Bonnie J. Monte
Artistic Director

Bonnie J. Monte assumed leadership of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in 1990 and has led the company into a new era, garnering national recognition for her highly successful revitalization of the institution. Her artistic and organizational leadership has resulted in unprecedented programmatic expansion, critical acclaim, a solid record of financial solvency, steady budgetary growth and the accomplishment of a major capital campaign resulting in the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre.

In 2002, the Theatre's 40th anniversary year, she initiated a new partnership with the College of Saint Elizabeth, thereby attaining a second major performance venue for the organization: the Outdoor Stage. That same year, The Star-Ledger named the company "Regional Theatre of the Year," and The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation awarded The Shakespeare Theatre a prestigious Strategic Partnership Grant in the amount of $1 million.

In its January 2003 issue, New Jersey Monthly named Ms. Monte one of "40 New Jerseyans We Love." She is the recipient of numerous awards and was recently honored with a Woman of Achievement Award from Rutgers University’s Douglass College and the New Jersey Federation of Women’s Clubs.

Prior to arriving in New Jersey, Ms. Monte was a casting director at the prestigious Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City. From 1981 to 1989, she was associate artistic director at the Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF) in Massachusetts, working closely with renowned artistic director Nikos Psacharopoulos until his untimely death. While there, Ms. Monte helped initiate and implement many new programs, including a second stage and an outdoor free theatre. In 1982, she was part of a collaborative writing team, which included Psacharopoulos and Tennessee Williams, that created an eight-hour, two-part production, Tennessee Williams: A Celebration, a retrospective tribute to Mr. Williams' entire literary canon. During her tenure at WTF, Ms. Monte also cast and helped produce joint ventures with other major theatres, including Sweet Bird of Youth at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway at Circle-in-the-Square, The Glass Menagerie at The Long Wharf Theatre, Arms and the Man at The Pasadena Playhouse and Salome at the San Antonio Festival.

Since 1990, she has directed 33 productions for The Shakespeare Theatre, including acclaimed stagings of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Macbeth, Pygmalion, Much Ado About Nothing, Carnival!, Enrico IV (also adapted), Three Sisters, The Crucible, Antony and Cleopatra, The Blue Bird (also adapted), The Forest, Camino Real, Sweet Bird of Youth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Artists and Admirers (also adapted), The Homecoming, Diary of a Scoundrel, The Sea Gull, Electra and Twelfth Night. She recently directed the company's Shakespeare LIVE! production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which was selected for inclusion in the National Endowment for the Arts’ Shakespeare in American Communities initiative, the largest tour of Shakespeare's work in American history. Ms. Monte’s most recent translation and adaptation endeavor, Marivaux’s The Triumph of Love, was presented on the Outdoor Stage this summer.

Other work in arts education includes guest residencies at the University of South Carolina and the University of Notre Dame. She has been on the faculty of Drew University and the New School for Social Research in Manhattan. Ms. Monte has been actively involved in the training of new talent for the American stage through various training programs for 24 years.

Ms. Monte obtained a post-graduate conservatory degree in directing from The Hartman Conservatory and a B.A. in theatre from Bethany College in Bethany, West Virginia. She is most proud to have recently received an Honorary Doctor of Human Letters degree from Drew University. She is originally from
Stamford, Connecticut.

Updated November 2005

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