Thursday, August 25, 2016

Tri-State Actors Theater is now accepting registrations for its Fall 2016 Acting Classes

NEWTON… Tri-State Actors Theater is now accepting registrations for its Fall 2016 Acting Classes for Children and Teens, and Advanced Acting Workshops for Adults. Adult classes meet Mondays, beginning September 19 at High Point Regional HS, Wantage. Teen and Children’s Classes meet at The SpringBoard Shoppes, 145 Spring St., Newton. Teen classes meet Mondays, beginning September 19, and Children’s classes meet Saturdays, beginning September 24.
THE ADVANCED ACTING WORKSHOP is for adults, 18 and over, with or without acting experience. Workshops, taught by actor and teacher, Tara Bowles, will be held from 7 pm to 9 pm on Mondays, beginning September 19 and end on Monday, November 21, at High Point Reg. HS. The class registration fee (10 sessions) is $260.00. Ms. Bowles has worked as an actress, director and a teacher of acting. She studied at the Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting and taught for Miss Adler in NYC and Los Angeles. She also taught at the National Shakespeare Conservatory, and the L’Ecole Cantonale D’Art, a school for film makers in Lausanne, Switzerland.

TEEN CLASSES are for students ages 13-17 and will be taught by Artistic Director/Actor/Teacher Paul Meacham. Students will learn basic skills of acting, work on monologues and 2-character scenes, with individual instruction for every student. Paul Meacham founded TRI-STATE ACTORS THEATER, a non-profit professional theater company, in 1988. He has directed many of its productions. Fall Acting Classes meet on Mondays, from 6 pm until 8 pm, September 19 through Monday, November 21. Classes meet at the Springboard Shoppes, 145 Spring St., Newton. The class registration fee (10 sessions) is $230.00.

CHILDREN'S CLASSES, for ages 6-12, will be under the instruction of Patricia Meacham. A long-time educator and theater professional, Ms. Meacham has worked with children in theater and education for over twenty years and has guided youngsters in many acting and puppetry workshops in Sussex County. She has served as TAT’s Managing Director since 1988. The classes will focus on creative dramatics and games. Fall classes will be held on Saturdays, from 10:00 am until noon, September 24 through Saturday, October 29. The class registration fee (6 sessions) is $200.00.

Acting lessons are a wonderful way to build self-confidence, to create and to be creative both mentally and physically. Advance registration is preferred. Each class requires a minimum number of students. Payment may be made in advance or at the first class meeting. For more information, please contact Tri-State at 973 383-0510 or on the web at

Funding has been made available in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through the State/County Partnership Block Grant Program, as administered by the Sussex County Arts and Heritage Council.

Auditions: Cole Porter Musical Review at Strollers

Acting Classes at The Company start September 19

"The Company Theatre Group's Academy for Performing Arts will be offering once a week, on Monday evenings, the first class in our acting program - one for adults, and one for kids. So, if you're looking for an acting class for yourself or someone you know, this fall is the perfect time to start out.

The classes begin Monday Sept 19th and go through Monday Oct 24th. The youth class will begin at 6:30pm, the adult class will begin at 7:30pm. Each will be one hour long.

Each class will cover the fundamentals of acting and only cost $149.95. That's less than $25 per class. Each class will be simple and interesting enough for a beginner or someone who hasn't done any acting in a while. But, it will also offer enough of a challenge for the seasoned amateur actor to learn a few things, as well.

Classes will be held in the studio/classroom at the Temple Avodat Shalom. 385 Howland Ave, River Edge, NJ

Your can reserve a seat here:

Please register now as seating is limited.

This is great opportunity for a you, a friend, or a young actor to learn the basics from the artistic director of a professional theatre company. ​ All great actors have a solid foundation. This is where you can get that. This class will help everyone develop their talent and acting technique. And, it is also an excellent way to build overall self-confidence and self-esteem in front of a room - something that is useful for everyone, but is especially important for kids.

Hope to see you in class."

Lou Scarpati
Managing Artistic Director
The Company Theatre Group, Inc.

