The theater season begins in Bergen County this weekend. Community theater is alive and well here because it’s a great alternative to Broadway.
Local Theater Advantages
You’ll be surprised at how good our local theater is. Here’s why: We have amazing performers many of whom have Broadway level talent.
It’s so demanding to be in show business. There is no security and few job opportunities. It’s impossible to have a full time job because you must be available for last minute auditions. As a result, many highly talented people choose a conventional life style and join local theater groups.
Broadway is expensive while community theater is not. Performing arts centers are around $35-100 while community theater groups are typically $15-25. Parking is free too. Broadway will cost you around $70 just to cross the GW Bridge and park in a NYC garage. Rather than going to New York, stay local and eat out too for less.
Bergen County Theater Groups
There is a long tradition of supporting local theater here. We have 2 Performing Arts Centers with all sorts of live entertainment as well as plays. In addition, there are our fine community theaters. The theater season begins this weekend with a great deal of anticipation. Public support is so strong that it’s not unusual to have performances completely sold out.
Young people have great opportunities too. We have classes, a performing arts school, a youth theater group and amazing productions in our high schools.
Performing Arts Centers
Bergen Performing Arts Center Known as Bergen Pac locally, this is our major live theater located at 30 N Brunt Street in Englewood. National headliners perform here from comics to symphony orchestras. You will find at least one theatrical production every year. There is a special outreach to children with a performing arts school and opportunities for school performances held here.
Hackensack Performing Arts Center is located at 108 State Street in Hackensack. Barely 2 years old, HACPAC opened in November 2017 as a beautiful new theater. In The Heights opens this Friday night; tickets are only $17-20.
Atlantic Street Park was created in 2015 adjacent to HACPAC with an outdoor stage. Enjoy free Shakespeare in the Park and many other events there during summer months.
Community Theater Groups
Bergen County Players Bergen County Players begins it’s 87th season this Saturday night (Sept 14th) with the Tony award winning musical Pippin. Performances are on weekends and typically run for 4-5 weekends. In addition to Pippin are 6 more theatrical productions through May. This is a really neat theater – it’s in an old firehouse. Small and intimate, this is a wonderful theater experience.
Skyline Theater Company is currently in residence at the George Frey Center for Arts and Recreation in Fair Lawn (10-10 20th St). While they have a website, it’s best to go to their Facebook page where you’ll find information on their current production. September has a tribute to George M Cohan which looks like a lot of fun.
The Players Guild of Leonia They have a unique location because 130 Grand Avenue is a Civil War drill hall. This is also Bergen County’s oldest theater group having begun in 1919. Their season begins with a production of Damn Yankees on October 4th. Productions here are excellent and they currently have 4 prestigious Perry Award nominations.
Porch Light Studio, Stage & School is a fabulous organization. They are exclusively focused on performing arts education for children. Go to their website. You will be impressed with how much they have to offer. Productions are often original although they do scripted ones too. Currently they have The Drowsey Chaperone coming in November as a public production. You’ll find this theater at 555 Broad St in Glen Rock.
Saddle River Youth Theater is an award winning theater group for children from elementary through high school. This is a comprehensive program that teaches everything from tap dancing to acting skills. They put on several productions every year through their River Stage Company that are really outstanding. Location is 37 E Allendale Ave in Allendale.
The theater season in Bergen County begins with 2 great productions this weekend – Pippin on Saturday night and In The Heights on Friday night. Click on these links to get tickets before it’s too late
You can see that performing arts are very strong in Bergen County. In addition to what I have here for you, there’s also events at Bergen Community College’s Ciccone Theater and, of course, our local high schools. If you’d like more information you can always call or text me at 201-741-8490.