Arts & Entertainment

Paper Mill Playhouse Celebrates 75th Birthday

79be89a2a03ba3946065_IMG_2966.JPG
060b16b0359f4a831bc3_IMG_2959.JPG
Todd Schmidt and Mark Hoebee of Paper Mill Playhouse
bbaece78183a7815276d_IMG_2952.JPG
912ce69b10050562e329_IMG_2950.JPG
b7fa3f6a2590d93edb7b_IMG_2953.JPG
84c2509424b781fee1ef_IMG_2954.JPG
7ad977e9016831b689a4_IMG_2956.JPG
cd2d67ba7a5ac79d2b23_IMG_2957.JPG
85464642f81ef7e5f3e7_IMG_2960.JPG
c3ec4ca008c77f5ae00f_IMG_2962.JPG
4c65b57440d31389d661_IMG_2963.JPG
53764623ee85f7349622_IMG_2948.JPG
4ea1c89a0065dbed26e7_IMG_2947.JPG
79be89a2a03ba3946065_IMG_2966.JPG

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse threw a party on Thursday evening to celebrate its 75th birthday.  Members of the management team, stage crew and contributors came to toast the milestone with champagne and birthday cake.

Managing Director Todd Schmidt offered a bit of the theater’s history during his remarks to the revelers. Antoinette Scudder and Frank Carrington had started a theater company in Newark in the 1930s and then found a permanent home for it in Millburn in what was then the Diamond Paper Mill. They invested to convert it into a Broadway-grade theater, and on Nov. 14, 1938, the Paper Mill Playhouse opened with its first show, “Kingdom of God.”

“What they did in the 1930s was part of a burgeoning movement in theater, moving out of the major metropolitan area of New York City and Chicago, and opening theaters out in the regions, and really the very beginning of what has led to a huge theater movement in this country,” Schmidt said.

Sign Up for E-News

Paper Mill now has a budget of $15 million per year, which ranks it in the Top 20 theaters in the country.  It is the only one in the Top 20 that is not located in a major metropolitan city.

“It’s amazing. How many people get to celebrate a 75th anniversary?” said Mark Hoebee, producing artistic director. “We’re sort of riding a wave right now of great success in a lot of different areas. Artistically, we have been on a high, especially since ‘Newsies’ and now with ‘Honeymoon in Vegas.’ Our subscriber base is now up over 20,000 and shows are starting to sell out, which tells us we are providing a product people want to see.”

Two members of the Paper Mill Broadway Show Choir, Alexander Carr and Isabel Stein, performed at the party.  The choir is a relatively new venture for the theater and now boasts 45 members.

Next up for the theater is a new production of “Oliver,” which opens Nov. 21.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

SOMA