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Monday, September 25, 2017

Center Players 2017-18 season features four plays

Picnic-Concept-2 (2)

Center Players’ upcoming 2017-18 season to include four main stage productions to be performed from October through August at Center Playhouse, 35 South St, in downtown Freehold, NJ.

William Inge’s classic drama Picnic kicks-off the season, running Oct. 13-Nov 12 and will be directed by Ray Parnese. The winner of the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Picnic takes place on Labor Day weekend in the joint backyards of two middle-aged women. One house belongs to Flo Owens, who lives there with her two young daughters, Madge and Millie, and Rosemary, a boarder who is a spinster school teacher. The other house belongs to Helen Potts, who lives with her elderly invalid mother. Into this all-female environment enters a handsome young man named Hal Carter, whose animal vitality upsets the entire group.

Lovers-Strangers-Concept-Prf2Lovers and Other Strangers, by Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna, will follow, running from Feb. 9-March 11th, and directed by Michael Tota. The play is comprised of four untitled comedic one-acts. The first deals with the lead-up to a seduction, the second with a married couple's quarrel, the third with a groom getting cold feet the night before his wedding and the fourth with a father and mother struggling to help their son be confident about his marriage.

Cuckoos-Nest-Concept-Prf2Next is Dale Wasserman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, running from May 4th – June 3rd, and directed by Dave McGrath. The drama centers around Randle Patrick McMurphy as he is transferred for evaluation from a prison farm to a mental institution. While he assumes it will be a less restrictive environment, he soon discovers Nurse Ratched runs the psychiatric ward with an iron fist, keeping her patients cowed through abuse, medication and sessions of electroconvulsive therapy. The battle of wills between the rebellious McMurphy and the inflexible Ratched soon affects all the ward's patients.

Dinner-Friends-Concept-Prf2 Rounding out the season will be Dinner with Friends, written by Donald Marguiles and directed by Leslie Hochman, running July 27th-August 26th. The Pulitzer Prize-winning play explores the complexities of marriage and friendship, focusing on the relationship between two married couples: food writers Gabe and Karen, whose apparent domestic bliss is demonstrated as they prepare gourmet meals, and artist Beth and hotshot lawyer Tom whose marriage is breaking up due to Tom’s infidelity.

“We are pleased to offer another well-rounded season of award-winning plays, featuring outstanding local actors and directors,” noted Center Players President Sheldon Fallon. “And we look forward to supplementing the season with play readings, workshops and other special events.”

Most performances run Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00pm and Sundays at 2:00pm. Tickets are priced at $25-27 and are available online at or by calling 732-462-9093. Season ticket subscriptions are also available by calling the box office by Nov. 12th.

theatre-inside-800- (1) Celebrating its 17th season at Center Playhouse, Center Players is a respected, award-winning organization, presenting high quality, engaging productions featuring local talent in downtown Freehold. In addition to their signature plays, the group also sponsors free play reading events and offers dinner and theater packages with several local restaurants. Center Players was founded in 1996 and gained status as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization and sought to establish a permanent presence in historic downtown Freehold. After performing at various locations around town, the group leased a storefront property at 35 South Street. The space was custom renovated with interior design by New York City designer Nelson Kuperberg into an intimate, 49-seat theatre, which opened in March, 2001 with a production of Crossing Delancey.

Friday, September 22, 2017

‘Be More Chill’ at EXIT 82

BE MORE CHILL is a contemporary musical which follows Jeremy Heere,  just an average teenager. That is, until he finds out about “The Squip” – a tiny supercomputer that promises to bring him everything he desires most: a date with Christine, an invite to the raddest party of the year and a chance to survive life in his suburban New Jersey high school. But is being the most popular guy in school worth the risk? BE MORE CHILL is based on the novel by Ned Vizzini.

The world premiere production of BE MORE CHILL was commissioned and originally produced by Two River Theater Company in Red Bank, NJ; John Dias, Artistic Director / Michael Hurst, Managing Director. This work was supported by a Theatre Commissioning and Production Initiative grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Orchestrations and Arrangements by Charlie Rosen. BE MORE CHILL is presented through special arrangement with R & H Theatricals:

Click here to purchase tickets!

Exit 82 Theatre Studio
34 Main Street
Toms River, NJ 08753

Curtain Call, a Celebration of Theatre, to be held in Morristown on October 23rd, “New Jersey Theatre Alliance Day”


In a proclamation dated September 19, 2017, Morristown Mayor Timothy P. Dougherty declared that October 23, 2017 will be known as “New Jersey Theatre Alliance Day.” On that day, New Jersey Theatre Alliance (“the Alliance”) will host Curtain Call, its annual celebration of theatre, at the Westin Governor Morris in Morristown, honoring the artistic directors of its member theatres for their dedication and artistic vision, and Atlantic Health System for its support of theatre programming that enhances the health and wellbeing of New Jersey residents. The event, which is open to the public, will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and includes buffet stations, wine and beer, entertainment, a silent auction, and a raffle.

