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McCarter Theatre Center for the Performing Arts in Princeton is one of the most active cultural centers in the nation, offering over 200 performances of theater, dance, music and special events each year.   McCarter's audience is truly a regional one. Over 200,000 people come to McCarter each season from all twenty-one counties in New Jersey as well as Pennsylvania, New York and twenty-three additional states.

Mission:  Supporting Excellence and the Spirit of Innovation


McCarter Theatre Center is recognized as one of this country’s leading theaters, and is the only organization in this country that is both a professional producing theater and a major presenter of the performing arts.  With this identity comes a unique commitment to creating, developing and producing new work for the stage, reinvestigating classical theatrical repertoire, and bringing the best of the world’s performing artists to Central New Jersey.  McCarter demonstrates an unwavering commitment to engaging, educating and cultivating a broad range of audiences, making the arts accessible to all people, and presenting an unparalleled variety of bold, stimulating, diverse and provocative programs across disciplines.



At the core of McCarter’s programming is our world class Theater Series, which is built around our ongoing commitment to new work and to exploring and re-imagining classic works from the American and world canon.  Under Artistic Director Emily Mann, noteworthy productions include the premieres of new plays by Athol Fugard, Edward Albee, Nilo Cruz, Christopher Durang, Regina Taylor, Beth Henley, Dael Orlandersmith, Steven Dietz, Marina Carr, John Henry Redwood, Eric Bogosian, Theresa Rebeck and Emily Mann.  Many, including Having Our Say, Anna in the Tropics, Crowns, Valley Song and Yellowman,  have gone on to be some of the most frequently produced plays in the American theater.  In addition, McCarter is recognized for its reinvestigations of the classic canon, including Stephen Wadsworth’s acclaimed adaptations of plays by Marivaux (Triumph of Love, Changes of Heart and The Game of Love and Chance), David Leveaux’s production of Electra, featuring Zoe Wanamaker, and Emily Mann’s adaptations of Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard and Uncle Vanya.


Under the auspices of the McCarter Lab, McCarter also offers a host of developmental programs for theatre artists with the goal of creating innovative work for the stage, and supporting the next generation of playwrights and directors.  By placing the needs of the individual artist at the center of our developmental programs, and by putting at their disposal the full array of our directing, dramaturgical and producing resources, we have enjoyed an unusually organic (and prolific) process for creating and producing work.  Commissions, in particular, are a core strategy for developing work for production, as is our annual Artists’ retreat.  We also support readings and workshops of works in progress, and are exploring opportunities for the presentation of experimental work in The Room (our rehearsal room which doubles as a flexible performance space) and on our stages. 



As a world-class performing arts presenter, McCarter offers audiences diverse programs of music, dance, and special events featuring artists of national and international repute from a wide variety of disciplines and styles. Under the leadership of W. W. Lockwood, Jr. for 50 years, McCarter's programs rival any performing arts series in the country. Artists of national and international renown, including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Cecilia Bartoli, Kathleen Battle, Midori, Penn and Teller, Twyla Tharp and the Mark Morris Dance Group, regularly perform on the McCarter stage.




Supporting Education, Access and Community Enrichment, McCarter's work extends beyond the on-stage world-class performing arts performances. McCarter plays a critical role in the education of our children, through programs that enhance the lives of over 33,000 students each year. McCarter's school and community education programs continue to garner acclaim for originality, quality, and diversity. Additionally, McCarter serves its community through broad-based outreach activities, including an ongoing discussion series at the Princeton Public Library, post-performance discussions, ASL interpreted performances for the hearing impaired, and Audio Described performances for the visually impaired.


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New Jersey State Council on the Arts
This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.
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