Auditions: 'Mary Poppins' at Centenary Stage

Centenary Stage Company will be holding local, non-equity open auditions for their upcoming holiday production of Disney’s “Mary Poppins” on September 10th & 11th from 6 pm – 10 pm. Actor/Singers will be seen on a first-come first served basis from 6 pm-8 pm. Actor/Dancers should attend the actor/singers call and be prepared to dance at 8 pm.
Auditions will be held in the new David and Carol Lackland Center located on the campus of Centenary University at 715 Grand Avenue, Hackettstown NJ. The production will be directed and choreographed by Broadway veteran Michael Blevins with music direction by Jarred Lee.
“Mary Poppins” opens on November 25th and runs thru December 11th, with performances Wednesdays through Sundays, in the Sitnik Theater of the David and Carol Lackland Center. Weekend rehearsals will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights and Sunday afternoons beginning September 23rd.
All adult roles are available, characters of all types, ages 18 – 60. The audition requires all performers to sing and dance. Please be prepared with proper dance clothes and shoes including tap shoes and a 16-32 bar selection from a song in the style of the show. Interested performers need to bring their picture and resume plus sheet music in the proper key; an accompanist will be provided; a capella singing is not permitted. Sides will be provided at the audition, and all ethnicities are strongly encouraged to attend. This call is for adults only. All positions are paid and compensation determined by role.The role of Mary Poppins, 20 – 30 years old, requires a mezzo-soprano actress with strong top notes, excellent dance ability, and substantial tap dancing skills. The role of the charming everyman, Bert, a Cockney-accented song-and-dance man, ages 30 – 39, requires a strong actor and singer with solid theater dance and excellent tap dancing skills. Additional Principal roles requiring strong acting, singing and movement skills include Mrs. Winifred Banks, Mr. George Banks, Miss Andrew, Admiral Boom/Bank Chairman, Miss Lark, Miss Smythe, Mrs. Brill, Mrs. Cory, and more.
Also seeking a diverse Ensemble ages 18 – 50, that are highly energetic, multi-talented dancer-singer-actors. All Ensemble Players must be quick learners, have strong movement/dance skills and equally proficient singing skill. The creative staff is especially looking for men with Tumbling and tap dancing ability. Roles to be cast from the Ensemble include Bird Woman, John Northbrook, Katie-Nana, Van Hussler, Neleus, Park keeper, Policeman and more. Covers for Principal Roles will also come from this Ensemble.
CSC is also seeking musicians for the Pit Orchestra. Interested musicians can submit materials via hard mail to Centenary Stage Company 400 Jefferson Street Hackettstown, NJ 07840 or electronically
Centenary University students and performers unable to attend the open call will have an opportunity to audition on Monday from 3 pm – 7 pm on the University campus. The Centenary Stage Company is a professional Equity theater in residence at Centenary University. For more information regarding the auditions or Pit Orchestra positions contact the CSC box office at 908-979-0900. The CSC box office is located in the Lackland Center on the campus of Centenary University at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown and is open Monday through Friday from 1 – 5 pm.
The 2016-17 season of performing arts events at the Centenary Stage Company is made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Shubert Foundation, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the Sandra Kupperman Foundation, and CSC corporate sponsors, including Premier Season Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Medical Center, Home Instead Senior Care (Washington), The Holiday Inn in Budd Lake, and Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera Open House September 10

The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera (Verismo Opera), the house opera company of the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), will hold its fall Open House on Saturday, September 10, 2016. The annual event will be held at 44 Armory Street in Englewood, New Jersey at 2:00 p.m.

Artistic Director Lucine Amara, a Met Opera luminary, invites the public to attend the free event and learn more about the grand opera company's fall season. The program features a 30-minute concert of vocalists performing arias and duets from Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto (photo above) and past productions. Opportunities will be discussed to get involved in the nonprofit opera company as supernumeraries acting in non-speaking and non-singing roles, the 28th Annual International Competition, volunteers working behind-the-scenes, and singers performing in the Verismo Opera Chorus. Exhibits will display memorabilia, costumes, and photos from Verismo Opera’s 28 years of producing grand operas, sponsoring the vocal competition, presenting concerts, holding master classes, giving operalogues, and training the stars of tomorrow.

Ms. Amara, Verismo Opera Music Director/Principal Conductor Lucy Arner, Stage Director Evelyn La Quaif, President Dr. James Garvin, MD, and others will discuss Verismo Opera’s mission, vision, and history. They will introduce the grand opera company’s new 2016-2017 productions of Rigoletto andAida. The company will perform Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto on October 23, 2016 and present Aida on April 23, 2017. Both productions will be performed atbergenPAC, located at 30 North Van Brunt Street in Englewood, New Jersey, at 3:00 p.m.

The Open House site is handicapped accessible. A parking lot has a designated handicapped parking space. The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera is committed to ensuring its programs and services are accessible to all. Members of the public requiring a special accommodation or with specific questions about the physical features of a facility where Verismo Opera performs may call (201) 886-0561 at least two weeks prior to the event.


The 2016 season is made possible, in part, with funds provided by the New Jersey Council on the Arts/Department of State, through grant funds administered by the Bergen County Department of Parks, Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs. Other supporters include Children’s Aid Foundation, Robert J. Campbell, MD, Cesare L. Santeramo, KSJ, Paul Weiss Matching Fund, The Gerda Lissner Foundation, Inc., and Vanguard Charitable Endowment Fund.

For further information about the program or Verismo Opera, call (201) 886-0561 or send an e-mail to

About New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera

For 28 years, the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera has been an integral part of the region’s classical music culture. Led by Metropolitan Opera luminary Lucine Amara, Verismo Opera delivers a rich, grand opera experience for performers and viewers.

As the Bergen Performing Arts Center's house opera company, Verismo Opera provides performing opportunities for young musicians and artists through its semi-annual productions at the theatre and concerts held in community settings. Community members are invited to get involved as supernumeraries and volunteers.