Suz12Awards of Excellence will be given to all 33 artistic directors of the professional theatres of New Jersey. This incudes: June Ballinger of Passage Theatre Company in Trenton, SuzAnne Barabas of New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch (photo right), Michael Bias of The Garage Theatre Group in Teaneck, Ed Corsi and Ted Wioncek of The Eagle Theatre in Hammonton, Ray Croce of South Camden Theatre Company in Camden, John Dias of Two River Theater in Red Bank, Michael Driscoll of Alliance Repertory Theatre Company in Summit, Laura Ekstrand of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre in Summit, Stephen Fredericks of The Growing Stage: The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey in Netcong, Eric Hafen of the Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum in Morristown, Mark Hoebee of Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, Marshall Jones III of Crossroads Theatre Company in New Brunswick, Cheryl Katz of Luna Stage Company in West Orange (photo right)0a15fabc355e8a90a9281d658d54ae07, Barbara Krajkowski of Women’s Theater Company in Lake Hiawatha, Frank Licato of Hudson Theatre Works in Weehawken, Emily Mann of McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, Bonnie Monte of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in Madison, Chris O’Connor of Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken, John Pietrowski of Writers Theatre of New Jersey in Madison (photo right), Marni Raab and Steven Tabakin of Midtown Direct Rep in Maplewood, James Rana of Actors Shakespeare Company in Elizabeth, David Saint of George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, Sam Scalamoni of Skyline Theatre Company in Fair Lawn, Lou Scarpati of The Company Theatre Group in Hackensack, Mark Spina ofThe Theater Project John Pietrowskiin Maplewood, Gayle Stahlhuth of East Lynne Theater Company in Cape May, Roy Steinberg of Cape May Stage in Cape May, Jim Vagias of American Theater Group in South Orange, Carl Wallnau of Centenary Stage Company in Hackettstown, Paul Whelihan of Pushcart Players in Verona, and John Wooten of Premiere Stages at Kean University in Union.

“We are delighted to be recognizing our state’s artistic directors at this year's Curtain Call,” said John McEwen, Executive Director  of New Jersey Theatre Alliance. “Through their talent and vision they are enriching the lives of their audiences with theatrical works and  programs that entertain, educate, challenge, and inspire. We are fortunate to have such a diverse professional theatre community in our state and we applaud the artistic directors for their wisdom and dedication.”

Cast set for ‘The Learned Ladies’ at Centenary Stage


(left to right) David Edwards as Trissotin & Amy Griffin as Belise, during first table read of The Learned Ladies (photo credit; Robert Eberle)

Centenary Stage Company announces cast for upcoming production of Freyda Thomas’ hilarious contemporary re-imagining of Moliere’s penultimate play The Learned Ladies.  Presented in the Lackland Performing Arts Center the production will run from October 6 through October 22 in the over 500 seat state of the art Sitnik Theatre.

Set in the 1930s, this zany web of love stories, farcical romps and battle of the sexes keeps true to Moliere’s original while providing a smorgasbord of modern treats for contemporary audiences.  As the story unfolds it is evident the household of Chrysale and his wife Philamente is in absolute disarray.  Philamente has decided to dedicate herself and her home to the “life of the mind”, the pursuit of noble thought and the practice of intellectual rigor pushing aside her wifely duties.  Chrysale simply wants his dinner and to assert his place as head of the family.  Throw into the mix a questionably skilled poet who will not leave, an eccentric sister, a sexy maid, a hotheaded suitor to the youngest daughter, a frustrated older sister and numerous pretentious “hangers on” and this contemporary comedy has all the makings of a true screwball comedy.

Directed by Centenary Stage Company’s own award winning Artistic Director, Carl Wallnau, the cast of The Learned Ladies features a blend of new and returning professional actors, with credits ranging from Broadway to television to film.  Leading the professional ensemble are Sandy York, David Edwards, Amy Griffin and David Cantor.

sandy yorkAs Philamente, CSC audiences will remember York (photo right) from her turn as Lillie Langtry in last season’s production of Sherlock Holmes and the case of the Jersey Lily.  Other credits include work at Bristol Riverside, Cape May Stage, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Forestburgh Players, Trinity Rep and McCarter among a slew of NYC credits including Pan Asian Rep, Prospect Theater Company and Pulse Ensemble Theater.

Amy Griffin (top photo) returns to Centenary Stage Company to play Belise, the eccentric but lovable sister to Chrysale.  CSC audiences will remember Griffin from her performances in The English Bride and Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily.  Griffin’s other credits include How the Grinch Stole Christmas on Broadway (original cast, cast recording), as well as, the first national tours of Seussical the Musical (starring Cathy Rigby) and Grinch.  Griffin’s regional work at such theaters as Savannah Rep, Bickford Theatre, Old Castle Theatre, Depot Theatre and Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival to name a few. 

David Edwards (top photo) also returns to CSC as Trissotin a poet of questionable merit and would be husband to Henriette.  Edwards’ previous CSC credits include productions of Light Up the Sky, The Mousetrap, The Cripple of Inishmaan and Bittersuite.  Edwards’ extensive resume includes the Broadway musical The Rothschilds with other Broadway/national tour credits including The Producers (as both Max Bialystock and Roger DeBris) and Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s By Jeeves directed by Alan Ayckbourn.  Off-Broadway he was the final “El Gallo” in the record-breaking original run of The Fantasticks and starred in the critically acclaimed revival of Room Service.  Other work includes theaters such as The Ordway, Eugene O’Neill Center, Westchester Broadway Theatre, The Old Globe, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Portland Stage Co., GeVA, Bristol Riverside, Gateway Playhouse, Florida Studio Theatre and  Syracuse Stage.

