Saturday, May 23, 2015

Growing Stage hosting Creative Skylands: Call to Collaboration


The Skylands region, also known as the New Jersey Highlands, is a unique section of our state; it is both geographically spread out and yet, remains connected by the opportunities that the region provides – gifts that cannot be found anywhere else in our State: The Skylands region encompasses multiple State and National Parks, lakes, working farms, and wineries.  Historic attractions and resorts pepper the rich landscape, which also provides clean drinking water to over 5.4 million people – more than half of the State’s population!


The upcoming Creative Skylands: Call to Collaboration on June 1st from 8am-4pm and June 2nd from 8am-1pm, 2015, hosted by The Growing Stage in Netcong, is part of Creative New Jersey’s statewide series of community-based convenings which facilitate cross-sector partnerships in commerce, education, culture, philanthropy and government in order to address critical issues facing communities and to foster creativity, innovation, and sustainability.  You can register for Creative Skylands here.

The Creative Skylands Host Team includes:

Mark Avondoglio, Perona Farms
Steve Fredericks (Co-Chair), The Growing Stage
Suzanne Ishee (Co-Chair), The Center for Creative Placemaking at Bloomfield College
Jared Janish, Mount Olive High School
Andrea Kirchuk, Mount Olive Chamber of Commerce
Courtenay Mercer, Regional Plan Association
Brian Mok, Mount Olive High School
Kristin Muller, Peters Valley School of Craft
Nancy Paffendorf, Centenary College
Jason Sarnoski, Warren County Freeholder
Jim Sheldon, Hackettstown Business Improvement District
Greg Stewart, Mount Olive Chamber of Commerce
Laura Szwak, NJ Conservation Foundation

If you’re interested in joining to help “create the space” for new connections, new ideas, and new opportunities to unfold, contact Program Manager Kacy O’Brien at  “Together, we will work to create the conditions to unleash the creative power of our community for the vitality and sustainability of our region.” 

Creative New Jersey

14 Maple Ave, Morristown, New Jersey 07960

Playwrights Theatre offers free play readings


WHEN: All readings begin promptly at 7 PM
the Barn Theatre on the campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University, Route 24, Madison
ADMISSION: free; however, reservations are required and can be made online at

John Pietrowski “This is on opportunity for us to celebrate all of the play development works we do,” said John Pietrowski, Artistic Director of Playwrights Theatre. “Offerings will include plays from our New Jersey Emerging Women Playwrights Program, the New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest, our Adult Playwriting Workshop, and FORUM Reading Series.”

Schedule of Events:

Friday, May 29, at 7 PMTHE NEWSCASTER’S MOTHER by Maryanne Melloan Woods

Monday, June 1, at 7 PM – New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival – Elementary and Junior High School Plays

Tuesday, June 2, at 7 PM New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival – High School Plays

Thursday, June 4, at 7 PM Adult Playwriting Workshop will have various readings from Claire Porter, Dania Ramos, Ed Shakespeare, Larry Schwartz and Gregory Cole

Friday, June 5, at 7 PM – Reading of HAPPY YET?? by Joe Sutton, part of the FORUM Reading Series which had to be rescheduled due to snow.

Wednesday, June 10, at 7 PM - MIDWIVES by Suzanne Trauth 

Playwrights Theatre’s New Jersey Emerging Women Playwrights Project (NJEWP) is part of Playwrights Theatre’s larger ongoing effort to provide meaningful support to playwrights through an authentic development process that focuses on the specific and individual needs of the writer. New Jersey has an abundance of talented and committed women playwrights, but there are very few opportunities for these artists to form relationships with organizations that will make a long-term commitment to developing both their work and their presence in the community. The NJEWP puts into place a process that identifies writers, provides a long-term writer-driven development process, and provides connections for the writer to other writers, informed audiences, and the larger theatrical community, both in New Jersey and nationwide. Two of this season’s participants (Maryanne Melloan Woods and Suzanne Trauth) will have readings of their plays during the Barn Theatre series. The third NJEWP, Chisa Hutchinson, had a reading of her play THE WEDDING GIFT during the FORUM Reading Series in January 2015.

On Friday, May 29, 2015 there will be a reading of THE NEWSCASTER’S MOTHER by Maryanne Melloan Woods. In this new comedy, Joyce, the owner of a garden center who also runs a popular gardening blog, finds her already chaotic life upended even more when her son, a popular major-market news anchor, gets himself into a highly-visible scandal, and retreats to her home. Long-festering family secrets and resentments surface, and Joyce is forced to confront her role in the mess that is unfolding under the glare of news trucks in the front yard.

The winning plays of the 32nd Annual New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest will be showcased in a festival. The Elementary and Junior High School plays will be presented on Monday, June 1, 2015, at 7pm and the High School plays on Tuesday, June 2, 2015, at 7pm. The readings will feature professional actors and directors.

