Premiere Stages


1000 Morris Avenue
Union, NJ 07083
County: Union


Mr. John J Wooten

Grant Amount


Program Area



Grant Details

To support the creation and development of original, socially relevant plays through the Premiere Stages Play Festival.

Organization Background

Kean is the third largest university in New Jersey, with over 14,000 students. Created in 2004 as a program of Kean University, Premiere Stages has grown to be Kean University's most prestigious arts program. Kean University has been exceptionally supportive of the program, and Premiere Stages has been able to meet its goals since its inception. Kean University supplies office space, theatre space and equipment, insurance, utilities, postage, and limited University staffing resources from the Theatre Management and Programming Office (TMPO). Kean University also underwrites the salaries of the Producing Artistic Director and Producing Associate and the educational initiatives inherent to the program where the beneficiaries are primarily students. The expenses for the Premiere Stages Play Festival are budgeted separately as the University does not cover these operating costs. The Festival is covered through ticket revenue, grants, corporate gifts, fees and individual gifts. Therefore funding is crucial in order to provide playwrights with the development they need to be successful and competitive.

Premiere Stages is committed to serving the cultural needs of northern and central New Jersey through the development and production of high-quality Equity theatre premieres, professional development and educational initiatives for the local and campus communities, and the support and cultivation of emerging playwrights and theatre artists. As a professional theatre company in residence at Kean University, Premiere Stages actively engages and enhances the specialized training programs at Kean, while embracing and serving a culturally diverse audience, underserved local youth, and a broad pool of gifted regionally-based artists.

Key Personnel include:

John Wooten, Producing Artistic Director: John has produced and/or directed over fifty professional productions at Premiere Stages, in New York and at numerous regional theatres. Before being hired by Kean University to develop Premiere Stages, John served ten seasons as the Artistic Director of TheatreFest in Montclair. John's work has been widely produced in America and internationally and he is published by all of the major dramatic publishing companies.

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