david-cantorJoining the cast of The Learned Ladies as Chrysale the husband of Philamente, father of Henriette and Armande and making his CSC debut is David Cantor (photo right).  Cantor appeared on Broadway as Bobinet in La Vie Parisienne and covered the role of Che in Evita, later playing Che with the First National Tour on the West Coast. He appeared Off-Broadway for a year and a half as both Amshel and Nathan Rothschild in the critically acclaimed revival of The Rothschilds at Circle in the Square Downtown. Other credits include Grahame Chandler in The Fix Off-Broadway at Feinstein’s/54 Below, Vanya in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, The Padre in Man of La Mancha, Benny, the comic lead, in a national tour of The Desert Song; Tony Lumpkin in She Stoops to Conquer; John Adams in 1776; Charlie in Tintypes; Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, Fagin in Oliver!, Ricky Roma in Glengarry Glen Ross, The Old Actor in The Fantasticks, Buddy Fidler in City of Angels, and Richard Hannay in The 39 Steps. In addition, David has performed principal roles in all thirteen Gilbert and Sullivan operas in the USA, Great Britain, and Italy. Television and film appearances include Orange is the New Black, Madam Secretary, Redrum, Shadow of Doubt, Evil Lives Here, Man in Progress, All My Children, Loving, Another World, and Ryan's Hope.

LeaAntoliniThe principle cast also features Centenary Stage Company’s own Leah Antolini – Lid (photo right) and Christopher John Young.  Antolini – Lid is the Assistant Program Director for Centenary Stage Company and Associate Professor of Theatre for Centenary University, Antolini – Lid has been delighting CSC audiences with such memorable performances in CSC productions of Peter Pan, A Christmas Carol, Mary Poppins, The Wizard of Oz and Oliver!  Other credits include work at the Women’s Theater Company, The Growing Stage and Blessed Unrest Theater Co.  Antolini – Lid is also a founding member and managing director of the XY Dance Project, a professional dance company in NJ/NY.  Christopher John Young is the Publicity and Social Media Manager for Centenary Stage Company, as well as, an adjunct faculty member for Centenary University’s Theatre Department.  Young was last seen in CSC productions of Start Down, The Nether, Harvey, The Liar and Quartermaine’s Terms.  Other credits include regional and film work, including The Monomoy Theatre, Oxford Shakespeare Festival, Valley Young Players, Alliance Repertory Theatre and 12 Miles West.  Film includes; the upcoming 2018 release of Hunter’s Weekend, Hotel (winner Best Actor, Atlantic City Cinefest), Star Crossed Lovers and Jess Archer Vs (streaming on Amazon Prime).

Making their Centenary Stage Company debut are Elizabeth Engleberth as Henreitte, with credits including work at The Shakespeare Theatre of NJ and The Bickford Theatre; Nadia Brown as Armande, with credits including work at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and New Jersey Repertory Company; and Isabel Cade as Martine, a recent graduate of The Neighborhood Playhouse Cade’s most recent credits include work at Classic Stage Company.  Rounding out the cast are Centenary University theatre students Nick Bettens as Vadius, Joseph Anthony as the Judge and Brianna Morris, Connor Goerk, AJ Lewis and Megan Schmeidhauser as a host of saucy servants.

Performances for The Learned Ladies run October 6 through October 22.  Specific performance dates are Fridays Oct 6, 13 and 20 at 8PM; Saturdays Oct 7, 14 and 21 at 8PM; Sundays Oct 8, 15 and 22 at 2PM; Wednesdays Oct 11 and 18 at 2PM and Thursdays Oct 12 and 19 at 7:30PM.  All performances will be held in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center.  Centenary Stage Company’s production the The Learned Ladies is sponsored by season sponsor Heath Village and series sponsor The House of the Good Shepherd.

Auditions: ‘Terra Nova’ at Circle Players


Circle Players and director Kirk White have set auditions for the third production of our 2017-2018 season, "Terra Nova” by Ted Talley.

Performances run from January 12, 2018 through January 28, 2018.

Director Kirk White seeks 6 men and 1 woman, ages 30 – 60.  All roles are open.

Detailed character descriptions appear below.
Auditions will be held:

Sunday, October 8, 4 pm – 6 pm

Wednesday, October 11, 7 pm – 9 pm

Callbacks by invitation only will be Sunday, October 15, 4 pm – 6 pm

Auditioners will be asked to read sides from the script, which will be provided.

Interested actors must attend auditions to be considered. Video submissions will not be accepted.

Auditions will be held at Circle Players, 416 Victoria Avenue, Piscataway, NJ.
Please direct any questions to


In the winter of 1911-1912, five Englishmen and five Norwegians raced each other to the bottom of the Earth. Only the five Norwegians returned.

This is the story of the Englishmen.

This is Terra Nova.

A poetic fevered death dream by academy award winning writer, Ted Tally, this incredible play tells the story of Robert Falcon Scott’s misguided and doomed expedition to the South Pole.  As the journey falls to pieces and his men begin to succumb to the unforgiving Antarctic landscape, we enter the mind of Scott (perhaps we’ve been here all along) and witness his inner demons, manifested in both his Norwegian rival and his wife, fighting to make peace with his shame and his guilt for leading four men to their deaths.


CAPTAIN ROBERT FALCON SCOTT (early 40’s) – Hero. Legend. Visionary. Tortured. Tragic. He’s the guy who had babies named after him and books written about him and his tragic flaw is probably a devotion to his own legend.  The play is his….most likely springing from his brain as he succumbs to the cold.  This is a classic tour de force role and it ain’t gonna be easy.  We see Scott at his lowest, desperate for absolution of his guilt and failure and then we see him at his best…his memories of what was and then, often in the same breath we see him at his lowest again because of what he willingly gave up for this “damned fool idealistic crusade”.  What does a man do, who has sacrificed everything for a vision, giving everything towards a goal, and then realize that he not only will fail...not only will die…but will have taken others with him?  What would such a man do to keep from falling apart.  To keep moving and keep inspiring others to move.  What mechanisms would need to be in place to enable him to not just lay down and die.