An annual international vocal competition is conducted in November with finals generally drawing artists throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Verismo Opera also organizes opera workshops, master classes and concerts and offers affordable, highly professional productions.

For more information, visit Verismo Opera's web site,; follow the company on Facebook,, or Twitter @NJVerismoOpera; or call (201) 886-0561.

Monday, August 22, 2016

August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom next at Two River Theater

RED BANK, NJ— Two River Theater announces the cast and creative team for its production of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. The production will run September 10-October 9, 2016, with the opening night on Friday, September 16 at 8pm. The lead production sponsor for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is Riverview Medical Center and the media partner is WBGO Jazz 88.3.

Two River Theater opens its season with an extended four-week run of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Two River’s fourth production from August Wilson’s American Century Cycle following its acclaimed productions of Jitney, Two Trains Running, and Seven Guitars. Wilson’s incendiary drama, set in the 1920s, takes audiences into the world of legendary singer Ma Rainey (the real-life “Mother of the Blues”) as she lays down tracks with her band in a Chicago recording studio.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom will be directed by actor, playwright, and director Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who won a Tony Award for his performance in the Broadway production of Seven Guitars. His recent directing credits include Skeleton Crew at the Atlantic Theater and his own world-premiere play Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine at Two River.

Chanté Adams (Dussie May) is a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, where her credits include Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra. She appeared in Gertrude Stein SAINTS! with FringeNYC and at the Henry Street Settlement - Abrons Arts Center.

Harvy Blanks (Slow Drag) has appeared in all 10 of the plays in August Wilson’s American Century Cycle, including nine Wilson productions at the Denver Center Theater, where he was a company member for 28 years. He appeared in Two River’s productions ofJitney and Two Trains Running. His regional credits include the world premiere of Danai Gurira’s Familiar at Yale Repertory Theatre.

Brian D. Coats (Toledo) made his Two River debut last season in Seven Guitars. His regional credits include Invisible Man (Huntington Theatre Company/Studio Theater), for which he received a shared Helen Hayes Award. His television credits include Boardwalk Empire and The Sopranos.

Michael Cumpsty (Irvin) received a Tony Award nomination for End of the Rainbow and an Obie Award for his performance as Hamlet at Classic Stage Company. His recent credits include Body of an American for Primary Stages and Hartford Stage. At Two River Theater, he has appeared in Absurd Person Singular, Present Laughter, and Much Ado About Nothing and directed Third.

Brandon J. Dirden (Levee) directed August Wilson’s Seven Guitars last season at Two River Theater, where his credits as an actor include Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, Topdog/Underdog, and Jitney. He received an Obie Award for his performance in The Piano Lesson at Signature Theater; his Broadway credits include All the Way. He plays a recurring role on the FX series The Americans.

Bob Mackasek (Policeman) has been seen in August: Osage County with the Chatham Players, Three Sisters with Gowanus Arts Productions, and God of Carnage with Summit Playhouse, among other productions.

Marcel Spears (Sylvester) most recently co-starred in Trouble in Mind at The Guthrie Theater. His New York credits include the title role of the Classic Stage Company’s Young Company production of Othello; the CSC production of Mother Courage; and Page 73’s production of Judy.

Peter Van Wagner (Sturdyvant) has appeared in productions in New York, around the country, and internationally. His credits include A Thousand Clowns at Roundabout, Merry Wives of Windsor at Chicago Shakespeare, and West Side Story at La Scala-Milan. He was part of the SAG Award-winning Ensemble of Boardwalk Empire and has appeared in films including Annie and Arthur.

Arnetia Walker (Ma Rainey-photo right) began her acting career on Broadway at the age of 16 in Lorraine Hansberry’s The Sign in Sydney Brustein’s Window. She went on to appear in Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Wiz, Raisin, and Dreamgirls, where she holds the distinction of being the only actress to have played all three of the lead female roles. Her most recent stage performance was in Head of Passes at The Public Theater. Her film and television credits include Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills and Nurses.

James A. Williams (Cutler) was seen in Jitney and Two Trains Running at Two River. A mainstay of the Twin Cities theater scene since 1976, he is a founding member of Penumbra Theatre Company, where he began his lifelong relationship with August Wilson. His credits in New York include Radio Golf, The Piano Lesson, and My Children! My Africa!.

The creative team for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom includes scenic designer Charlie Corcoran, costume designer Karen Perry, lighting designer Burke Brown, and sound designer Rob Kaplowitz. The original music is by Bill Sims Jr. & Kenny Rampton, the fight direction is by Thomas Schall, the casting is by Heidi Griffith & Kate Murray, and the stage manager is Laura Wilson. 

Ticket Information

Ticket prices range from $40 to $70, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from or 732.345.1400.