In the High School Division (grades 10-12), the winners are:

  • Pretty Girl by Laura Diorio, Middletown High School South, Middletown
  • Listen by Jack Kimber, Chatham High School, Chatham
  • Worn Thin by Gabrielle Poisson, Newark Academy, Livingston
  • Thanksgiving Surprise by Betsy Zaubler, Newark Academy, Livingston

In the Junior High School Division (grades 7-9), the winners are:

  • The Angel Side by Evelyn Doskoch, Columbia Middle School, Berkeley Heights
  • Love Bites by Cathryn Mesce, Union County Academy for Performing Arts, Scotch Plains
  • Doppelganger by Paige Warnock, Union County Academy for Performing Arts, Scotch Plains

In the Elementary School Division (grades 4-6), the winners are:

  • Sibling Rivalry by Artha Abeysinghe, Torey J Sabatini School, Madison
  • Storm in a Cup by Frances Wan, St. Vincent Martyr School
  • Stitches – Dun, Dun, Dun by Josephine Walker, Torey J Sabatini School, Madison

Playwrights Theatre is reaching out to former winners to find out where their lives have taken them. Many have gone on to pursue careers as published prose and poetry writers as well as playwrights and journalists. Others have become have become lawyers, professors, and comic book illustrators.

On June 4, 2015, a selection of work from participants in Playwrights Theatre's Adult Playwriting Community, a year-round Monday-night Workshop for writers at all levels of experience. This evening's plays will include works by winners of the NJ State Council on the Arts Playwriting Fellowship, past participants in Playwrights Theatre's New Jersey Emerging Playwrights Program, and a Guggenheim Award-winning writer/choreographer.

June 5, 2015 Pulitzer Prized nominated playwright, Joe Sutton, will have a reading of his play HAPPY YET?? Benny, a twenty-something slacker Jersey-Boy suddenly finds himself agreeing to be the mayor of New Corners, New Hampshire. Not knowing exactly what to do, he decides he is going to focus his administration on “The Pursuit of Happiness.” His journey brings him across some colorful and unusual characters, both real and imagined, as he bumbles his way towards his goal.

On Wednesday, June 10, 2015, Suzanne Trauth’s MIDWIVES will receive a staged reading. In the summer of 1913, at Viareggio, Italy, Eleonora Duse, foremost actress of her day, invited Isadora Duncan, foremost dancer of her time, to recuperate following the deaths of Isadora’s two children. In the days following, these towering artists of the early twentieth century engaged in a passionate contemplation of love, motherhood, and art. It would prove to be a transcendent time for both of them.

For more information about Playwrights Theatre, visit or call (973) 514-1787.

Playwrights Theatre’s New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest receives generous funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; Investors Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, and the Provident Bank Foundation. The New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival and New Jersey Young Playwrights Program are registered to the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission.

Auditions: Chatham Players to Hold Auditions for Tony Award Winning ‘August: Osage County’

The Chatham Players will hold auditions for Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize & Tony Award winning play, August: Osage County on Thursday, June 11th and Monday, June 15th at 7:30pm. All auditions will occur at The Chatham Playhouse 23 North Passaic Ave. Production dates are October 7 thru 22, 2015 with rehearsals to begin mid-August. Jeffrey Fiorello directs.

Winner of both the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award for Best Play. This play is about a vanished father. A pill-popping mother. Three sisters harboring shady little secrets. When the large Weston family unexpectedly reunites after Dad disappears, their Oklahoman family homestead explodes in a maelstrom of repressed truths and unsettling secrets. Mix in Violet, the drugged-up, scathingly acidic matriarch, and you've got a major new play that unflinchingly—and uproariously—exposes the dark side of the Midwestern American family. "This is a play that will leave us laughing and wondering, shuddering and smiling, long after the house lights come back on." —NY Newsday. "This original and corrosive black comedy deserves a seat at the dinner table with the great American family plays." —Time Magazine.

Director Jeffrey Fiorello seeks six men / seven women (one able to play teenager) to fill out his cast. Auditions will consist of cold readings from sides provided in small groups. Sides and Auditions Form are available prior to the auditions. To access sides and form, please visit our website at .

Character Breakdown - (Ages given are only approximate)
Beverly Weston: (69) Patriarch of the family. Polite, soulful, melancholic … and ultimately suicidal.
Violet Weston: (65) Devious matriarch of the family. Addicted to pills. Sharp tongued with a shrewd awareness of the many family secrets which she does not hesitate to reveal.
Barbara Fordham: (46) Eldest Weston daughter. Trying to control everything and everyone. Cynical.
Bill Fordham: (49) Barbara’s estranged husband. College professor (having an affair with one of his students).
Jean Fordham: (14) Barbara and Bill’s “pot-smoking” daughter, vegetarian. Bitter about her parents’ split.
Ivy Weston: (44) Middle daughter, known as “mom’s favorite”, though Violet constantly tells her that she is plan and needs a man. Teaches at the local college. Has a dark secret or two.
Karen Weston: (40) Youngest daughter. “Fled” to Florida. Claims to have never been happy in her life, but is not happily engaged to Steve, whom she considers the “perfect man”.
Mattie Fae Aiken: (57) As jaded as her sister Violet. She is naïve but also controlling and belittles her husband Charlie and especially their son Little Charles.
Charlie Aiken: (60) Mattie Fae’s husband of 40 years. A genial man who was a lifelong friend of Beverly’s. Hen-pecked and timid … till he finally puts his foot down.
Little Charles Aiken: (37) Mattie Fae and Charlie’s son. His mother calls him a “screw up”. Has a dark secret.
Johnna Monevata: (26) Cheyenne Indian woman, hired by Beverly as a live-in housekeeper shortly before his disappearance. Not many lines, but is the most compassionate and morally grounded of all – swoops in like a warrior-angel saving characters from despair and destruction.
Steve Heidebrecht: (50) Karen Weston’s fiancé, business man in Florida. Loathsome, lecherous character.
Sheriff Deon Gibeau: (47) High-school classmate / boyfriend of Barbara. Investigates Beverly’s disappearance.