ROALD AMUNDSEN (40’s—but could go older)— The real Amundsen beat Scott to the pole. Terra Nova’s Amundsen serves as the conduit to Scott’s memory and delusions, very often serving as a stand-in for Scott’s ego (although for heaven’s sake don’t play him as such!). He’s practical…no-nonsense….and takes a decidedly non-romantic approach to exploration. He’s the guy who said it’s better to shoot a sled dog and eat it while it’s still strong, than let it deteriorate, consuming valuable resources until it collapses.  He’s the absolute antithesis to Scott’s English ideal yet he wins the race and comes back alive.    From a thematic perspective, he’s also a dramatic device in the play, often pushing scenes along, clarifying characters’ intentions, building scenes and even carrying out the dead. In this aspect, he’s a wizard, he’s Puck from Midsummer and has a LOT of potential for creative theatricality.  However, his scenes must be played human.  Find the moments where HE learns from Scott. When does he doubt himself?

KATHLEEN SCOTT (early/mid 30’s)—another of Scott’s Memory/Dream companions.  If Amundsen is the EGO, Kathleen is the Heart…she appears at times when he is most desperate and lonely…once again, however, she must be played straight and human.   If you have a moment, do a quick wiki search for Kathleen Scott (aka The Baroness). She is an amazing character, worthy of her own play.  She’s an artist to her core.  She’s passionate and driven and doesn’t give a hoot for the trappings of celebrity or adventure culture but she does genuinely love Scott.  Find the moments where she HATES him (and herself) for this.

OFFICER EDGAR “TAFF” EVANS (mid-30’s)— The Dreamer. The Idealist.  He WANTS to be a hero. Quite possibly the most tragic of the expedition team. Evans is a big man…strong and dependable…. the one Scott knew he could count on to get things done. His strength and skill made him an asset to any journey and a no-brainer for this one.  And then he goes and gets himself injured and slowly disintegrates throughout the course of the play.  The Evans we meet is in constant and tremendous pain, weakening with every excruciating step he takes.   Fight like hell to hide that fact.

LIEUTENANT HENRY “BIRDIE” BOWERS (late 20’s)—the young one.  The spirited one.  If anyone was able to have fun here…it would be Birdie.  Maybe he just doesn’t get it. Maybe he’s faking it to boost morale. Maybe he’s lost his mind. But make no mistake, Birdie has an optimism and some genuine joie de vivre that would be infectious and delightful…. If not for…you know…   Make a decision with regards to Bower’s mask and find the moments where the mask slips.  Also…the real Birdie was short, redheaded and had an aquiline face.  One doesn’t have to be short redheaded or aquiline to be cast in this role…but if you happen to be short, redheaded and aquiline and come into audition, I’ll probably have you read for Birdie.

DOCTOR EDWARD WILSON (late 30’s/early 40’s)—the stoic. The moral compass. The confidant. Wilson is the one they all look up to. He’s an ornithologist asides from being a surgeon; which makes his friendship with Bowers either ironic or really, really cute.  Nevertheless, he’s the one with dignity…the one that holds it all together.  Later in the play, when the chips are really down, he singularly takes the side of following his ethics, which puts him at odds with the rest of the party. He is a rock.  Find the moments where he shatters…how fast does he put the pieces back together? 

CAPTAIN LAWERENCE “TITUS” OATES (early 30’s)—The Soldier. The badass. The guy you want to have your back in a skirmish.  He’s Charles Bronson. He’s Clint Eastwood. He’s Chuck Norris.  He has a duty and he’s going to follow it. His morals are a warrior’s morals:  Follow orders. Do for the mission and get out of the way when you can do no more.  But what happens when a man of this fiber and character finds himself in a situation where death is a foregone conclusion….and others are not so willing to do what needs to be done?  What if the orders he’s receiving are to save people who ought to have the decency to die so that others may live?  What if HE is one of those people?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

NJSO Chamber Players perform Aaron Jay Kernis string quartet in NJSO Accent event with the composer

NJSO with Xian Zhang at NJPAC 008 bow - credit Fred Stucker
Kernis to introduce, chat about the work with quartet at Prelude Performance
NJSO performance that follows features Musica celestis for string orchestra
Fri, Oct 13, at Richardson Auditorium in Princeton

Members of the NJSO Chamber Players will perform the Aaron Jay Kernis string quartet that the composer later orchestrated as Musica celestis in a special NJSO Accent event with Kernis on Friday, October 13, at 6:45 pm at the Richardson Auditorium in Princeton. The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s 8 pm concert includes the NJSO premiere of Kernis’ ethereal work for string orchestra.

The Prelude Performance features NJSO Assistant Concertmaster David Southorn, violinist Minji Kwon, Assistant Principal Viola Elzbieta Weyman and Acting Assistant Principal Cello Na-Young Baek. Kernis and the musicians will chat about the string quartet and orchestral versions of Musica celestis before audiences hear the work in each form.

Musica celestis is inspired by the medieval conception of that phrase, which refers to the singing of the angels in heaven in praise of God without end,” Kernis writes in his composer’s note.

The NJSO’s 8 pm program, led by Music Director Xian Zhang, also features Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony and Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme with cello virtuoso Alban Gerhardt.

The Prelude Performance is free for October 13 ticketholders. Concert tickets start at $20 and are available for purchase at or 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476).