'Best Man' next at the Old Library Theatre

Auditions: Light Opera of New Jersey

In a special double billing, LONJ presents Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Telephone (L’Amour à Trois) and The Old Maid and the Thief directed by Joanna Hoty Russell and Jamie Baer Peterson. Performances are November 4 and 5 2016 at 8 pm at St Mark’s Episcopal Church in Basking Ridge, NJ. The Telephone (L’Amour à Trois) is a charming piece where Ben drops by unexpectedly on his girlfriend Lucy. He can only stay a short while before leaving on a trip, and has planned to propose to Lucy on this visit. Lucy’s phone begins to ring off the hook, and she refuses to ignore it. Will Ben be able to propose in time?

Seeking auditions for:
Lucy, coloratura soprano
Ben, baritone

The Telephone is smartly paired with The Old Maid and The Thief, which Menotti composed with equal humor and wit. The old maid, Miss Todd, lives with her maid Laetitia. They are both very single and are growing tired of visits from their busybody neighbor Miss Pinkerton. When a handsome man comes knocking at the door seeking shelter from the rain, Miss Todd and Laetitia become determined to make him stay with them as long as possible. When Miss Pinkerton arrives in panic with the evening news that a thief has escaped from prison and is hiding in town, Miss Todd and Laetitia must decide between turning in their guest or trying to hide him while they continue to pursue him.

Seeking auditions for:
Miss Todd, the old maid, mezzo-soprano or contralto
Bob, the wanderer, baritone
Laetitia, Miss Todd’s Maid, soprano
Miss Pinkerton, Miss Todd’s neighbor, soprano

Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville directed by Jamie Baer Peterson. Performances are April 7 and 8 2017 at 8 pm at St Mark’s Episcopal Church in Basking Ridge, NJ. The Barber of Seville is Gioachino Rossini’s classic and beloved comic opera. Count Almaviva has fallen hopelessly in love with Rosina, the beautiful ward of Doctor Bartolo. Bartolo intends to marry Rosina, and keeps her locked away from the outside world in his house. Almaviva engages his former employee, the barber Figaro, to help him contact Rosina and steal her away from the frumpy old Bartolo. Comedy prevails throughout as Figaro guides the Count through different disguises so he can gain access to the house, closer to Rosina and a marriage proposal. Barber will be presented in English.

Auditions are BY APPOINTMENT only. Please email with your headshot, resume, and availability to audition for Monday August 29th 7pm-10pm or Tuesday September 6th at 8pm-10pm. No calls please. You must include the TOWN IN WHICH YOU RESIDE on your request. All positions PAID.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ezra Barnes in 'Iago' at NJ Rep

I am appearing in James McClure's "Iago" at the New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch, an hour from NYC, August 25-September 25.

In plays like "Lone Star," "Pvt. Wars" and "Laundry and Bourbon," the late James McClure often dealt with lives forever changed by war. In "Iago," he brings his talent to backstage drama.
Three actors and a director are rehearsing "Othello." As rehearsals evolve and relationships entangle, McClure explores the nature of evil.

While inspired by the relationships of Laurence Oliver, Vivien Leigh, Peter Finch and Noel Coward, "Iago" is uniquely its own world.

And it is very funny.

"Iago" runs August 25-September 25. I appear with Todd Gearhart, Liza Vann and John FitzGibbon. SuzAnne Barabas is the director. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm; Sundays at 2pm.

I hope to see you at "Iago."
Ezra Barnes

Friday, August 19, 2016

Ionesco’s crowning masterpiece, Exit the King at STNJ

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ) continues its 54th season with what is considered to be Eugene Ionesco’s crowning masterpiece, Exit the King. Performances continue through August 28 at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Avenue (at Lancaster Road) in Madison. Tickets and subscriptions can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 973-408-5600or going online at

This compelling tragi-comedy captures King Berenger in the last hours of his life as his centuries-long reign is coming to an end. Played in real time, the production is only 90 minutes long with no intermission and will feature a talk-back after almost every performance by director Bonnie J. Monte and members of the cast.

As the third piece in Ionesco’s “Berenger Cycle,” Exit the King stands out in the playwright’s canon, as his most accessible and universal play. It has been labeled in many ways: an allegory, a dark comedy, a death ritual, a tragic farce, an absurdist lyric poem, a hymn of praise and moving celebration of life. This moving tale speaks differently to each and every audience member, as it did when it was last performed on Broadway in 2009, 42 years after its American debut in 1967.

The Cast:
Brent Harris returns for his fifth season as Berenger the First, the King. Recent company credits include The Guardsman, The Alchemist, and his portrayal of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. He has also appeared in the national tours of The Lion King(Scar) and The Screwtape Letters (Screwtape). Mr. Harris is the recipient of the Drammy Award for Outstanding Leading Actor for his performance in The Beard of Avon.

Marion Adler returns for her fifth season with The Shakespeare Theatre in the role of Queen Marguerite. Company credits include Much Ado About Nothing, The Learned Ladies, Our Town, The Winter’s Tale, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well as the musical Enter the Guardsman for which she wrote the lyrics. She is also the writer of Gunmetal Blues, a musical in which she starred as The Blonde in the Off-Broadway production.