The Chatham Players have an open call casting policy. ALL roles are open, none are precast, and everyone is encouraged to audition. Any questions, please call Leslie Gayle Williams at (973) 769-3886 or email For directions or additional information, please visit

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sharr White's ‘The Other Place’ at Dover Little Theatre

other place

The Dover Little Theatre to present Sharr White's The Other Place.

Juliana Smithton is a successful neurologist whose life seems to be coming unhinged. Her husband has filed for divorce, her daughter has eloped with a much older man and her own health is in jeopardy. But in this brilliantly crafted work, nothing is as it seems. Piece by piece, a mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, past collides with present and the elusive truth about Juliana boils to the surface.

Directed by Alison Devereaux of Hackettstown, the play features:
Victoria Steele as Juliana Smithton
Victor Gallo as Ian Smithton
Jen O'Malley Dorr as The Woman
Larry Pelham as The Man

The show runs June 12, 2015 - June 27, 2015. Friday and Saturday shows at 8 p.m. and matinees at 2 p.m. There will be a talk back following the two Sunday matinees.

dover lt Tickets are $17 and can be purchased at Smart Tix. Subscribers may reserve seats by calling the theatre at 973-328-9202.

Dover Little Theatre, 69 Elliott Street in Dover, NJ

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Review: The Spitfire Grill is wonderful at the Barn in Montville

spitfire spy

Are you familiar with the African-American spiritual  "There is a balm in Gilead."  The first refrain is "There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole, There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul." These opening lines may give you more than a clue to the plot of the wonderful musical of redemption and forgiveness that is closing out the 2014-15 season at the Barn Theatre in Montville.

The play is "The Spitfire Grill", a musical written by James Valcq (music and book) and Fred Alley (lyrics and book), based on the film by Lee David Zlotoff and is directed by Claudia Metz with musical direction by Clifford Parrish. Both Metz and Parrish are two very talented Barn Theatre veterans. Note that if you are familiar with the film the ending has been changed.

This musical adaptation tells the story of Percy Talbott (Danielle Meola Valencia), a young woman just released from prison who is looking to make a fresh start. Inspired by a photograph of a deeply wooded landscape in a travel brochure, she chooses the rural (and almost deserted) town of Gilead, Wisconsin. The local sheriff, Joe Sutter (Brandon Frumolt) finds a place for her to work at The Spitfire Grill where the town “welcomes” her with suspicion and distrust led by the town's postmistress and leading busybody, Effy Krayneck (Maryann Galife Post).

The Grill is owned by Hannah Ferguson (Darlene Rich), a feisty independent older woman clearly tired of the grind of operating a small restaurant. Percy quickly finds that the town itself is in despair since the main employer, a stone quarry, has closed. Hannah's only family is a married nephew Caleb Thorpe (Jason F. Cilento) who is married to Shelby (Sky Spiegel Monroe). After Hannah injures a leg, Shelby joins Percy in running the Spitfire Grill and remains after Hannah's recovery much against Caleb's wishes. The three women soon form a friendship learning in the process to not only trust one another with their pasts, but led by Percy find a unique path to "salvation."

Ok, that's a bit of the engrossing, uplifting the lovely score. The title might suggest that the play is a rock way. This is a marvelous, touching complex score presented by the Perry Award winning music director, Clifford Parrish. Parrish's fine group of musicians are Carol Hammersma, Tom Rodgers, Jennifer Gravenstine and Vincent Novelino.

Now, here is the most impressive part of this rewarding theater event....the cast. Each member is not only a first rate actor, but is blessed with a superior voice. Danielle Meola Valencia is spot-on as the deeply wounded Percy who learns to trust. She opens the play with the haunting "A Ring Around the Moon" and continues to please with ten other lively, infectious tunes. The fine voiced Sky Spiegel Monroe as Shelby is properly sensitive to her evolving relationship with Hannah and Percy. Darlene Rich's Hannah Ferguson is a pure pleasure to watch. The three female leads are perfectly matched. Both Brandon Frumolt as Sheriff Joe Stutter and Jason Cilento as Caleb possess fine powerful voices ready for any stage. Frumolt particulaly impresses with a duet with Danielle Meola Valencia as Percy "The Wide Woods" and his solo "Forest for the Trees." Cilento's best moment is his first act solo "Digging Stone." Maryann Galife Post is perfect as the comedy relief Effy.  Rounding out the cast is the mysterious "man in the woods" Matt Cotton.