NJSO Accents are pre- and post-concert events that enhance the concert experience and bring audiences closer to the music and music makers. Learn more at


Zhang Conducts Beethoven
Fri, Oct 13, at 8 pm | Richardson Auditorium in Princeton

Xian Zhang, conductor
Alban Gerhardt, cello
New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

KERNIS Musica celestis (NJSO premiere)
TCHAIKOVSKY Variations on a Rococo Theme
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral”

Additional performances of the NJSO program take place on Thursday, October 12, at 1:30 pm and Sunday, October 15, at 3 pm at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark and Saturday, October 14, at 8 pm at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank. Learn more at

Novo Nordisk is concert sponsor of the October 13 performance.

Winner of the 2002 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition, 1998 Pulitzer Prize and 2011 Nemmers Award, Aaron Jay Kernis is one of America’s most honored composers. His music appears prominently on concert programs worldwide, and he has been commissioned by America’s preeminent performing organizations and artists, including the New York Philharmonic; San Francisco, Toronto and Melbourne (AU) symphonies; Los Angeles and Saint Paul chamber orchestras; Walt Disney Company; Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; Renee Fleming; Dawn Upshaw; Joshua Bell; Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Sharon Isbin. Recent and upcoming commissions include his Fourth Symphony for the New England Conservatory (for its 150th anniversary) and Nashville Symphony; concertos for violinist James Ehnes, cellist Joshua Roman, violist Paul Neubauer and flutist Marina Piccinini; a horn concerto for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Grant Park Music Festival; a work for the Borromeo String Quartet and a piece for the San Francisco Girls and Brooklyn Youth Choruses with The Knights for the New York Philharmonic Biennial.

His works have been recorded on Virgin, Dorian, Arabesque, Phoenix, Argo, Signum, Cedille and many other labels. Recent recordings include Goblin Market and Invisible Mosaic II (Signum); Three Flavors, featuring pianist Andrew Russo, violinist James Ehnes and the Albany Symphony with conductor David Alan Miller (Albany); and a disc of his solo and chamber music, On Distant Shores (Phoenix). Kernis’ conducting engagements include appearances with the Pascal Rioult Dance Company, at major chamber music festivals in Chicago and Portland and with members of the San Francisco Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra and New York Philharmonic.

He is the workshop director of the Nashville Symphony Composer Lab and, for 11 years, served as new music adviser to the Minnesota Orchestra, with which he co-founded and directed its Composer Institute for 15 years. Kernis teaches composition at Yale School of Music and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Classical Music Hall of Fame. Leta Miller's book-length portrait of Kernis and his work was published in 2014 by University of Illinois Press as part of its American Composer series.

Invitation to join The Friends of NJFO Overture Party

The music of New Jersey Festival Orchestra is out of this world!
Come join The Friends of NJFO to celebrate the opening of the Orchestra's 35th Anniversary Season and
David Wroe's 20th anniversary as Music Director.

Seasonal beers and German wines
German inspired appetizers and desserts


241 E. Dudley Avenue, Westfield
Suggested donation $50
All proceeds to benefit New Jersey Festival Orchestra
and NJFO outreach programs


Light Opera of NJ sets new season including The Hunchback of Notre Dame


a Gilbert & Sullivan revue

directed by William Corson

November 3 at 8 pm
November 4 at 2 pm and 8 pm

St Mark's Episcopal Church, 140 South Finley Avenue, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Learn more here

Gaetano Donizetti's 


directed by Jamie Baer Peterson and Lauran Corson 

with musical direction by Michael Avagliano

March 23 and 24, 2018 at 8 pm

St Mark's Episcopal Church, 140 South Finley Avenue, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Learn more here



Music by


Lyrics by


Book by


Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney film

directed by Jeffrey Fiorello

with musical direction by Stephen Fox

July 13, 14, 20 and 21, 2018 at 8pm
July 15 and 22, 2018 at 2pm

South Orange Performing Arts Center, 1 SOPAC Way, South Orange, NJ 07079

Learn more here

Become a season subscriber and save 10% on tickets to all 3 productions!
Return THIS FORM by October 20th to secure the best seats!

This program is made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and administered by the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission through the State/County Partnership Local Arts Program.

Light Opera of New Jersey, 120 Governor Drive, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

5th Annual Harvest Fest Returns to Skylands Stadium’s Indoor Event Center


The Growing Stage -The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey will hold its fifth annual Harvest Fest fundraising event on Thursday, September 28, from 6:00 until 9:00 p.m. at the Skylands Stadium Indoor Event Center, 29 Championship Place, Augusta, NJ.  All are invited to attend this magical evening of gourmet food, fine wines and specialty beers, live performances, and exciting prizes.

The event features wine and beer tastings from more than twenty vendors, as well as gourmet tastings from fine local restaurants including Perona Farms, Black Forest Inn, Café Pierrot, Krave Caterers, Shakey Jake’s, KCC Raw Bar, The Wheelhouse, Fanucci’s Café, Polo’s Bar & Grill, Alice’s Restaurant, The Windlass, The Chocolate Goat, Andre’s Lakeside Dining and Pine Hill Farm.  RoNetco Supermarkets and ShopRite Wines & Spirits are major sponsors of this important fundraiser.

Tickets are now on sale for $50 per person (or $175 for a party of four), and must be purchased in advance.  Attendees must be 21 or older.