Jon Barker (photo), who will be returning for his ninth season with The Shakespeare Theatre, will play the role of the Guard. He was most recently seen this season on The Theatre’s Outdoor Stage in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (revised). Other company credits include: The Guardsman, The Alchemist, The Tempest,Pericles, Tovarich, Trelawney of the Wells, Henry IV, and many more.

Kristie Dale Sanders plays Juliette, the maid. Now in her tenth season with The Shakespeare Theatre, she was last seen at STNJ in The Merry Wives of Windsor and has also appeared in Pericles, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, The School for Wives, King Lear, Measure for Measure, The Rivals, Illyria and The Threepenny Opera. Her Broadway credits include Cabaret, Evita, Next Fall, The Phantom of the Opera, Urinetown and The Sound of Music.

In his Shakespeare Theatre debut, Greg Watanabe will play The Doctor. He recently made his Broadway debut in Allegiance starring George Takei and Lea Salonga. Regional credits include: the world premiere productions of The Summer Moon (A Contemporary Theater), The Happy Ones (South Coast Repertory Theatre, L.A. Drama Critics Circle nomination, Best Featured Performance), and Extraordinary Chambers (Geffen Playhouse, Ovation nomination, Best Featured Actor).

Returning for her second season, Jesmille Darbouze will play the role of Queen Marie. She was last seen at STNJ in Love’s Labour’s Lost and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a collaboration with The Shakespeare Theatre and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Darbouze’s television and film credits include Mysteries of Laura, A.K.A. Jessica Jones, and No Pay, Nudity opposite Gabrielle Byrne.

The Director:

Bonnie J. Monte (photo) is in her twenty-sixth season with the Theatre, most recently directing last season’s The Merry Wives of Windsor and The Guardsman. Ms. Monte serves as the Artistic Director at the Shakespeare Theatre; under her leadership, the Theatre has evolved into one of the most respected classical theatres in the nation. Ms. Monte has created a number of original translations/adaptations for the company, including Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, The Servant of Two Masters (published by Playscripts, Inc.), and The Alchemist. 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 the Associate Artistic Director at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts, working closely with the late Nikos Psacharopoulous and many of the nation’s most notable theatre artists including Tennessee Williams.

The Artistic Staff:
The show’s visual elements will be brought to life through the work of set designer Brittany Vasta, lighting designer Tony Galaska, costume designer Hugh Hanson, and sound designer Karin Graybash. Serving as production stage manager is Christine Whalen.

Single tickets for Exit the King start as low as $25 for preview performances and $32 for regular performances. Prices range from $25 - $75. This season, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is initiating their 30 UNDER 30 Program, which offers tickets for $30 for patrons aged 30 and under, with valid ID, tickets subject to availability. For tickets, call the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or visit

Special Performances:
For the same price as a regular ticket, the Symposium Series performances offer a post-show
 discussion with the cast and artistic staff. For Exit the King, symposiums will be offered after each and every performance starting on August 14.

The Know the Show pre-show talks are offered again in 2016 free-of-cost. Prior to the show, an artist from The Shakespeare Theatre presents a pre-performance talk providing background information and an inside perspective on the production. This program is free with the purchase of a performance ticket, and for Exit the King will be held Thursday, August 18 at 7:00 p.m., with the show commencing at 8:00 p.m. Ms. Monte will present this talk.

The acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is an independent, professional theatre company located on the Drew University campus. The Outdoor Stage is located on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth and the Theatre’s support and education facility is in Florham Park.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional major support is received from The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, F.M. Kirby Foundation, The Edward T. Cone Foundation, Bank of America, The Samuel H. Scripps Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, and CTW Foundation, as well as contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, government agencies and individuals.
General Information:
Artistic Director: Bonnie J. Monte
Main Stage: The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Avenue (at Lancaster Road), Madison, NJ
Tickets and Info: Call the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or visit

Exit the King Snapshot:
By Eugene Ionesco
Translated by Donald Watson
Directed by Bonnie J. Monte
August 10 – August 28, 2016

Previews: Wednesday, August 10 at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, August 11 at 8:00 p.m.; Friday, August 12 at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, August 13 at 2:00 p.m.
Opening Night: Saturday, August 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Post-Show Symposium Performances: All performances starting on August 14 through the end of the run.
Know The Show: Thursday, August 18 at 7:00 p.m. and curtain at 8:00 p.m.
Closing Performance: Sunday, August 28 at 2:00 p.m.

Tuesdays (7:30 p.m.): August 16 and 23
Wednesdays (7:30 p.m.): August 10, 17 and 24
Thursdays (8:00 p.m.): August 11, 18 and 25
Fridays (8:00 p.m.): August 12, 19 and 26
Saturdays (2:00 p.m.): August 13, 20 and 27
Saturday (7:30 p.m.): Opening Night on August 13
Saturdays (8:00 p.m.): August 20 and 27
Sundays (2:00 p.m.): August 14, 21 and 28
Sundays (7:30 p.m.): August 14 and 21

Thursday, August 18, 2016

BCP to open its 84th Season with Tony Award Winning Musical, Cabaret

Oradell, NJ, July 28, 2016 – Bergen County Players, the New Jersey Association of Community Theater’s “2015 Community Theater of the Year”, has announced its 84th consecutive season, running from September 2016 to June 2017. 