This is a terrific, heart-warming play beautifully presented by the Barn's exceptionally talented team of volunteers. So easy to forget that you are watching a community theater group and not an Equity production. Special round of applause to director Claudia Metz, music director Clifford Parrish, Carla Kendall producer, Jonathan Wentz for his fine set, Todd Mills lighting, Janet Lazar and Christine Morgan costumes, Jeff Knapp sound, Camille DiLorenzo props, and Janine Wentz, with Sarah Wertheimer-Lopez, stage manager.

Reviewed by Rick Busciglio  May 17, 2015

Remaining performances are on May 23, 29, 30 June 5, 6 at 8pm; and on May 24, 31 at 2pm. Tickets are $24 (senior/student tickets are $22 on matinees only).

The Barn Theatre is located on Skyline Drive in Montville, NJ, just minutes off Exit 47 from Route 287. For reservations, information or directions, call The Barn Theatre Box Office at (973) 334-9320, or visit The Barn Theatre on the web at

Top photo: (From Left to Right) Sky Spiegel Monroe (of Morristown NJ), Darlene Rich (of Middlesex NJ) and Danielle Meola Valencia (of Nutley NJ)  [Photo by Tom Schopper]

Acting program for young artists at Centenary Stage Company

Chorus Line 1 copy

Centenary Stage Company continues their tradition of nurturing young artists by offering the TYRO I and II Acting Program this summer June 29 – July 10.  As part of the CSC’s mission to introduce and develop arts in education with the community, TYRO I and II is a two – week theatre arts program that meets daily and is designed specifically for young thespians ages 6 – 11 years of age. 

Using structured theatre activities which focus on expression, confidence building and fun, young thespians will learn acting games and demonstrate improvisations inspired by popular fairy and folk tales.  TYRO I is specifically designed for students 6 – 8 years of age and meets daily from 9:30am to 12:00pm through the two week session.  TYRO II developed to engage students 9 – 11 years of age meets daily from 1:00pm to 3:30pm during the two week session.  Tuition for the two week program is $200.00 per student and the deadline for registration is June 15, 2015.

in the car maria b The TYRO Program is led by Maria Brodeur (photo right), the CSC Education Director.  Brodeur is a professional actress and arts educator with experience in children’s theatre who holds a BA in Theatre and Education from Rutgers University.  One TYRO parent recently exclaimed, “I saw so much growth in Christine this summer as a result of the wonderful handling given by all of you.”

TYRO, along with the Young Performers Workshop summer programs, represents the educational arm of the Centenary Stage Company, a professional Equity theatre in residence at Centenary College under the leadership of Artistic Director, Carl Wallnau.  For more information regarding the TYRO Acting Program and all other available CSC programming contact (908)979-0900 or visit

The 2014-15 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 and CSC sponsors, including Premier Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, The Holiday Inn in Budd Lake, and Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.

Study acting with director Frank Licato


"Frank works within that rare environment where creativity is a balance of seriousness and playful freedom, rooted in a trustworthy sense of truth and expanded and challenged by boundless imagination." -

Michael Ornstein, Chuck Marstein on Sons of Anarchy

"Frank Licato is a wonderful director, actor and teacher in that his stage and TV career has been a stellar combination of acting and directing.  He gives his colleagues first hand knowledge because he has been there and done that.  His work is gritty, truthful and on the money." - Richard Vetere, Pulitzer nominated playwright/screenwriter





11:00 AM TO 1:00 PM @Shetler Studios
244 W 54th St #12


10:00 AM TO 12:00 PM @Shetler Studios
244 W 54th St #12

“I will be conducting two 4 week spring sessions which will include monologues and scene study.

The Wednesday classes will start on June 8 and end on June 24.
The Saturday classes will start on June 6 and end June 27.

The Wednesday classes will be from 11am to 1pm and the Saturday classes will be from 10am to 12pm.  The classes will give everyone a chance to work each week.
The fee for each class is $250.

The classes will be at Shetler Studios, 244 West 54th Street, 12th floor between Broadway & 8th Avenue .

There will be a $50 non-refundable fee to reserve your spot which can be paid thru Pay Pal using my email address:
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at or go to my website:
I am also available for private sessions, Skype sessions and audition coaching.

"Frank Licato is about the WHOLE truth. When working with Frank, I seem to waste no time finding the courage to explore my craft with abandon. To have presence enough to trust my own organic impulses rather than trying to play an idea in my head." - James Georgiades - Actor - Gotham/The Americans

If you have any further questions call or email me:  or call 646-522-5689

Frank is Artistic Director of





(for more information click on the poster below)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

BASH Plays at Hudson Theatre Works




Directed by Frank Licato

MAY 13 - 30, 2015





10% Discount if you order before May 15!










Auditions: Chatham Community Players for its 21st annual Jersey Voices One-Act Festival

Jersey Voices

The Chatham Community Players will hold open auditions for its 21st annual Jersey Voices One-Act Festival. Auditions will be held on Sunday, May 31 and Wednesday, June 3. All auditions will be held at 7:00 PM at the Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Ave., Chatham (photo below).

Performances will take place on July 31 and August 1, 7, 8 and 9. Jersey Voices has provided a venue for New Jersey playwrights to showcase their work since 1995.