Connolly and Hickey - The Growing StageAll proceeds from the event benefit both the mission of The Growing Stage and the continued restoration of its home - the historic Palace Theatre. The Growing Stage is a professional, non-profit performing arts company dedicated to theatre for young audiences and families. The company provides distinctive arts programming for children and families including Main Stage productions, classes and educational workshops at the Palace, along with touring productions and residencies statewide.  The Growing Stage begins its 36th Main Stage season with Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST with performances running October 6 through October 29.  Fundraising events such as Harvest Fest help The Growing Stage keep its professional programs affordably priced for schools and families throughout the region.

In conjunction with Harvest Fest, The Growing Stage is holding a raffle to benefit its artistic and educational programs for young people. Three exciting prizes will be awarded:  $2,500 ShopRite Gift Cards; $1,250 ShopRite Gift Cards and The Ultimate Apple Package – Apple iPad, Watch & TV (Value: $900). Raffle tickets are $10 each, and may be purchased weekdays at the historic Palace Theatre, 7 Ledgewood Avenue, Netcong, or by calling (973)347-4946. The drawing will be held at Harvest Fest on September 28th, but winners need not be present.

To purchase tickets for Harvest Fest or for more information, please visit or call (973)347-4946.


2017-18 Season Opener
Fri, Sep 29, 8pm
Advent Lutheran Church (NYC)
2504 Broadway, New York, NY
Sat, Sep 30, 8pm
West Side Presbyterian Church (Ridgewood, NJ)
6 South Monroe St, Ridgewood, NJ
Sun, Oct 1, 3pm
Flushing Town Hall (Queens, NY)
137-35 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY

Hailed as a “sensitive and thinking musician first and an awesome technician second” (Los Angeles Times), internationally-acclaimed pianist HAESUN PAIKjoins New York Classical Players for our season premiere. Top prize winner at the Leeds, Queen Elisabeth, and Tchaikovsky competitions, Paik lends her virtuosity to NYCP’s program as the soloist in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. Works by Shostakovich, a Renaissance-inspired premiere by ERIC NATHAN, and Saint-Saens’ well-loved Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso with violinist of the Grammy-nominated Enso Quartet KEN HAMAO complete this program of lyrical and thoughtful masterworks.
Dongmin Kim conductor
HaeSun Paik piano
Ken Hamao violin  

Eric Nathan / Omaggio a Gesualdo for String Orchestra (premiere)
Saint-Saens / Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso (NYCP edition)
Shostakovich / Prelude and Scherzo, Op. 11
Beethoven / Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major (arr. Yoomi Paick)

VIP seats can be purchased. We secure the best seats for you and your guests.


Click to watch the interview video
The 2017-18 season, NYCP is proud to announce a new endeavor with pianist HaeSun Paik to perform all five Beethoven piano concertos - including the singular Triple Concerto for Piano, Violin, and Cello - over the next three seasons. This project, which culminates in Beethoven’s 250th centenary, allows NYCP to build a longstanding artistic relationship with the virtuosic Paik and delve deeply and immersively into Beethoven’s legendary works for piano and orchestra. Flushing Town Hall joins NYCP as a presenting partner for the "Paik & Beethoven" Project, which begins with the 2017/18 season opening on September 29.

George Street Playhouse to open season with new version of hit musical I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE

Tony Award-winner Joe DiPietro’s record-breaking, off-Broadway hit to open GSP’s College Farm Road venue


George Street Playhouse has announced the full cast for an new, updated version of the off-Broadway hit musical, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, with book and lyrics by Playhouse favorite Joe DiPietro (Memphis, Nice Work if You Can Get It) and music by Jimmy Roberts (The Thing About Men, The Velveteen Rabbit). Karen Burthwright (Broadway’s Jesus Christ Superstar), Lindsay Nicole Chambers (Broadway’s Lysistrata Jones, Legally Blonde and Hairspray), Mitchell Jarvis (Broadway’s Rock of Ages, GSP world premiere of Getting’ the Band Back Together) and George Merrick (Broadway’s Honeymoon in Vegas, South Pacific and High Fidelity; Off-Broadway’s Clever Little Lies) star in the inaugural production at George Street Playhouse’s new, interim venue at 103  College Farm Road on the Cook Campus of Rutgers University. Performances run Oct. 10-Nov. 12, 2017, with Opening Night set for Friday, October 13.

Helming the production will be David Saint, who is entering his 21st season as George Street Playhouse’s Artistic Director. This marks the third time Saint will be directing a work written by DiPietro at George Street Playhouse, having previously helmed world premiere productions of Clever Little Lies (2013), which moved off-Broadway in 2015, and Creating Claire. I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change marks the sixth DiPietro-written show to be produced at George Street Playhouse, including world premieres of The Toxic Avenger, Creating Claire and Clever Little Lies starring Marlo Thomas, as well as New Jersey premieres of Ernest Shackleton Loves Me and The Second Mrs. Wilson.

This fresh, contemporary take on I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, premieres exclusively for Playhouse patrons! The world of dating has evolved, and this newly revisited musical will tackle modern love in all its forms. From the first date, to marriage, children, and the twilight years, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, follows the arc of relationships in insightful and hilarious ways.

unnamed (1)With its longtime venue in downtown New Brunswick razed to make way for a new performing arts center that will serve as George Street Playhouse’s future home, the Playhouse has taken residence in the former New Jersey Museum of Agriculture at 103 College Farm Road on Rutgers University’s Cook Campus through its 2018-19 season. George Street Playhouse is expected to return downtown to the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center in time for its 2019-20 season. A former museum exhibit area is being transformed into an intimate, main stage theatre space.

Tickets range in price from just $15 for students (with valid ID) to $79, based on performance. Visit our new website (, which allows patrons to select their own seating locations when ordering tickets online.

