History and Mission
The New Jersey Repertory Company is a professional, non-profit regional theater founded in 1997 by SuzAnne Barabas (Artistic Director) and Gabor Barabas (Executive Producer). Located in Long Branch, New Jersey, the theater's mission is to develop and produce new plays and to make a lasting contribution to the American stage. In keeping with this mission, NJ Rep has produced 83 plays in 14 seasons, including 56 world premieres. The theater is committed to nurturing the work of not only established writers but new and unknown playwrights as well, and has maintained an open-submission policy, receiving approximately 500 new scripts each year from throughout the U.S. and around the world.
Through its Developmental Reading Series, NJ Rep has presented 282 script-in-hand readings of new works and these readings serve as a forum for writers to see their plays come to life for the first time while simultaneously providing NJ Rep with the opportunity of viewing how a play "lives" on stage. 38 of the theater's 56 fully produced premieres began as readings, a testimonial to the theater's philosophy of providing a true continuum from play development to full production.
As a member of the National New Play Network (NNPN), a consortium of like-minded theaters throughout the U.S., NJ Rep has participated in 10 "rolling world premieres." These premieres represent a pioneering concept that is revolutionizing how new plays are produced. NNPN's founders were aware that not only was it very difficult to have a new play produced in the U.S. but that second and third productions were even less frequently seen. Through "rolling premieres", an entirely new work is presented by three member theaters independently in three different cities within a twelve-month period, often propelling an unknown work toward further productions and publication.
NJ Rep adheres to no specific style or philosophy, and seeks only to champion that which engages and challenges an audience with compelling themes, and strives to extend the language and scope of theater. Many of the plays that first saw the light of day on one of its two intimate stages have gone on to be produced by regional theaters across the country, New York City, and overseas.