They are looking for men and women, ages 20 to 70, to fill roles for six one-act plays and one dance piece. Actors may read from sides available at the auditions or they may present a monologue. For those who are interested in becoming familiar with the one-acts, full scripts will be available for reading at the Library of The Chathams - across the street from the Playhouse. Dancers should be prepared to learn a modern dance routine at the audition, please wear appropriate attire.images

Presented One-Act Pieces are:

Wendy by John AC Kennedy - Remember…from childhood… as real as yesterday
* One man, 20's, youthful, funny, full of life
* One woman, older than the man, straightforward but can dream
Directed by Joann Scanlon

A Love Story by Walter Placzek - Poignant look at familiar love.
* One man, 30's-60's.
* Two women, one in their 40's and one in their 70's.
Directed by Arnold Buchiane

I Thought I Liked Girls… by Nicole Pandolfo - Lucy, has some big news for her parents- after 10 years, she is ready to share
* Lucy – late 20’s-early 30’s, Lucy has finally found true-love and is anxious and nervous about how to explain her new engagement to her parents.
* Mom – 50’s-60’s, a middle-aged housewife with a carefree acceptance of her daughter’s lifestyle.
* Dad – mid 50’s – 60, Dad is a distinguished looking but trying to be hip.
Directed by Eric Holgerson

Two Perfect Strangers Meet At The Jet Lag Cafe by Ralph Greco, Jr. - At four AM in an all-but-empty Paris café’, two Americans strike up a conversation that, for a moment, distracts each other and leads to a new found kinship.
* Suitor - late 60’s-70’s, an ex-pat who retains grace and elegance though the majority of his life is ruefully behind him.
* Jack - 40-45, married for ten years, childless, with unpublished novels, poems and essays. He is in Paris with his wife who is asleep in their hotel room.
Directed by Kevern Cameron

Rodin in Movement" by Kimberly Jackson - A dance piece that explores the stories behind the famous bronze sculptures that Auguste Rodin used in his masterpiece "The Gates of Hell".
Looking for 7 dancers with strong modern technique who are open to collaboration.
* Eve (female) - Eve has realized she is naked, and is constantly covering herself in shame after she has sinned against God.
* Despair (male or female) - Contorted and twisted, Despair is the personification and representation of the numerous souls ensnared in the circles of hell.
* Prodigal Son (male) - The Prodigal Son is at the pinnacle of realization that he has squandered his inheritance, and is agonizingly begging his father to take him back.
* Three Shades (male or female) - this trio is forever connected to each other, guarding the entrance to the gates of hell.
* The Thinker (male or female) - The Thinker is the guardian and seer of the gates, and is tormented with wanting to save the souls he sees, but helpless as to what or how to save them.
Directed and Choreographed by Kimberly Jackson

Gentlemen's Pact by Karen JP Howes - Wry and witty look at fidelity, friendship and 21st century marriage.
* Bill - 35-40, English professor; a meek man with heroic dreams; fearful of failure.
* Arthur - 45-50, ironic & somewhat detached; intellectual, college history professor; married to Evelyn.
* Evelyn -40-ish, attractive, worldly, no nonsense, down to earth; married to Arthur.
Directed by Lynn Polan

Holy Grill by Gary Shaffer - A soon to be bride, a nervous groom, and two retired cops asking all the right questions; things could get interesting.
* Mrs. Reilly - a matronly church lady
* Meg - 20's, happily engaged
* Peter - 20's, nervously engaged
* Sussman - retired bad cop
* Maehrlein - retired good cop
Directed by Scott Baird

The Chatham Players have an open call casting policy. ALL roles are open, none are precast, and everyone is encouraged to audition. Any questions please call Leslie Reagoso at (973) 769-3886 or email her at For directions or additional information, please visit

Two River Theater-lineup of productions for its 2015/16 Season


The Two River Theater 2015/16 season will launch in September with August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, directed by Brandon J. Dirden and will include the musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, directed by Jessica Stone; a new music-theater production of Shakespeare’s Pericles created by Rinde Eckert and David Schweizer; and the Transport Group’s critically acclaimed production of I Remember Mama, directed by Jack Cummings III.

New works include the world premiere of Lives of Reason by Robert Rechnitz and Kenneth Stunkel, directed by Jonathan Fox, and the American premiere of Mexican playwright Barbara Colio’s Ropes, translated into English by Maria Alexandria Beech and directed by Lisa Rothe.

Season Subscriptions are on sale now at 732.345.1400 or 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank, NJ. Subscribers save 25% on tickets, receive prime seating and a number of additional benefits. Visit for more details. Ticket prices for individual shows range from $15 to $65.

“The 2015/16 season is built around the theme of family,” says Artistic Director John Dias. “Both in the content of the plays, which each deal with the complicated bonds between families—those you are born to and those you build within a community—and for Two River Theater itself. We are welcoming back several artists who are part of our family, and introducing several we have long wanted to bring into the fold. We have always believed that theater is a place for artists and audiences to come together and examine and celebrate the bonds that connect us as humans, and Managing Director Michael Hurst and I are proud that our season will be full of these rich opportunities.”