Located right off Route 1 amidst a vast bucolic setting on the Cook Campus of Rutgers University, George Street Playhouse’s new, interim venue features expansive lobby spaces, an outdoor patio and free nearby parking. The entrance into the building and to all areas of the theatre are barrier-free. For directions to George Street Playhouse, visit the Playhouse website ( and click Directions on the homepage.

New Brunswick’s favorite restaurants are less than two miles from College Farm Road. For a list of restaurants, visit the Plan Your Visit section of the website. And keep a lookout for unique dining options offered by George Street Playhouse.

Joe DiPietro - Beale Street_5x7Joe DiPietro (Book & Lyrics) is a two-time Tony Award winner for Memphis, which also received the 2010 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical. He received a Tony nomination & Drama Desk Award for Nice Work If You Can Get It. His comedy Clever Little Lies, starring Marlo Thomas, premiered at GSP in 2013 and ran off-Broadway in 2015 under the direction of GSP Artistic Director David Saint. He also wrote the long-running off-Broadway hit Over the River and Through the Woods.

Premiere Stages at Kean University Increases Awards for 14th Annual Play Festival

Foster Mom Press Photo 3 

Premiere Stages, the professional theatre company in residence at Kean University, is now accepting submissions for the 14th annual Premiere Play Festival.  This yearly competition for unproduced scripts offers developmental and production opportunities to four playwrights with strong ties to the greater metropolitan area (New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware).

This year, Premiere Stages is excited to announce increases to all financial awards for winners, and has expanded its eligibility to include playwrights from Delaware. Premiere will accept submissions now through December 15, 2017, and select four finalists by early March 2018; any submissions received before or after this submission window will not be considered. All four finalists will receive developmental readings, scheduled for March 15-18, 2018, with a winner and runner-up to be announced in April 2018. The festival winner will be awarded a $2,500 advance and receive a full Equity production during Premiere Stages 2018 Mainstage Season; the runner-up will receive $1,000 and an Equity 29-hour staged reading in June 2018. The two remaining finalists will each receive an honorarium of $750.

Through the uniquely accelerated Play Festival process, Premiere Stages provides an encouraging and highly focused environment in which playwrights can develop their work. Premiere Stages also actively advocates for Festival writers by reaching out to other theatres to secure subsequent productions, and partnering with other organizations and theatres to extend the profile and life of the works developed.

JohnWooten“We are pleased to increase the awards and developmental opportunities that we can afford to regional dramatists. We are developing a record number of playwrights at Premiere in 2017 and we look forward to this trend continuing in 2018,” stated John J. Wooten, Producing Artistic Director and founder of Premiere Stages.

In the fourteen seasons since its founding, the Premiere Play Festival has received over 3,500 submissions and developed more than fifty plays. Multiple plays produced at Premiere have been honored by the American Theatre Critics Association, and/or been published by Samuel French, Dramatists Play Service, Dramatic Publishing Company, Playscripts, and Broadway Play Publishing. A number of Play Festival winners and finalists have subsequently been produced in New York and at regional theatres across the country, including 2017 finalists Patricia Cotter’s 1980 (Or Why I’m Voting For John Anderson) premiering at Jackalope Theatre Company in October, and Sarah Gancher’s Seder, premiering next month at Hartford Stage.

All 2017 Premiere Play Festival entries will be evaluated by a panel of theatre professionals in consultation with Premiere artistic staff.  Agents and theatre professionals with an affiliation to Premiere Stages may submit full scripts; playwrights may submit a synopsis and script sample directly. The submission window is September 15, 2017 through December 15, 2017, and there is no fee to enter the competition. Complete submission guidelines are available online at Premiere Stages is committed to supporting a diverse group of writers; playwrights of all backgrounds, ages, and experience levels are encouraged to submit. All entrants are encouraged to review Premiere Stages’ production history, which is also posted on the website.

Premiere Stages offers affordable prices, air-conditioned facilities and free parking close to the theatre. Premiere Stages also provides free or discounted tickets to patrons with disabilities. All Premiere Stages facilities are fully accessible spaces, and companion seating is available for patrons with disabilities. Assistive listening devices and large print programs are available at all times; publications in alternate formats are available with advance notice. Please call 908-737-4077 for a list of sign-interpreted, audio-described or open-captioned performances. For more information, please visit Premiere Stages online at

Monday, September 18, 2017

Chester Theatre Group Perry Winners for 2017 Congratulations

                      Chester Theatre Group Winners for 2017:

                                 Outstanding Production of a Play
                                - The Trip to Bountiful
Roxanna Wagner – Producer
Kevern Cameron
Kevern Cameron - Director

Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress -
The Trip to Bountiful
                                                      Terri Sturtevant

Marionettes Bring Magic & Mozart to Jersey City

The Prince & the Magic Flute 300dpi

JCTC-KIDS and Jersey City’s favorite string-attached theater company – Puppetworks – returns for its new season with an entrancing production of The Prince & The Magic Flute.

JCTC-KIDS presents The Prince & The Magic Flute by Puppetworks, Sundays at 1:00 pm, beginning October 1st at Merseles Studios, 339 Newark Avenue, Jersey City 07302.

Since 2014, JCTCKIDS – the children’s division of Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC)—has brought children’s theater in the form of classic marionette puppetry to the puppet theater at Merseles Studios.  While previous productions were based on fairy tales, folklore and classic children’s literature, The Prince & The Magic Flute is based on a beloved opera, adding another dimension to puppetry in Jersey City.

