These events included pre-performance receptions, hosted by our Latino Outreach Committee. (at left: Guests enjoying the reception before Gilberto Santa Rosa)

Pride Nights: we held four Pride Nights around performances of Dirty Dancing, Melissa Etheridge, Rent, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Each Pride Night included a pre-performance reception, and the three Broadway performances also included a post-show cast party. (at left: Pride night guests posing with Rent cast members, above, main photo: RENT  cast at the post-show cast party)




With State Theatre New Jersey being a not-for-profit organization, we rely on donations from individuals to help keep the arts accessible to all. We are incredibly appreciative of all of our donors, and each season we hold two special events to show our thanks and gratitude.

President’s Council Dinner: this is a special onstage dinner that hosts our President’s Council donors. In addition to a sit-down meal and dessert provided by Promise Catering, these guests receive insider information about State Theatre New Jersey and enjoy a special performance—this season with Bobby Bandiera and Friends. (at right:  President’s Council guests seated onstage for dinner and Bobby Bandiera and Friends performance)

Donor Appreciation Evening: this event is a special reception for our Patrons’ Council donors. This year, donors received two tickets to the Shanghai Acrobats of the People's Republic of China performance and enjoyed a pre-show reception with complimentary appetizers from local restaurant partners Panico’s, Clydz, Filippo’s, Sophie’s Bistro, Old Man Rafferty’s, and Thomas Sweet. (at right: Patron’s Council donor Patrick Hill with members of the Shanghai Acrobats of the People's Republic of China)


With a strong focus on community mindedness, there are a few events and initiatives we’re committed to each year that give back to our community.

Family Day: this annual festival allows families to enjoy dozens of performances, workshops, and hands-on activities – most of which are free – as well as various other activities like face-painting and balloon animals. This season’s Family Day was held on February 19 and hosted more than 4,500 people. (at left :Children participating in the free drum circle performance at Family Day)

Teacher Appreciation Evening: We host teachers and their students throughout the year at our Performances for Schools, but these evenings are specially focused on thanking teachers for all they do—offering a $5 discount on their ticket and a special gift! This season’s Teacher Appreciation evenings took place at Mannheim Steamroller Christmas and Pippin.

Veterans / VetTix: State Theatre New Jersey is proud to partner with VetTix to provide our Vets with tickets to great performances each season. This year we hosted Veterans at 26 performances, including Havana Cuba All-Stars, Steve Vai, Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, and Engelbert Humperdinck. (at left: A veteran and his family enjoying a State Theatre New Jersey performance)



One of the benefits our Corporate Partners receive is the chance to host a reception before a sponsored performance. This season, we welcomed guests for these receptions from Investor’s Bank, RBC Wealth Management, and Magyar Bank. In addition, Johnson & Johnson held its third annual J&J Evening at the State Theatre, catered by Due Mari and centered around the Friday evening performance of Pippin. (at right: Johnson & Johnson employees enjoying the reception before Pippin)

Each summer, we hold our annual Partners' Breakfast, which brings together our corporate, foundation, and government supporters, media partners, and other prominent guests and business leaders from across the region for networking and a lively panel discussion. Our 2016 Partners' Breakfast  focused on Arts Partnerships: Building Better Communities Together. This year’s Partner’s Breakfast will be held on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 and will include a panel discussion on Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts, Partnering Across Organizations, and Building a Creative Workforce(at right: A packed house for our 2016 Partner’s Breakfast)


We’re thankful to everyone who participated in and supported our 2016-17 Season events, and we look forward to another fun and exciting season! To sign up to receive correspondence on future State Theatre New Jersey Special Events, click here

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