Two Riv ext


August Wilson’s SEVEN GUITARS

Directed by Brandon J. Dirden

Rechnitz Theater

September 12-October 4, 2015

Press Opening: September 18

Two River Theater opens its season with August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, Two River’s third American Century Cycle production following its acclaimed productions of Jitney and Two Trains Running. Seven Guitars takes audiences to Pittsburgh, 1948, where local blues guitarist Floyd “Schoolboy” Barton sits on the edge of stardom. Brandon J. Dirden is making his directorial debut with this production. As an actor, Dirden has appeared at Two River in Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks, and August Wilson’s Jitney. On Broadway, he played Martin Luther King, Jr., opposite Bryan Cranston’s Lyndon Johnson in the Tony Award-winning All the Way. His Off-Broadway credits include The Piano Lesson, for which he received Obie, Theatre World, and AUDELCO Awards, and Drama League and Lortel nominations. On television, he can be seen as Agent Aderholt in the FX series The Americans. Seven Guitars will feature cast members Crystal Dickinson (Broadway’s You Can’t Take It With You and Clybourne Park) as Louise and Jason Dirden (Two River’s Topdog/Underdog and Broadway’s A Raisin in the Sun) as Canewell.


Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart

Choreographed by Denis Jones

Directed by Jessica Stone  

Rechnitz Theater

November 14-December 13, 2015

Press Opening: November 20

Director Jessica Stone returns to Two River, where she made her debut last season with Alan Ayckbourn’s Absurd Person Singular, to direct A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, winner of the 1963 Tony Award for Best Musical. The production will be choreographed by Denis Jones (Honeymoon in Vegas). Inspired by Stone’s acclaimed 2010 Williamstown Theatre Festival production, Two River’s  …Forum will feature an all-male troupe of actors led by Christopher Fitzgerald (Broadway’s An Act of God, the original cast of Wicked, Young Frankenstein) as Pseudolus, a slave who tries to win his freedom by playing matchmaker for his innocent young master.   


By Robert Rechnitz and Kenneth Stunkel

Directed by Jonathan Fox

Marion Huber Theater

January 9-February 7, 2016

Press Opening: January 15

Set at an English Department faculty party, Lives of Reason exposes the challenges of intellectual life—and what happens when one woman’s secret passions explode and her authentic self is revealed. This world premiere is written by Two River founder Robert Rechnitz and Kenneth Stunkel, and directed by former Two River Artistic Director Jonathan Fox, who currently serves as Executive Artistic Director of the Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara. The cast will include John Ahlin (Off-Broadway’s Orson’s Shadow, Two River’s Charlotte’s Web) and Maureen Silliman (Two River’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane and The Glass Menagerie). This production will be sponsored by Monmouth University.


By Bárbara Colio
English Translation by Maria Alexandria Beech

Directed by Lisa Rothe

Marion Huber Theater

February 20-March 20, 2016

Press Opening: February 26

In this beautiful and universal story about forgiveness, love, and loss, three brothers rendezvous at an airport to meet the father who abandoned them as children, and who is now the most famous tightrope walker of all time. Written by Bárbara Colio, one of Latin America’s leading contemporary playwrights, Ropes will be directed by Lisa Rothe (Hold These Truths at Epic Theatre Ensemble), Director of Global Exchange at the Lark Play Development Center in New York.  Two River Theater will present select performances of Ropes in Spanish as part of its ongoing Nosotros program, which is dedicated to engaging Monmouth County’s Latino community and furthering the work of Latino theater artists.


By William Shakespeare

Original Music and Additional Lyrics by Rinde Eckert

Directed by David Schweizer 

Rechnitz Theater

April 16-May 8, 2016

Press Opening: April 22

Shakespeare’s thrilling and epic tale of adventure, shipwreck and romance will be brought to new life with original songs by Pulitzer Prize-finalist Rinde Eckert, who will also appear in the production, directed by David Schweizer. Eckert and Schweizer’s previous collaborations include And God Created Great Whales, an Obie Award-winning operatic adaptation of Moby-Dick. In connection with its production of Pericles, Two River will produce “A Little Shakespeare,” a 75-minute version of Pericles performed by high school students. Performances will be presented in Two River’s Marion Huber Theater in December 2015.


By John Van Druten

Directed by Jack Cummings III

Rechnitz Theater

June 4-26, 2016

Press Opening: June 10

Ten veteran powerhouse actresses (led by Barbara Andres as Mama) will perform all 25 roles in John Van Druten’s beloved classic about a working-class Norwegian family in turn-of-the-century San Francisco. The Transport Group’s production of I Remember Mama, directed by Jack Cummings III, was celebrated as one of the best theater productions of 2014 in The New York Times and The New Yorker.


Based on the Book by Maurice Sendak

Directed by Kim Selody

Produced by Presentation House Theatre, Vancouver, Canada

Originally Adapted for the Stage by Tag Theatre of Glasgow

June 9-12, 2016

Adapted from Maurice Sendak’s landmark children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are is an intimate “guided play” experience for kids ages 3 to 7 and their adults. Max’s bedroom is transformed into the various landscapes of his adventures, from a rolling ocean to a forest. The audience then becomes the Wild Things as each child is each given a mask and encouraged to “let the Wild Rumpus start!” 

Plays, artists, dates, and ticket prices are subject to change. For additional information, visit

Ticket Information

Season Subscriptions are on sale now; prices range from $83.25 to $292.50. Subscribers save 25% on tickets, receive prime seating and a number of additional benefits. Visit for more details.

