Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Challenge We All Face in Today's Economy

I was particularly struck by Thomas Friedman’s column in The New York Times this morning that I want to share with you. We are in a different and changed economy that has seriously changed our business. The challenge for us is to rise above just processing work as in the past and to fire up our imaginations to re-gain our market. Here’s part of what he wrote:

“A Washington lawyer friend recently told me about layoffs at his firm. I asked him who was getting axed. He said it was interesting: lawyers who were used to just showing up and having work handed to them were the first to go because with the bursting of the credit bubble, that flow of work just isn’t there. But those who have the ability to imagine new services, new opportunities and new ways to recruit work were being retained. They are the new untouchables.

That is the key to understanding our full education challenge today. Those who are waiting for this recession to end so someone can again hand them work could have a long wait. Those with the imagination to make themselves untouchables—to invent smarter ways to do old jobs, energy-saving ways to provide new services, new ways to attract old customers or new ways to combine existing technologies—will thrive.” (Thomas Friedman)

I’d like to think we are a theatre of the new untouchables.

–Wes Brustad, State Theatre President and CEO

Click here to read the complete column by Thomas Friedman.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The World’s Greatest Artists Visit Central New Jersey

Theaters are magical places; they can take you on a journey around the world and back without even leaving your seat! And right here at the State Theatre, we are very fortunate to present some of the world’s greatest artists that can take you on that journey. The best of the best! From the classical musicians of China to the folk dancers of the Ukraine to the passionate flamenco of Spain, the world is at our doorstep here in central New Jersey! And this year is no exception, as over 12 countries are represented in our upcoming 2009-2010 performance schedule!

In addition to the upcoming Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (11/12/09); the Virksy Ukrainian National Dance Company (11/14/09); and Spain’s Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenco (11/18/09); other 2009-2010 performances from around the world include…
  • Vienna’s famous New Year’s Eve celebration takes the form of a stage show with an orchestra, dancing, and more in Salute to Vienna on December 31, 2009
  • Both Ireland and Scotland are represented with the pipes and drums of the Band of the Irish Guards and the Royal Regiment of Scotland on January 23, 2010
  • A one-of-a-kind spectacle of driving rhythm, athletic choreography, raw energy, and theatrical flair, Canada’s drum group Scrap Arts Music will open our winter festival, Hub City Carnivale on February 5, 2010
  • Russia is well represented with the Moscow State Radio Symphony Orchestra and a special Valentine’s Day matinee on February 14; followed one month later by the fantastic Moscow Festival Ballet in Swan Lake on March 12, 2010
  • In addition to the Irish Guards, Ireland is also represented by The Chieftains, March 14, 2010.
  • Japanese drum group TAO, who made their U.S. debut here in 2007, will return on March 27-28, 2010 with a new show, The Martial Art of Drumming
  • Nalmes Folk Dance Spectacular, a 70-member dance ensemble from the North Caucasus in Russia, will make its U.S. premiere on May 7-8, 2010.
For a complete line-up of events and upcoming additions to the schedule, please visit our website at

–Wes Brustad, State Theatre President and CEO