From an entertaining musical to hilarious comedies to intense dramas, BCP has garnered a reputation for outstanding quality productions at affordable prices. As audiences have been anxiously anticipating, the new season kicks off with the Tony Award winning musical, Cabaret. Donors who make a tax-deductible contribution of $85 now have early access for tickets to Cabaret and the rest of the 2016-17 season by ordering online at

The box office, located at the Little Firehouse Theatre, 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell, NJ, will then open on Thursday, August 18th for walk up and phone sales. Special discounts for groups of 20 or more are also available by calling the box office number (extension 6) or by emailing


September 10 – October 8, 2016
Music by John Kander, Lyrics by Fred Ebb, Book by Joe Masteroff
Based on the play I Am a Camera by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood
Directed by Alan Demovsky
Tickets are $24 (all performances)

"Wilkommen" to Berlin in the early 1930s, as one of the most honored shows in Broadway history (eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical of 1967) introduces you to Sally Bowles, party girl and wannabe star
at the seedy Kit Kat Klub. As friends and neighbors are affected by the rising political storm around them, Sally and the decadent Emcee perform Kander and Ebb's memorable score, including the famous title song, which contains the perfect invitation to join us for an evening of entertainment: "What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear
the music play. Life is a Cabaret, old chum, Come to the Cabaret." 1998 Version; contains adult, sexual content and smoking.

The Last Night of Ballyhoo
October 22 – November 12, 2016
Written by Alfred Uhry
Directed by Carol Fisher
Tickets are $21 Friday & Saturday/ $17 Sunday

The biting comedy that was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and won the Tony Award for Best Play of 1997 highlights a Jewish family in 1939 Atlanta whose main goal is to assimilate at any cost. Alfred Uhry, the author of Driving Miss Daisy and Parade, manages to wrap this cautionary tale in an appealing family drama laced with abundant humor and considerable compassion for the imperfections in everyday
life. "The show is tight and entertaining from start to finish. Like all family-oriented shows, the comedy and drama come within the characters and their interaction." EXAMINER.COM

The Emperor’s New Clothes
November 26 – December 18, 2016
Prince Street Players Version
Music by Jeanne Bargy & Jim Eiler, Lyrics and Book by Jim Eiler
Directed by Lynne Lupfer
Tickets are $14 (all performances)

Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s satirical tale, two con-men wreak havoc at Wits Ends Palace when they present their Emperor with a special gift: an exquisitely beautiful "magic" suit of clothes, invisible to all but the wisest of men. The dangers of vanity are hilariously addressed with a host of delightful characters, a dozen songs with catchy music and clever lyrics, inventive staging and colorful costumes. Perfect for children age 10 and under!

The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940
January 14 – February 4, 2017
Written by John Bishop
Directed by Steven Bell
Tickets are $21 Friday & Saturday/ $17 Sunday

Is this a musical...or a comedy...or a murder mystery? How about "a comedy that’s about a musical, wrapped up in a murder mystery”? The story finds the creative team that was responsible for an ill-fated Broadway show in which three chorus girls were murdered by the Stage Door Slasher brought together again at the Westchester estate of a
wealthy “angel” for auditions of a new show. Mayhem ensues, featuring revolving bookcases, hidden passageways and secret identities, giving way to a riotous homage to the thrillers of Hollywood’s heyday (including Nazi spies...after all, it is 1940!).

Time Stands Still
February 18 – March 11, 2017
Written by Donald Margulies
Directed by Ray Yucis
Tickets are $21 Friday & Saturday/ $17 Sunday

Can a couple who make their living reporting on war, one as a correspondent and the other as a photojournalist, carve out a normal life? Can they stay together amidst unspoken betrayals and conflicting ideals? What is their role in covering atrocities but taking no action to stop them? Nominated for both a Tony and Outer Critic Circles Award as Best Play of 2010, this play "is handily Donald Margulies’s finest play since the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Dinner With Friends.” NY TIMES

Night Watch
March 25 – April 22, 2017
Written by Lucille Fletcher
Directed by Jerry Hurley
** No performances on April 14 or 16 for Good Friday/Easter
Tickets are $21 Friday & Saturday/ $17 Sunday

An ingeniously devised thriller builds steadily in menace and suspense until the final, breath-stopping moment of its unexpected, twist ending. Coming from the same author who penned the film noir “Sorry, Wrong Number”, this is "A most superior thriller…which from its first blood-curdling scream to its last charming surprise is a first-class example of its genre." NY TIMES

Chapter Two
May 6 – June 4, 2017
Written by Neil Simon
Directed by Jerry Pettinati
** No performances May 26-28 for Memorial Day Weekend
Tickets are $21 Friday & Saturday/ $17 Sunday

