The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is taking the opportunity of its annual gala to unveil its brand-new support facility, which houses the Madison, N.J., theater’s entire behind-the-scenes operations.
This year’s annual gala, The Great Nocturnal Happening, will take place Saturday, April 20. It is the theater’s major fundraising event of the year with hundreds of patrons, artists, and community leaders participating.
Located in Florham Park, the 50,000-square-foot renovated factory is home to the many facets of the theater’s administrative, educational, artistic, and technical operations. In addition to offices and education spaces, the facility includes areas for the construction of sets, costumes, and other scenic elements, an unusual board room, a spacious rehearsal hall, a unique Green Room, and ample space for the theater’s extensive collections of props, stock scenery, costumes, stage weapons, archives, and more.
“This year’s gala is a very special unveiling of our incredible new support facility—the magical laboratory where all of our behind-the-scenes alchemy takes place,” Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte said in a press release. “It will be a fundraiser like no other, as we invite attendees into our ‘dream factory’—our labyrinth of amazing spaces where past, present, and future come together.”
Guests have the opportunity to reserve one of the rooms in the facility for a private gathering of friends and family prior to the main event. Champagne cocktails or specially chosen libations and tantalizing tidbits will be provided as guests explore the artistry and artifacts surrounding them. In addition, a representative of The Shakespeare Theatre will be available to guide the “salon experience” and reveal the special surprises each space holds. The rooms available include the boardroom (dubbed The Think Tank), The Prop Warren, The Costume Shop, and The Imaginarium, a learning space.
The main event begins at 7 p.m. with a glittering reception that will include a special champagne bar, sumptuous passed hors d’oeuvres, and food stations. Guests will dine, mingle, and explore the amazing spaces of the behind-the-scenes facility as well as take part in the silent auction that offers scores of unique items, including clothing, jewelry, getaways, artwork, unusual experiences, and theatrical memorabilia.
At 9 p.m., guests will enter the Grand Ballroom for more libations, dessert, coffee, and the Great Nocturnal Happening, theatrical presentations that illuminate the many facets of The Shakespeare Theatre’s work. To conclude the evening, guests may choose to remain in the ballroom for dancing, join artists and guests for informal singing around the grand piano, or socialize in the Mediterranean-blue Green Room.
Included in the silent auction are an array of exclusive items, including tickets to Giulio Cesare at The Metropolitan Opera, a guided tour of The New York Times newsroom, a Baltusrol golf outing, tickets to the Broadway hit Newsies, VIP tickets to a taping of The Colbert Report, and one-of-a-kind artwork, jewelry, and handcrafted items.
Gala tickets range from $295 to $1,000 per person. Room reservations begin at $10,000 for 10 guests. A portion of each ticket is tax-deductible to the fullest extent provided by law. For more information or reservations, call 973-408-3164 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.
March 26, 2013