“Our version of The Prince and The Magic Flute is a musical, but all the songs the puppets sing and the instrumental music on the soundtrack are the original compositions by Mozart,” said Mike Leach, Executive Director of Puppetworks. “Puppetworks pride ourselves with keeping timeless, traditional stories alive. Our shows also serve as one of the first introductions to theater and literature that families can give their children. With The Prince & The Magic Flute, we also add operatic storytelling and Mozart to that introduction.”

The Prince and The Magic Flute was performed in 1791 – just two months before the premature death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart wrote this fairytale opera for the theatrical troupe at the ‘Theater auf der Wieden’, where Mozart frequently performed. The story – of a prince saving a damsel – was actually based on several sources, especially medieval romance literature. The story follows a brave prince and his funny, bird catcher sidekick— with the help of magic bells and a magic flute—on their quest to rescue a princess from the Palace of the Sun. Their story includes such highlights as a giant crocodile, eerie creatures of the night, tests of water, fire and silence, and a final confrontation with the evil Queen of the Night.

JCTC-KIDS presentation of The Prince & The Magic Flute follows on of the most successful Puppetworks runs in Jersey City. The winter/spring production of the Wizard of Oz at Merseles Studios saw sold-out performances as well as special bookings for schools and other groups.

NJ Rep’s Theatre Brut Session 4 Plays

Play Schedule for Saturday, Oct 7 at 2pm

The Conversation by Wendie Malick.  A look at the assumptions we make about ourselves and each other. We have this strange notion that by a certain age, we will have pretty much figured life out. The truth is we are all “works in progress,” and a necessary part of our evolution may require radically upsetting the status quo.Directed by Dan Lauria and starring Priscilla Lopez, Barbara Andres and Dan Lauria.

Her Place in the World by D.W. Gregory. Adam's immortal, diabolical first wife, Lilith, makes her appearance again, wreaking havoc among his descendants, now atoning for their sins in Juniata County, Pennsylvania. Directed by Andrea Andresakis and Starring Carolyn Popp, Dan McVey, Brittany Sambogna, Pheonix Vaughn, Edwin Alexander.

The Outside Edge of a Full Circle by Matthew Harrington. Is Jesus from Wolverhampton?  James and his wife ponder this question, among others, after he returns from an early morning stroll where-in he had an unusual encounter with a naked man named Jesus. Directed by Joel Stone and starring Mary Francina Golden and Joe Gioco.

Something About Eve by Lynne Halliday. A young man decides to buy some perfume for his fiancé, but what should be a simple business transaction becomes more of an interrogation, when an attractive saleswoman probes into his personal life and turns him upside down.  Directed by  Zoya Kachadurian, and starring Alex Hyatt and Christopher Daftsios.

The Actors

Priscilla Lopez

Barbara Andres

Dan Lauria

Carolyn Popp

Dan McVey

Brittany Sambogna

Pheonix Vaughn

Edwin Alexander

Mary Francina Golden

Joe Gioco

Alex Hyatt

Christopher Daftsios

Wendie Malick

Spotlight Playwright

Wendie Malick is an award winning actress whose career has spanned 40 years. Best known for her roles on Dream On, Just Shoot Me, Frasier and Hot in Cleveland. Films include American President, Jerome, Waiting, Fifty-Nothing and The Emperor’s New Groove. Theatre credits: North Shore Fish, Burleigh Grimes (Off-Broadway), Round Trip, Questa, Vagina Monologues, Santaland Diaries, The Underpants (Los Angeles) Blithe Spirit, What is the Cause of Thunder (Williamstown), Closure (NJ Rep), Love Letters (Laguna Playhouse), Don’t Blame Me … (Woolly Mammoth), The Guys(Studio Arena). Malick is currently starring in Paul Rudnick’s new play, Big Night at The Kirk Douglas Theater in L.A.

D.W. Gregory

Spotlight Playwright

D.W. Gregory's plays frequently explore political issues through a personal lens. The New York Times called her “a playwright with a talent to enlighten and provoke” for her most produced work, Radium Girls, about the famous case of industrial poisoning. Other plays include Molumby's Million, nominated for a Barrymore Award by Philadelphia Theatre Alliance; The Good Daughter and October 1962, which premiered at NJ Rep; a new musical comedy, The Yellow Stocking Play, with composer Steven M. Alper and lyricist Sarah Knapp; and Salvation Road, coming from Dramatic Publishing. Her short comedy So Tell Me About This Guy was a finalist for the Heideman Award and produced at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville on a bill of short works. Her plays have been produced throughout the United States and abroad, and her work has been developed through the support of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE), the National New Play Network, the Maryland Arts Council, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Gregory is a member of the Dramatists’ Guild and an affiliated writer with The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis. More information can be found on her website at and at

Matthew Harrington

Spotlight Playwright

Matthew Harrington was born in Brasil, raised in South America and Europe, and now resides with his wife, LaDawna, in New Jersey. Upon graduating from the Professional Actors Training Program at Ohio University (MFA), he spent several years as a resident member of the Indiana Repertory Theater.  Most recently he has devoted much of his time, joy, and passion to the art of writing, especially for The Bakery.

Lynne Halliday

Spotlight Playwright

Lynne Halliday is a performer and playwright. She has appeared at the York Theatre, 54 Below, The Guggenheim Museum and sung with ABT. She is a co-author of The Gorges Motel, a FringeNYC standout that is being published by Dramatists’ Play Service, as well as By the Numbers, which recently premiered at in Florida and is being developed in New York by the Now Collective. Her work has been seen at Coogan’s Play with your Dinner and her Ballad of 72nd Street appeared in the TBG Fast Play Fest.

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