I have always been drawn to storytelling on stages large and small. There is a singular energy that exists within a theater’s four walls created by the spirit of all the performances and performers who have crossed its stage and all the people who have shared in those experiences. The collective gasp or laugh or sigh of an audience, the burst of applause, the “oohs” of children as the lights go down and the curtain goes up—these are the sights and sounds of my world and what inspire me to do what I do.
This feeling is even more powerful in a historic building at the heart of a community—like State Theatre New Jersey. The experiences appreciated by millions of people throughout the 100-year history of this venue make their impact on the very walls of the structure and weave their way into the fabric of the organization.
However, as State Theatre approaches its second 100 years, it needs major improvements to continue to serve the community that has embraced this beautiful theater for countless performances. The projects we envision are guided by three simple principles: accessibility, audience experience, and efficiency.
Furthermore, although the impact of COVID-19 has been universally profound, it will never change the transformative power of live performance and our critical mission. But it has brought into sharp focus the urgent need for many of the upgrades planned. The Next Stage Campaign and an accelerated construction timeline allow us to immediately address projects that emphasize the safety and security of our patrons, staff, and artists. In addition to becoming fully accessible, State Theatre will be at the forefront in providing a safe and clean environment for the community to experience live performing arts and entertainment in a post-COVID-19 world.
This is a defining moment in the history of the State Theatre. This campaign represents a pledge to you, our patrons and our community: that we are committed to improving our accessibility and operations, ensuring that we will be here to continue providing the finest performing artists and arts education programs to New Brunswick and the entire region.
Thank you to those who have supported the Next Stage Campaign to date. We are of the community and for the community, and I am truly humbled by the outpouring of commitment and recognition of the value of State Theatre New Jersey.
I hope you will add your name to this growing list of the State Theatre family. Just as this theater has stood for 100 years providing memories for many lifetimes, with our commitment and your support, it will stand for another 100 and beyond.
Sarah K. Chaplin
President & CEO
Photo of Sarah K. Chaplin © Alexandra Pais
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