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New Brunswick Theater Guide

There’s nothing quite like the bright lights of Broadway—until you’ve been to New Brunswick, New Jersey. The Downtown’s burgeoning theater community is giving Broadway a run for its money through beloved, historic and modern theaters, as well as up-and-coming theater groups. Trendy restaurants, a hip college scene, and modern accommodation options all make for a compelling night on the town. 

Located across the street, the newly opened New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC) combines a state-of-the-art facility with an impressive array of musical, dance, and theatrical performances. Their upcoming season is already stacked with everything from beloved plays to intriguing musical performances.

The State Theatre has been a long-time theater favorite for New Brunswick theater events. It is a go-to for everything from touring Broadway shows to magic and comedy spectacles.

While in New Brunswick, treat yourself to a night on the town. You just might discover a new favorite play, musical, comedian or more. 

historic theater seating

New Brunswick Performing Arts Center

Don't miss this exciting new installment in New Brunswick’s Downtown Cultural Arts District. Designed to be the most compelling performing arts center in the region, the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC) brings beloved playhouses together with new rehearsal studios and collaborative work-spaces. 

Through the NBPAC, New Brunswick says “in with the new,” and their intriguing calendar of events reflects that. Head out for a night at the symphony, an afternoon play, comedy, popular music, or even appearances from world-renowned authors and scholars. NBPAC hosts performances and events by resident companies American Repertory Ballet, Crossroads Theatre Company, George Street Playhouse, and Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts - in addition to their own events.

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American Repertory Ballet’s mission is to bring the joy, beauty, artistry and discipline of classical and contemporary dance to New Jersey and nationwide audiences, and to dance students through artistic and educational programs.

The organization comprises: the preeminent professional classical and contemporary ballet company in the state; Princeton Ballet School, one of the largest and most respected non-profit dance schools in the nation; and ARB’s Access & Enrichment initiatives, including the acclaimed DANCE POWER program, the longest, continuously running community and arts partnership in New Jersey. American Repertory Ballet holds their performances at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. 


theater with red seats and red curtains

Crossroads Theatre Company

Crossroads Theatre Company is the premiere African American theatre company in the United States, and has a long history of lifting up African American stories and talents. So much so that they were awarded the 1999 Tony Award® for Outstanding Regional Theater in the United States. 

Crossroads Theatre operates on the belief that theater can change a society's way of thinking, which is why they host diverse performances. Enjoy thought provoking plays and beloved classics all on the same stage. Crossroads Theatre company holds their performances at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center.

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back of person's head sitting in theater

George Street Playhouse

Founded in 1974, the George Street Playhouse has existed in many iterations. Originally the brainchild of a Rutgers faculty member, it found its first home in an old supermarket. Since its founding, the George Street Playhouse has hosted both on- and off-Broadway productions. 

The George Street Playhouse holds their performances at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. As part of the NBPAC, the playhouse will continue to bring intellectually and emotionally exciting performances to the city, from must-see musicals to hilarious plays. 

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Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, founded in 1976, presents work by up-and-coming young artists in music, dance, theater, film, as well as in art and design, at the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center & Galleries and downtown at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. Students hail from 22 nations and 23 states, lending a global perspective to Hub City.

Alums have gone on to establish the neighboring George Street Playhouse and the Tony-winning Crossroads Theatre Company. Notable alumni include Grammy, Tony, Golden Globe, and Pulitzer Prize winners.

Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts holds their performances at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. 


state theater new brunswick

State Theatre

The State Theatre opened in 1921 as a vaudeville/silent film house when these performance styles were in their heyday. Just as the State Theatre was on trend in 1921, it remains a leader in New Brunswick's theater community. Broadway's touring shows frequently make stops at the State Theatre, but you'll see more than musicals take the stage. Touring artists, comedians on the road, and even magicians make their way to the State Theatre.

If you're considering a visit to New Brunswick, plan it around one of the theater's illustrious shows. You'll be glad you added a little bit of magic to your New Jersey vacation. After all, local theater goers know that it wouldn't be a night out without the State Theatre.

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Your Night on the Town

If you're in New Brunswick, your night out doesn't have to end. Treat yourself to not just a show at New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, but dinner and a stay in downtown New Brunswick.

Dig into a three course meal and overnight accommodations with late checkout, all part of our Dinner, Show & Stay package.

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