Storm damage to outdoor set forces Shakespeare Theatre to postpone openings

Shakespeare nj postpone

The start of a message today from Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey artistic director Bonnie Monte.

The July 6 storm damaged the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s outdoor set so severely that the openings of two plays that will be running in repertory this summer — Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” and the new “Snug” — have been delayed.

This week’s shows are off. The theater is hoping to open, now, on July 13.

Shakespeare Theatre artistic director Bonnie Monte wrote in a letter posted to social media that “the severe thunderstorm that ripped through our area, with gusts of 70 mile an hour winds and torrential rain, destroyed our beautiful set and caused tremendous damage to the entire set-up of the Outdoor Stage.” No crew members were injured, she added.

Monte also wrote that “[i]n addition to the set being literally impaled and knocked over, we have no idea yet if our sound and lighting systems have been damaged. The entire situation is being assessed today. Many, many artists have been working round the clock to bring you two wonderful shows, and they were confronted by the sight of that work dashed to pieces.”

Those who have bought tickets for the cancelled shows will be offered the opportunity to transfer to another show, or receive a refund. Two shows, July 24 and 31 at 11 a.m., are being added to give people more options.

The shows are taking place at the amphitheater of the College of St. Elizabeth in Florham Park, the usual site for outdoor, summer productions by the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.

“That’s the bad news,” Monte wrote after describing the storm damage. “The good news is that we are unsinkable.”

To read the complete message, visit

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