After more than two years, welcome back, Hamilton Stage!

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RAHWAY, NJ — Hurricane Ida in 2021 flooded Hamilton Stage with 10 inches of rain. Water was up to the stage in the theater. The entire theater had to be replaced.

A soft reopening happened in July 2023, but the real celebration was on Saturday, Feb. 3, and Sunday, Feb. 4, with a full weekend of festivities, all free to the public. Among the highlights was the return of American Theatre Group, which presented “A Personal History of The American Theatre,” featuring veteran theater critic Peter Filichia. Other family-friendly programs included Ryan Ratelle’s preview of “Merrilee Mannerly” and a book-signing by the authors. Theatrical Artists Prep showcased a children’s theater workshop and camp, along with a preview performance.

Other highlights included: a performance from Rahway High School Marching Band; Hive Dance Studio’s Hip-Hop Choreography Workshop and a performance by The Wannabes; a Jazz Jam and Poetry Mashup; and Timeless Songs of Old and New: Works of Copland, Higdon and Lara, presented by the New Jersey Opera Theater.

Deanna Hunt, executive director of Union County Performing Arts Center since October 2022, oversees the facilities, development, programming, main stages and managing of the Hamilton Stage.

Regarding the reopening, Hunt said, “We did some programming last summer. We’ve had a few shows. We really wanted a celebration and opening, to let people know this is our first full year back.”
The Hamilton Stage is a more intimate setting than UCPAC with more theater and dance. Though there’s a café at both locations. Both facilities have a liquor license and serve snacks and beverages, including pre-made mix cocktails.

Both facilities fall under the umbrella of UCPAC, a non-profit 501(3c).

Now that the theater is fully restored, more shows will be announced soon.

Hamilton Stage was named for U.S. founding father Alexander Hamilton. The building was designed by Farewell Mills Gatsch.

Upcoming events include Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music,” presented by American Theater Group from Thursday, March 14, to Sunday, March 24. The musical features one of Sondheim’s most cherished songs, “Send in The Clowns.”

“The Golden Girls Live” will have two showings on Sunday, May 4, with Ginger Minj from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” starring as Blanche, Gidget Galore as Rose, Mr Ms Adrien as Sophia and Divine Grace as Dorothy. There will be VIP Meet and Greet tickets available, which will take place after the show.

Hamilton Stage is located at 360 Hamilton St., Rahway. To learn more, visit:

Photos Courtesy of the Union County Performing Arts Center and the City of Rahway