Neil Simon at his autobiographical best! Based on his own courtship of actress Marsha Mason following the death of his first wife, the play is a transitional moment in his development as a writer, in which he focused more seriously on relationship drama. But being Neil Simon, he can't help but make it warm and hilarious along the way. "Neil Simon
is at his best here. There is nothing in the script that is dated by time. All of the conversations...are just as vital, urgent, funny and hurtful now as when they were written. The witty repartee and comedic rhythm of Simon is all there." TALKIN' BROADWAY


Impromptu, written by Tad Mosel
Patio/Porch, written by Jack Heifner
March 4 & 5, 2017
Directed by Paul J. Reitnauer III
Tickets are $11 (all performances)

Enjoy a clever comedy with Impromptu as four actors sitting on a darkened stage improvise a show while waiting for instructions from their stage manager. Then be mesmerized by two character-driven small-town dramas with Patio/Porch; all three short plays can be seen in one entertaining 75 minute production!

Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays
June 10 & 11, 2017
Conceived by Brian Shnipper
Directed by Mark Rinis
Tickets are $11 (all performances)

This 90 minute collection of hilarious and poignant short plays and monologues by renowned playwrights such as Neil LaBute, Paul Rudnick, Mo Gaffney and Doug Wright is a “…genial, often funny celebration of the recent advances in winning marital rights for gay and lesbian couples, and how the changing laws are changing lives.” NY TIMES.
* Contains mature language and content.

• All performances take place at The Little Firehouse Theatre at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell, home to the Bergen County Players since 1949. All tickets for the musical Cabaret are $24 (all performances). Tickets for the family holiday show, The Emperor’s New Clothes, are
$14 (all performances). All other tickets are $21 on Friday and Saturdays and $17 on Sundays and Second Stage tickets are $11.
• A new program is now available for qualified non-profit
organizations to use one performance of each production as a fundraising event. The group will book all 200 seats at a deeply discounted price and then resell the tickets at a price of their choosing, with the difference in price kept by the group. The available date is the Thursday of each show’s final weekend. Interested groups can email for more information.
• As it has for the past few seasons, the Players will continue to offer a Q & A ("Questions & Artists") discussion following select performances. These popular "talk-backs" will take place on the first Friday evening of each Mainstage show. Admission is included in the cost of the ticket.
• Those interested in schedules, discount offers and purchasing tickets for the 2016-17 season can log onto BCP's website at, visit the box office at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell or call (201) 261-4200. Visa, Master Card, and American Express accepted.
• Those interested in Group Sales or benefit theater parties can call (201) 261-4200 (mailbox #6)
• Student Rush tickets are available for $5 for students age 25 and under with valid ID, 30 minutes prior to curtain. One ticket per ID. Cash only. Students can also guarantee their seats in advance through the box office for the special student price of just $14.00. Student
Rush tickets are not available for Cabaret or The Emperor’s New Clothes.
• Parking is free for our patrons at the Park Avenue municipal lot, across the street, one-half block north of the theater, as well as street parking on Kinderkamack Road and various side streets, all within easy walking distance.

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Crossroads Theatre Company will pay homage to the power, glory and struggles of women both famous and not in its upcoming 2016-17 season announced by Producing Artistic Director Marshall Jones III.

“As we fine-tuned our selection of plays for this season, the thematic power of ‘a woman’s gift’ was omnipresent in all four productions,” said Jones. “From the ultimate gift of the Virgin Mary to Harriet Tubman’s gift of freedom; from Sarah Vaughan’s vocal gifts to the resilience of contemporary black women, this season stands as a testimony to womanhood.”

The season opens Oct. 6-23 (opening night is Oct. 8) with a new production of the 2006 two-woman, off-Broadway show, Single Black Female, by Lisa Thompson. Rapid-fire comic vignettes explore the lives of 30-something middle-class African American women in urban America as they search for love, clothes and dignity. The New York Times called it “a socially significant and very entertaining two-woman show that manages to be simultaneously self-deprecating and proud.” Shirley Jo Finney returns to Crossroads to direct.

Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity will return to Crossroads for the holiday season, Dec. 9-18 (opening night is Dec. 10). Originally produced off-Broadway in 1961 and at Crossroads in 1985, Black Nativity retells the story of Mary and the birth of Jesus with a black cast, featuring both traditional Christmas carols and original music sung in gospel style. The staging infuses ritual, African dance and storytelling to recreate the classic Nativity.

Crossroads will mark Black History Month Feb. 9-19 (opening night is Feb. 11) with Harriet Tubman: I See Freedom, by Keisha Spence. The work tells the story of the famed abolitionist from a modern perspective set n the Harriet Tubman Retirement Home. Jones will direct this world premiere.

The final stage production will be the world premiere of Stephanie Berry’s Sarah Sings a Love Song, March 9-26 (opening night is March 11) which tells the story of the famed Sarah Vaughan’s career through a middle-aged couple who are her adoring fans.