Ticket prices for all productions except A Little Shakespeare: Pericles and Where the Wild Things Are range from $37 to $65, 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. 

Ticket prices for A Little Shakespeare: Pericles are $20 for adults and $15 for children under age 12.  Tickets for Where the Wild Things Are are $25.

Sponsors and Supporters

Two River Theater is supported in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a division within the Department of State and a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Columbus Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Monmouth University, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Durso Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley, Monmouth Medical Center Foundation, Wells Fargo, Investors Bank, Brookdale Community College, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, William T. Morris Foundation, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation at the Atrium at Navesink Harbor, the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, creates great American theater performed by award-winning artists. We produce American and world masterpieces, and new plays and musicals. Two River Theater offers new-play commissions and artistic development activities that support the most adventurous artists in the American theater; invites its audience to be part of the creative process through readings and open rehearsals; and cultivates students and young people to participate in innovative arts-education programs and become a new generation of theatergoers. Founded in 1994 by Joan and Dr. Robert M. Rechnitz, Two River Theater is easily accessible by car, train, or bus, with great restaurants and shopping within walking distance of the theater. For more information, visit or call 732.345.1400.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Final weekend for ‘Hairspray’ at Strollers of Maplewood


Centenary Stage Company’s Young Performers Workshop Summer Session registration is now open

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Celebrating over 20 years of acclaimed musical theatre training for young thespians, the Centenary Stage Company’s Young Performers Workshop Summer Session registration is now open to new and returning applicants. This 5-week intensive program has been designed to meet the needs of beginning, intermediate and advanced performers interested in working in the theatre. The hands-on program utilizes both the classroom and the “production process” to train young people in the theatre arts. The program includes the production of musicals and one-act plays.   Led by theatre, TV and film veteran Michael Blevins, the summer session will run from July 13 through August 16 and culminates in a Festival of Shows from August 10 – 16.  Registration deadline for all applicants is June 30, 2015.

While no prior experience is required to participate, all new applicants must complete an interview session with program director, Michael Blevins, prior to acceptance into the program.  New applicant interviews will be held on Saturday June 6 and Sunday June 7.  To schedule an appointment contact the CSC Administrative Offices at (908) 979-0900.  Tuition for the 5 week intensive is $995.  A full description of the Centenary YPW program may be viewed online at

The Centenary Young Performers Workshop (YPW) is under the auspices of the Centenary Stage Company, a not-for-profit Equity Theatre Company in residence at Centenary College located in Hackettstown, NJ. The Centenary YPW is dedicated to the enrichment of young lives through the use of theatre art and serves as a greenhouse for cultivating young theatre performers, ages 8—18. The program is one of the few that offers both formal training and production experience for young people. Career-minded individuals can prepare for the rigors of a professional career, yet students not aiming for a professional career benefit from the program with its emphasis on discipline, self-worth and development of communication skills.

The 2014-15 season of performing arts events and programs at the Centenary Stage Company are 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 and CSC sponsors, including Premier Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, The Holiday Inn in Budd Lake, and Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.

Photo:  YPW Summer Festival 2014:  The Who’s Tommy

Monday, May 11, 2015

‘God of Carnage’ now at Bergen County Players


Bergen County Players is currently presenting the final mainstage production of its 2014-2015 season of shows, the 2009 Tony Award-winning play, God of Carnage, written by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton and directed by Alyson Cohn.  God of Carnage will open on May 2, 2015 and run through Sunday, May 31, 2015 at the Little Firehouse Theatre, 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell (no performances Memorial Day weekend, May 22-24). The New York Times described Carnage as “[a] streamlined anatomy of the human animal... [The play] delivers the cathartic release of watching other people's marriages go boom."

A playground altercation between eleven-year-old boys brings together two sets of Brooklyn parents for a meeting to resolve the matter. Yasmina Reza’s witty script starts out as a rancidly funny account of two couples tiptoeing around their mutual dislike. At first, diplomatic niceties are observed, but as the evening progresses, the gloves come off and the night becomes a side-splitting free-for-all. The London production at the Gielgud Theatre was widely acclaimed, receiving the Olivier Award for Best New Play of 2009. The Broadway production won a Tony for Best Play and became the longest running comedy of the 2000s.

When asked about the themes of the production, Director Alyson Cohn of Wyckoff stated, “Playground politics - children live them and adults pretend to have outgrown them. But do we ever?” Alyson is a seasoned BCP director, helming the BCP productions of Boeing, Boeing; Glengarry Glen Ross; One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest; Angels in America: Millennium Approaches; Six Degrees of Separation; The Heidi Chronicles; Proposals; True West; Art; The Laramie Project; and Proof, which won the 2006 Perry Award for Best Production of a Play.


