Arts, Culture, and Humanities
McCarter’s mission is to create world-class theater and present the finest performing artists for the engagement, education, and entertainment of our community. We are committed to: -Sharing stimulating, diverse, and provocative stories -Working at the intersection of art and scholarship -Making the arts accessible to a broad range of audiences An independent, non-profit regional theater, we live in the heart of the new Princeton University Arts District and provide programs all over Princeton, Trenton, and throughout central New Jersey.
91 University Place
Princeton, NJ 8540 USA
Theater, Performing Arts, New Play Development, Theater Arts Education
Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)
IRS Filing Requirement
This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.
McCarter Theatre Center is recognized as one of this country’s leading theaters, both a professional producing theater and a major presenter of the performing arts. With this identity comes a unique commitment to creating, developing and producing new work for the stage, reinvestigating classical theatrical repertoire, and bringing the best of the world’s performing artists to Central New Jersey. McCarter demonstrates an unwavering commitment to engaging, educating and cultivating a broad range of audiences, making the arts accessible to all people, and presenting an unparalleled variety of bold, stimulating, diverse and provocative programs across disciplines.
What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Each season, McCarter produces a five-play Theater Series composed of new plays and re-imagined classics, in addition to an annual holiday production of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. New play development is integral to this program and encompasses play commissions, developmental readings and workshops, as well as an annual artist's retreat for playwrights.
Each season, McCarter offers the public 40+ varied performing arts events as our Presented Series. Within that larger series are a classical music series, a series of contemporary and classical dance performances and our Signature Series, which includes jazz, pop and contemporary music, world music and dance, spoken word, comedy, magic and family-friendly events. The Presented Series has been designed by Special Programming Director William W. "Bill" Lockwood for the past 54 years.
Education and Engagement Program
McCarter commits significant resources to providing high-quality theater arts education to regional schoolchildren and to engaging lifelong learners in the community with the work on and behind our stages. McCarter's educational offerings for K-12 students include: regular student matinee performances, presented with moderated discussion and curricular content; in-school artist residencies; after-school and summer theater arts classes. A robust, season-long internship program for 13-15 recent college graduates is an important component of McCarter's education program. Engagement programming offered for adult learners includes: pre- and post-show discussions; public lectures and panel discussions related to the Theater Series; adult school classes; and a Shakespeare reading group.
K-12 (5-19 years)
Adolescents (13-19 years)
Access to the Arts Program
For decades, McCarter has managed an Access Program which allows all community members, regardless of ability, to fully engage in the live theater experience. Our most-utilized services include a Driven to Excellence program, which provides secure transportation to the theater for elderly patrons; accessible seating and parking; and wireless infra-red hearing assistance devices. Additional programs include Audio Described performances, Braille and large print playbills, Sign Language-interpreted performances, Open Captioning, and Relaxed Performances, which provide a welcoming and judgement-free environment for individuals with autism, learning differences, or other sensory and communication needs so that they and their families may enjoy live performances together.
People with disabilities
Aging, elderly, senior citizens
Where we workNew!
How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Number of In-School Residencies offered in our area
McCarter sends a teaching artist to be “in residence” in a classroom during the school day to regional students, regardless of their family’s ability to participate in fee-based classes or camps.
Total dollar amount of scholarship awarded
Scholarships Awarded to our After School & Summer Camp Programs.
Number of Students attended Student Matinees
Number of Interns
Number of Full Time Intern's that take part of McCarter's Emerging Leaders Program - an intensive post-graduate, full-season internship program.
Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
How will they know if they are making progress?
What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
Among other artistic goals noted, McCarter Theatre also seeks to contribute new work to the national theater canon through the commissioning and development of new plays by both established and emerging playwrights, and to bolster the American theater field through professional development and employment opportunities. At the regional level, McCarter's goal is to “engage, educate and entertain" audiences of all ages with the work on our stages and through our educational programming.
McCarter's contributions to the American theater canon occur through the season-long activities of the McCarter LAB, our new play development program which includes playscript commissions, play readings, artist retreats and developmental support of artists. McCarter contributes to the theater profession through our Emerging Leaders Program, which has since 1990 trained over 270 post-collegiate interns in all facets of a performing arts organization including directing, casting, stage and company management, production, education, marketing and fundraising. Through our annual Theater Series, Presented Series, and professionally-led Education and Engagement programs, McCarter touches 120,000 audience members each season.
McCarter was incorporated as a non-profit arts organization in 1973, and enjoys well-established leadership, a national reputation for excellence and a strong organizational partner in Princeton University. In the Spring of 2018 McCarter Theatre Center was pleased to announce the successful conclusion of its Campaign for McCarter, a multi-year fundraising effort which will provide a strong financial foundation for the future of the theatre. With the completion of the Campaign, McCarter can continue to build its legacy of providing powerful and thoughtful entertainment, continue the important job of supporting the work of new and emerging playwrights and introduce young people in our community to the transformative power of a live performance. The campaign raised over $10 million for McCarter’s endowment while increasing annual fund support for general operations.
Progress for McCarter is measured in: ticket sales; contributed income from individuals and institutional donors; awards and honors for our play productions; participation in our educational and engagement activities; stability and/or growth of our annual budget; and public approval as revealed in surveys and published reviews.
Under Artistic Director Emily Mann and Special Programming Director Bill Lockwood, McCarter has produced more than 50 world premiere plays and presented some of the world's finest performing artists from around the world. In 1994, McCarter was nationally recognized for its excellence with the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. In 2013, Emily Mann, joined playwright Christopher Durang in accepting the Tony Award for Best Play for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, a production which was developed, nurtured and first presented at McCarter in the fall of 2012.
In addition to honors related to our on-stage work, McCarter as an organization has consistently received both Citations and Excellence and the designation of a Major Arts Institution from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. In the fall of 2015, The Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce honored McCarter's decades-long intern program for early career theater professionals with their Young Leaders Award, recognizing our effort in training and cultivating emerging theater professionals. Last March, McCarter was voted the “Favorite New Jersey Theater to See a Play" in the 2017 People Choice Awards conducted by Discover Jersey Arts. McCarter also manages a robust Education and Engagement program that reaches thousands of students in Princeton, Trenton, and New Brunswick each year; an “Access to the Arts" program that provides accessibility services and programming for more than 5,000 patrons; and a creative incubator for new play development called the McCarter LAB, which has fostered new work by emerging and award-winning playwrights throughout the country.
McCarter is constantly evaluating our work as a regional and national arts organization, and seeking ways to further grow our programs for the benefit of our community. As we enter a period of tremendous growth, we hope to continue expanding the impact of our programs for people of all ages, demographics, and abilities.
Affiliations & Memberships
Actor's Equity Association
Theatre Communications Groups - Constituent Theatre
League of Resident Theatres (LORT)
National Endowment for the Arts
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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.
as of 11/15/2018
Arts Advocate and Activist
Term: 2016 -
Interim President/Vice President
Immediate Past President
Ellen Gould Baber
W. Rochelle Calhoun
Lena Chang, PhD.
John Forbes Jr.
C. Schuyler Morehouse
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?
Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?
Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?
Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?
Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?
In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).SOURCE: Self-reported by organization