New Jersey Stage

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Yale University Conducts Study to Determine The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's Economic Impact





(MADISON, NJ) -- A consulting group from the Yale School of Management has completed a study on the economic impact of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey on the greater Madison area. The group worked pro bono and was commissioned by the Theatre in September, 2010. The results quantify the spending of the Theatre, as well as its audiences, artists, students and staff in conjunction with attending or working for the Theatre, and calculates the effect of that spending on the economy of the greater Madison area, defined as a 20 minute driving radius from Madison. This includes towns in Morris, Essex, Somerset and Union counties including Chatham, Morristown, Summit, Florham Park, Livingston, Maplewood, Short Hills and Irvington.

The rigorous study conservatively approximates a $5.7 million annual impact on the Madison area alone – a 138% increase from a previous study conducted in 2003.  "This study shows the importance of our institution to the Madison area economic health," said Managing Director Jeanne Barrett. "While the work on our stage speaks for itself, a study quantifying our economic impact strengthens our case for support when talking to potential donors, government leaders and local business owners about the role The Shakespeare Theatre plays in the community."

"The robust growth of the Theatre's economic impact reflects the ongoing importance of the institution's role in both the community and the economy of Madison and the surrounding area as well as the durability of that impact during a national economic downturn," said John Barr, Vice President of the Theatre's Board of Trustees.

Applying additional tools – including the Arts and Economic Prosperity Calculator, designed by American for the Arts – to data collected for the study, the Theatre estimates an overall economic impact, including the Madison area and beyond, 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 Theatre, employs up to 200 actors, designers, and staff members, and welcomes 50,000 audience members through our doors each season, our state-wide impact is even more significant. Students, staff and patrons are spending theatre-related dollars far beyond the immediate Madison area," explained Bonnie J. Monte, Artistic Director of the Theatre. 

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

"The study is particularly important because of the clear impact the Theatre has on its surrounding communities," said Fauzia Dawood from the Yale School of Management. "Nothing beats numbers, and the study proves that."

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 email westrin@shakespearenj.org.  For more information about the Theatre and its programs, call 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.

The acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is an independent, professional theatre company located on the Drew University campus. One of the leading Shakespeare theatres in the nation, 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. Through its distinguished productions and education programs, the company strives to illuminate the universal and lasting relevance of the classics for contemporary audiences.