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Friday, February 28, 2014

Premiere Stages at Kean University Launches its 10th Anniversary Season with Interactive Readings Series

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Premiere Stages at Kean University will hold its 10th Annual Spring Readings Series Thursday, March 14 through Saturday, March 15 at 7:00 pm and Sunday, March 16 at 3:00 pm in the Murphy Dunn Theatre, located in Vaughn Eames Hall on Kean’s central campus (1000 Morris Avenue, Union, N.J.).

This year’s readings will feature the 2014 Premiere Stages Play Festival finalists Janice Underwater by Tom Matthew Wolfe (a two-time semi-finalist for the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Center), Sunrise Highway by Nick Gandiello (winner of the American Globe Theatre’s Best Play and Audience Favorite Awards for Travis Winters), The Ansel Intimacy by Vincent Delaney (the Guthrie, Humana Festival, Seattle Rep), and Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino (a 2014 Kendeda Playwright and recipient of the Edward Albee Playwriting Fellowship and Residency). One new play will be read by professional actors each evening, and the public is encouraged to actively participate in the new play development process through post-reading dialogues with the writers. Patrons are also afforded the opportunity to provide written evaluations.

The Premiere Stages Play Festival is an annual competition for unproduced scripts that offers developmental opportunities to playwrights born or currently residing in the greater metropolitan area (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut). Four finalist plays are selected from more than 400 submissions, given professional readings and considered for expanded development as part of the Premiere Stages 2014 Season. One of the four plays will be selected for an Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) staged reading in June, and the most promising play will be awarded a fully produced AEA production in September. All of the finalists also receive cash awards ranging from $500 to $2000.

The schedule for the March events is as follows:

Thursday, March 13th at 7pm - Janice Underwater by Tom Matthew Wolfe

Things are not going well for Janice. She has an aversion to authority, a talent for drawing illustrations no one has seen and a sneaking suspicion that she’s losing her mind. Something will have to give.

Friday, March 14th at 7pm - Sunrise Highway by Nick Gandiello

In mid-'90s Long Island, two teenagers make a pact to keep a secret from their blended family.  As the consequences of their secret prove increasingly dangerous, issues of race, sexuality, and identity intersect and collide.

Saturday, March 15th at 7pm - The Ansel Intimacy by Vincent Delaney

On his 16th birthday, Tate receives a gift he never wanted: Ansel, who was scientifically engineered to provide him with replacement parts. But as the bond between them grows, Tate discovers some gifts can't easily be accepted.

Sunday, March 16th at 3pm - Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino

Female soldier Jess returns from war severely burned only to find her Floridian hometown in a state of decay. With the use of virtual reality video game therapy, she desperately tries to restore her relationships, home, and all that was lost.

The heart of Premiere Stages’ mission, the Play Festival has quickly become known for being a launch pad for regional dramatists. Numerous plays developed through the Festival have been published, subsequently produced in New York and regionally, and honored by the American Theatre Critics Association.

“At Premiere we are committed to fast-tracking plays from a sit-down reading to a fully staged production within a few short months, allowing topical and socially conscious plays to remain relevant,” stated John Wooten, producing artistic director of Premiere Stages. “We also afford playwrights the benefit of retaining the world premiere rights to their scripts. Second productions of new plays are extremely rare, and we are committed to building and extending partnerships that will reverse that trend.” 

Admission and parking for the Spring Reading Series is free. Reservations are recommended; please call 908-737-4092 or email premiere@kean.edu to reserve. For more information, please visit www.kean.edu/premierestages.

Premiere’s 10th Annual Spring Reading Series is part of The New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s Stages Festival, a statewide program offering free and discounted tickets to performances, workshops, classes and events at the state’s professional theatres, partner performing arts centers, as well as libraries, schools, senior centers and museums.  The Stages Festival is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.  Additional program sponsors are Bank of America and The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. Additional program support has been provided by The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The HMS Foundation, The F.M. Kirby Foundation, The George A. Ohl, Jr. Trust Foundation, Prudential Foundation, The Smart Family Foundation, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation and The Victoria Foundation. For more information on the Stages Festival, please visit www.njtheatrealliance.org or www.stagesfestival.org.

Premiere Stages offers affordable prices, air-conditioned facilities and free parking close to the theatre. Premiere Stages provides free or discounted tickets to patrons with disabilities. All Premiere Stages facilities are fully accessible spaces. Please call for a list of sign-interpreted, audio-described or open-captioned performances. Assistive listening devices and large print programs are available at all times. Publications are available with advanced notice in alternate formats.

Premiere Stages is made possible in part through funding from The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Shubert Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Northfield Bank Foundation, The Westfield Foundation, The New Jersey Historical Commission, The Provident Bank Foundation, The Hudson City Savings Bank Foundation, Union County HEART Grants, The Hyde and Watson Foundation, The Union Foundation, E. J. Grassmann Trust, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance and through the generous support of individual patrons. Discover Jersey Arts is our marketing partner. Visit www.JerseyArts.com for more information about other arts programming happening around the Garden State.

An Important Message from New Jersey Theatre Alliance

 
 
 
 
 

Dear New Jersey Theatre Alliance Friends,
Please help us get the New Jersey state government to restore funding for the arts. State revenue has grown through the hard work of arts, history, and tourism businesses that ensures New Jersey remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and visit.  It's time that funding is restored to 2005 levels of support through its dedicated source of state revenue.

ArtPride New Jersey is a coalition of arts organizations and individuals that advocates at local, state and national levels for funding, support and recognition of the arts as vital to New Jersey's quality of life.

