(MADISON, NJ) -- An unknown source launched a ransomware attack on The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s (STNJ) database and ticketing system. The attack was widespread, hitting several companies of various types and sizes in the immediate area and beyond, including the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, also in Madison. STNJ has confirmed that no patron data has been compromised in any way, and the run of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol will continue as planned, through December 29th.
The Shakespeare Theatre has reached out to all of its patrons to reassure them of the safety of their personal and credit card information. No patron information has been compromised. STNJ’s offsite IT company confirms that while patron data remains encrypted and invulnerable to the perpetrator, the data is still inaccessible to STNJ staff, including the Ticket Office. This will make ticketing A Christmas Carol a very challenging endeavor for the company, and so in order to continue their current run of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, STNJ is asking patrons who currently hold tickets to email the Box Office at SaveOurSeats@ShakespeareNJ.org with their name, performance date and time and seat locations. This will allow STNJ to gather information on which seats are still available for sale. STNJ is dedicated to completing a successful run as planned, and will, at the very least, be able to offer seating for day-of ticket buyers once those with reserved seating have been identified and/or seated.
Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte said, “This ransomware attack has threatened our very existence. As one of America’s most renowned Shakespeare theatres, and one of New Jersey’s most important cultural institutions, we are determined that the show will go on! We are asking our patrons to help us reconstruct our records of who has already purchased tickets for the show. Only by knowing that can we see what’s still available for sale, allowing people to attend and enjoy this beautiful play!”
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, adapted by Neil Bartlett, runs at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre December 5-29. Directed by Brian B. Crowe. A whole generation of children have arrived since STNJ last did Neil Bartlett's whimsical and moving adaptation of this holiday classic. This tale speaks to every generation and to people of all beliefs, and joyously celebrates the priceless value of good will and generosity of spirit toward our fellow "voyagers." This version uses a small ensemble of actors to bring an abundance of animate and inanimate characters to life, as the despicable Ebenezer Scrooge encounters the haunting spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.
The acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is an independent, professional theatre company located on the Drew University campus in Madison, NJ. One of the leading Shakespeare theatres in the nation, serving approximately 100,000 children and adults annually, it is New Jersey’s largest professional theatre company dedicated solely to Shakespeare’s canon and other world classics. Through its distinguished productions and education programs, the company strives to illuminate the universal and lasting relevance of the classics for contemporary audiences.
Please contact the Box Office at (973) 408-5600 or BoxOffice@ShakespeareNJ.org with any questions or for more information. Ms. Monte’s letter to STNJ patrons regarding the ransomware attack is available here.