Drive on Down: 3 Great Live Theaters and Performance Venues Near Wayne, NJ

July 22nd, 2022 by

Sometimes, you get a bit tired of screens. You want to be in on the action, close enough to hear the actors and actresses breathing, and feel like you’re really a part of things. When you want to see some great live performances, these theaters in Wayne, NJ are the way to go.

Drive on Down: 3 Great Live Theaters and Performance Venues Near Wayne, NJ

Shea Center for the Performing Arts

At 300 Pompton Rd, on the William Paterson University campus, the Shea Center for the Performing Arts is a great spot for quality music and a great cultural experience. There’s plenty of room in the seats even though this is a rather small venue overall. The theater was built in 1965, but it has a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system and is handicapped-accessible.

The theater has played host to legendary artists from across the genres, like Wynton Marsalis, David Crosby, Pink Floyd, and more. It has also been host to lectures by theater greats like Stephen Sondheim, politicians like Margaret Thatcher, and film directors like Oliver Stone and Spike Lee. Be sure to check out their website to see what’s on and to check for any lingering COVID-19 protocols.

The Barn Theater

The Barn Theater is simply a lot of fun. This community theater has been running plays and performances for more than 85 years, and they are located at 32 Skyline Dr in Montville. The theater was founded in 1928 by the Mountain Lakes Dramatic Guild and originally met in a renovated building on the property of Mrs. Jennie Robertson. Within 10 years, the “Little Theatre,” as it was then known, was a well-respected community group, with 100 members.

In addition to their regular theater offerings, the Barn Theater also offers lots of special events. Previous events have included the NJ Tap Dance Ensemble, Here There be Pirates, and theater for children, including interviews with Santa and The Gingerbread Man. For the 2022 season, the theater offers Barefoot in the Park, American Son, and many more plays and is also hosting the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Rhino Theatre

This is a family-oriented theater that’s trying to instill a love for the arts into kids. There’s great energy here, and the ticket prices are very reasonable. You can also do birthday parties here, send kids to their summer camps, and visit their headshot sessions. Get the kids into your roomy Hyundai Santa Cruz for the short drive here to 247 Wanaque Ave in Pompton Lakes.

They offer musical theatre for beginners with Camp Broadway, acting and improv classes, dance intensives, and more. Fun shows they have lined up for 2022 include the One Act Jamboree, Annie, Jr, the Little Mermaid Jr, and more. Whether your children are ready to start their acting career or just want to be more comfortable speaking and interacting in public, they’ll love spending time here.

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