The talented cast of God of Carnage includes Larry Kadish (Alan Raleigh) of New Milford, Allyson Stevenson (Annette Raleigh) of Westwood, Scott Schneider (Michael Novak) of Congers, NY, and Angie Joachim (Veronica Novak) of White Plains, NY.  Larry Kadish last appeared on the BCP stage in Boeing-Boeing, which he added to his list of previous BCP productions including Sideman, Murder in Green Meadows, Marvin’s Room, Art, Thumbs, Fuddy Meers, Table Manners, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Glengarry Glen Ross, and Angels in America, among others. Allyson Stevenson returns to our stage after 2012’s Boeing-Boeing. Previously she appeared in The Little Dog Laughed and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf for which she earned a Perry Award nomination. Angie Joachim is thrilled to be performing with BCP for the first time, after having performed on stages in both Northwest Connecticut and New Orleans. Her stage credits include Noises Off, Hairspray, Coyote on a Fence, A Flea in Her Ear, Cabaret, Over the Tavern, Dancing at Lughnasa, and A Chorus Line. Scott Schneider is also making his BCP debut in God of Carnage; his prior credits elsewhere include True West, 12 Angry Jurors, Of Mice and Men, and Othello, among others.

The crew includes: Kathie Robitz (Producer, Props), Michele Roth (Stage Manager, Assistant to the Director), Marci K. Weinstein (Set Design, Décor, Program Notes), Greg Cilmi (Set Design and Construction),  Allan Seward (Lighting Design), Rob DeScherer (Sound Design), Bunny Mateosian and Marian McCabe (Costume Design), Pat Bain (Props), Angela Grippo (Lighting Operation), Daniel Reid (Sound Operation), Christine Francois (Makeup Design), Larry Landsman (Publicity), and  Alan Zenreich (Photography).


  • All performances for “God of Carnage” take place at The Little Firehouse Theatre at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell, home to the Bergen County Players since 1949. Performance times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm.  There are no performances the weekend of Memorial Day, May 22-24.
  • Tickets for “God of Carnage” are $21 for Friday/Saturday performances and $17 for Sunday matinees, and can be purchased online at, by calling 201-261-4200 or by visiting the box office at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during regular box office hours. Visa, Master Card, and American Express are accepted.
  • BCP's popular Questions & Artists talkback session will be held following the performance on Friday, May 8th. The session is included in the cost of the ticket to that performance.  
  • Those interested in Group Sales of 20 or more tickets can email or call the main number and press #6.
  • Advance discount tickets for students age 25 and under with proper ID are available for $14 by phone or walk-up only, and student rush seats can be purchased for $5 (cash only) starting 30 minutes before curtain at every performance, pending seat availability. There is a limit of one rush ticket per student.
  • Parking is free at the Park Avenue municipal lot, across the street, one-half block north of the theater.

Calendar Listing: GOD OF CARNAGE OPENED SATURDAY, MAY 2 AND RUNS THROUGH SUNDAY, MAY 31! PERFORMANCES: Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm; Sundays at 2pm LITTLE FIREHOUSE THEATRE 298 Kinderkamack Road., Oradell, NJ. Free parking at the lot off Park Avenue one-half block north of theater. Tickets range from $17 - $21. For tickets, please call (201) 261-4200 or buy online at Student and group discounts are available.

The Bergen County Players has grown tremendously from its roots as a small community theater when it was founded in 1932; today, nearly 300 volunteer members, working on and off stage, make possible the nine productions presented each season. The remaining Second Stage production is “The Mouse That Roared” (June 6th and June 7th).

Cast Photo: L to R: Larry Kadish, Angie Joachim,Scott Schneider, Allyson Stevenson

Registration opens for youth summer theatre camp in Rahway


“Children’s Stage Adventures” delivers theatre magic Aug. 24-28, 2015

Registration is open for the 2015 Summer Theatre Camp running Aug. 24-28 at Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway.

The five-day course in theatre production basics is suitable for ages 5-15 and is taught by Children's Stage Adventures, a renowned educational troupe that has operated more than 300 drama residencies across the country.

This year’s featured play is The Emperor's New Clothes, the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale — with this production set in the American Wild West. 

Registration forms are available online at; reservations may also be made at the UCPAC Box Office at 1601 Irving Street in downtown Rahway or by calling (732) 499-8226. Tuition is $175 per child for the week.

UCPAC Summer Theatre Camp offers children the chance to particpate in a live musical production, learning the nuts-and-bolts of play production from casting to curtain. The end result is a high-quality musical performed by some 50 students complete with professionally designed scenery and costumes, props and makeup and sound and lighting equipment. 

“The CSA team arrives with everything it takes to put on a play,” says Union County Performing Arts Center executive director Lawrence E. McCullough. “On Monday morning the team holds an audition workshop to get the creative process going. By Friday, the entire show comes alive.”

Besides the element of ever-present fun, participating in theatre activity has been shown to boost children’s academic performance, reading comprehension, communication skills, self-esteem and empathy.

“Drama is able to tap a wide range of skills and expressive modes,” says McCullough. “Just one week of theatre camp can make a big difference in a young person’s life.”

Mile Square Theatre's Taking Center Stage Capital Campaign seeks support

The Artisan

Mile Square Theatre has moved to the Artisan at 1408 Clinton in Hoboken! We are raising $1 million to create a first-class theatre facility and are joining with Hoboken Children's Theater to create one non-profit arts organization. Expected opening, fall 2015.

To receive information or to become involved in the campaign, please send us an email.

Want to make a gift now?
CLICK HERE and choose CAPITAL CAMPAIGN in the pull down menu.

Floor plan

Theatre interior Theatre entrance