Two separate presentations of Crossroads’ annual Genesis Festival of new plays will feature works-in-progress by established and emerging playwrights. Social Justice will be theme of the first presentation on Friday, Nov. 4. The second Genesis Festival will conclude the season in May with dates to be announced.

Jones said the season’s mainstage selections reflect the words of four legendary, late black female artists:

"The greatest gift is not being afraid to question."— Ruby Dee

"A woman's gifts will make room for her."— Hattie McDaniel

"We are all gifted. That is our inheritance."— Ethel Waters

Founded in 1978 by Ricardo Khan and L. Kenneth Richardson, Crossroads Theatre Company embraces the vision that African-American theater is intended for a broad-based, diverse audience. As a major force in the development of new ideas and the introduction of formerly marginalized writers, Crossroads produces works that enrich and diversify the representation of African American culture on the American stage. Crossroads was the winner of the 1999 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater in the United States.

Tickets for Crossroads Theatre Company can be purchased online at or by calling 732-545-8100. The theater is located at 7 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick.

What's Playing?

LONG BRANCH “Iago,” comedy-drama by James McLure. Aug. 25 through Sept. 25. $45. New Jersey Repertory Company, Lumia Theater, 179 Broadway.; 732-229-3166.
Photo Credit: SuzAnne Barabas
Ezra Barnes, Liza Vann, Todd Gearhart
MADISON “Exit the King,” absurdist tragedy by Ionesco. Through Aug. 28. $25 to $50. F. M. Kirby Shakespeare Theater, Drew University, 36 Madison Avenue. 973-408-5600;
RAHWAY “Grease,” Theater Project Jr. Aug. 19, 20 and 21. $18. Hamilton Stage, 360 Hamilton Street. 732-499-8226;
UNION “Las Cruces,” drama by Vincent Delaney. Sept. 1 through 18. $15 to $30. Premiere Stages at Kean University, Zella Fry Theater, 1000 Morris Avenue. 908-737-7469;

Mindy Richardson and Laura Ekstrand Join Board of New Jersey Theatre Alliance

New Jersey Theatre Alliance (“The Alliance”) announced that Mindy Richardson, General Manager of McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, and Laura Ekstrand, Producing Artistic Director of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre of Summit, have joined the Board of Trustees. The Alliance is a service organization for the 33 non-profit, professional theatres in New Jersey, supporting them and the theatre-going public with a wide array of services and programs.
“We are very pleased that Mindy and Laura have agreed to join the board,” said John McEwen, Executive Director of the Alliance. “As leaders of two of our member theatres, they have in-depth knowledge of our programs and services, and we look forward to their guidance and insight.”
A resident of Hamilton, NJ, Richardson’s responsibilities at McCarter include human resources administration for over 100 full and part-time employees, artist contract negotiation, and oversight of facility operations. She previously served as McCarter’s Assistant Director of Production for nine years, and prior to that she was part of the McCarter stage management team. As a freelance stage manager, she worked at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey (now Writers Theatre of New Jersey), Bristol Riverside Theatre, and Opera Festival of New Jersey, among others. Richardson also enjoyed an ongoing relationship with Passage Theatre Company where she worked in several capacities.
“My home and my career have always been here in New Jersey, and I am very proud of the work that is produced in our theatres,” said Richardson. “The Alliance plays a vital role in supporting our institutions and theater practitioners. I am honored to join the board and look forward to collaborating with colleagues from across the state.”
A resident of Livingston, NJ, Ekstrand was co-founder of Dreamcatcher with Janet Sales in 1994. She has appeared onstage at Dreamcatcher in Sister Play, Rapture, Blister, Burn, Motherhood Out Loud, Shakespeare in Vegas, The Neighborhood, Shooting Star and many others, and is a member of the improv comedy group Multiple Personality Disorder. She has also appeared at several other New Jersey and New York theatres, and in films and television. Some of the plays she has directed at Dreamcatcher include The Electric Baby, The Most Deserving, 100 Years, Rx, The Language Archive, Blood: A Comedy, Next Fall, Distracted, The Pursuit Of Happiness, and Melancholy Play. She has written plays and musicals, including The Neighborhood (book and lyrics), Brink of Life (book), Whatever Will Be and many short plays. Ekstrand is a private monologue coach and holds a BA from Yale University and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She is a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA and the Dramatists Guild.
“I am thrilled to join the board of the Alliance, the service organization that binds all of the state’s professional theatres together,” said Ekstrand. “I’m looking forward to contributing to the excellent work already happening, and to bringing new ideas to the table.”
Richardson and Ekstrand are joining the board when several milestones will be celebrated. The Alliance’s 35th Anniversary Ovation Gala will be held at the Pleasantdale Chateau in West Orange on October 27, 2016. The 20th Anniversary Stages Festival will offer people of all ages over 100 free and low-cost theatre events state-wide throughout March 2017. And, the 25th anniversary of the Cultural Arts Network Project, a program which helps people with disabilities engage in the arts, will be celebrated at a special ceremony in June 2017.