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The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey

Shakespeare Worth More Than Words
For New Jersey Economy

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is worth at least $5.7 million per year to the northeast Jersey region around the town of Madison, a Yale University study concluded.

A consulting group from the Yale School of Management was commissioned by the theater in September 2010 to study the economic impact of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey on the greater Madison area. The group, who worked pro bono, completed the study this fall.

The study quantified the spending of the theater as well as its audiences, artists, students, and staff in conjunction with attending plays or working for the theater, and calculated the effect of that spending on the economy of the area within a 20 minute driving radius from Madison. This includes towns in Morris, Essex, Somerset, and Union counties.

What a theater press release described as a “rigorous study” conservatively approximated a $5.7 million annual impact on the Madison area alone, a 138 percent increase from a previous study conducted in 2003. Applying additional tools—including the Arts and Economic Prosperity Calculator designed by American for the Arts—to data collected for the study, the theater estimates an overall economic impact to be at least $9.5 million.

“As a not-for-profit arts institution that brings hundreds of students from all over the country to New Jersey each year for the sole purpose of working with our theater; employs up to 200 actors, designers, and staff members; and welcomes 50,000 audience members through our doors each season, our statewide impact is even more significant,” Bonnie J. Monte, artistic director of the theater, said in the release. “Students, staff, and patrons are spending theatre-related dollars far beyond the immediate Madison area.”

The study also showed that audience members contributed $1.5 million in ancillary spending to the Madison area as a result of attending the theater and that 62 percent of the theater’s institutional spending goes to vendors located in the state of New Jersey.

The study was distributed to more than 100 local funders, vendors, and community leaders and is available upon request by calling 973-408-3685 or e-mailing westrin@shakespearenj.org.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is an independent, professional theatre company located on the Drew University campus. Serving 100,000 adults and children annually, it is New Jersey’s only professional theatre company dedicated solely to Shakespeare’s canon and other world classics.

October 28, 2011

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