Please go to ArtPride NJ's Arts Action Center today to send a message to your district legislators regarding sponsorship of A2160 and S1133 to restore state funding for arts, history, and tourism. Your message will also be directed to the Assembly leadership asking them to move A2160 forward in committee.
FYI - State funding does NOT come from income or property taxes - it comes from a dedicated fund through the hotel/motel occupancy fee, and this investment in the arts bolsters tourism, helps businesses thrive, creates job opportunities and increases the overall quality of life in New Jersey.

Click HERE to Contact Your Legislators

Help make a difference today!
Sincerely,
New Jersey Theatre Alliance

PLEASE WITH YOUR HELP

TheatreIs Alive1

‘Run For Your Wife’ next at Barn Theatre in Montville

RunForYourWife_BarnTheatre

The Barn Theatre of Montville, New Jersey will be presenting the British comedy "Run For Your Wife". Performances will be on March 14, 21, 22, 28, 29 and April 4th and 5th 2014 at 8 pm; and on March 15, 16, 23 and 30th at 2pm. Tickets are $18 (senior/student tickets are $16 on matinees only). "Run For Your Wife" is written by Ray Cooney and is directed by Chris Mortenson.

John Smith, a taxi driver, gets away with having two wives in different areas of London because of his irregular working schedule. His life get turned upside down when his two lives come crashing together with comedic results.

Written in 1983, Run For Your Wife is classic British farce. Complication piled on top of complication, confusion followed by more confusion. With a Farmer who goes by the name of Mr. Gardener, a wife who is a nun and a mother to a fictitious child whom she knows nothing about, and a detective who seems better suited at serving tea in an apron than he does at police work, this show is a nonstop roller coaster ride.

The cast includes: Lauren Klemp (of Montville NJ), Joe Wohlgemuth (of Landing NJ), Tom Morrisey (of Lincoln Park NJ), Ruth Morley (of Ridgewood NJ), Dave McDonald (of Arlington NJ), Chris Esmerado (of Cranford, NJ), Jonathan Rudolph (of Parsippany NJ) and Craig Zimmermann (of Rockaway NJ)

photo (1)The Barn Theatre is located at 32 Skyline Drive in Montville, NJ, just minutes off Route 287 (Exit 47).

For more information or directions, call 973-334-9320 ext. 5, or visitwww.barntheatre.org

 

TOP PHOTO: (left to right): Lauren Klemp, Tom Morrisey, Jonathan Rudolph, Ruth Morley and Dave McDonald  [Photo by Tom Schopper]

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Stages Festival: Alliance Repertory Theater’s Little Red Riding Hood at Trailside Nature Center

Alliance logo

The New Jersey Theatre Alliance presents  Alliance Repertory Theater’s production of Little Red Riding Hood on March 8,9,15 &16 at 12:30 and 3 pm. This event is part of the New Alliance’s Stages Festival, the state’s largest annual theatre festival that provides discounted and free theatre performances, workshops and events for all ages throughout the month of March.  This event will include one free ticket for a child under 12 with every adult ticket purchased

Adapted by Brad Howell, Little Red's journey is sure to delight both the young and the young-at-heart. The cast is comprised of children's theater veterans Lilli Marques, Clare Dill, Jennifer Robbins, Scott Cagney and Brad Howell.

The Stages Festival is a statewide program offering free and discounted tickets to performances, workshops, classes and events at the states professional theatres, partner performing arts centers, as well as libraries, schools, senior centers and museums.  The program was developed to encourage New Jersey’s residents to attend their local professional theatres by making the experience affordable, accessible and fun.

All across the state, patrons will receive free and discounted tickets to over 100 performances and special events, including classes, and workshops for all ages.  Since its inception 17 years ago, the program has served over 80,000 people.

While most of these events are offered free of charge, there may be a low-priced admission charge for adults, and reservations are necessary for most events.  For more information, or to make a reservation, call 908-361-1810 or visit www.alliancerep.org. To receive a full schedule of events for The Stages Festival please visit www.stagesfestival.org.

Founded in 1981, the New Jersey Theatre Alliance is the first statewide organization for professional, not-for-profit theatre companies in the United States, and is a leader in developing model programs that foster collaboration, cooperation and audience development. The Alliance provides member theatres and arts patrons a wide range of supportive services and programs, assists member theatres in their growth and development – as well as in the promotion of their programs – helping them reach their full potential. For arts patrons, the Alliance provides a variety of services to enhance their theatre-going experience.

The Stages Festival is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.  Additional program sponsors are Bank of America and The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey.

Additional program support has been provided by The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The HMS Foundation, The F.M. Kirby Foundation, The George A. Ohl, Jr. Trust Foundation, Prudential Foundation, The Smart Family Foundation, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation and The Victoria Foundation.

‘Date of a Lifetime’ next at New Jersey Rep in Long Branch

Date of a Lifetime NJRep                       Photo: Trisha Rapier and Jamie LaVerdiere  (credit: SuzAnne Barabas)

"Date of a Lifetime" is a new musical with book and lyrics by Carl Kissin and music by Robert Baumgartner, Jr. Director/choreographer Marlo Hunter teams up with musical director Daniel Rein and the talents of Jamie LaVerdiere and Trisha Rapier to bring us a fresh, contemporary, look at dating. The musical is playing at NJ Rep (179 Broadway, Long Branch), March 6 thru April 6.

Marvin (LaVerdiere) and Katie (Rapier) have been around the block when it comes to the dating scene. Pessimistic, yet undaunted, they are thrown together while speed dating. During their brief tryst they each imagine what their lives together might be. Will this modern rendezvous turn out to be a date from hell, or the date of a lifetime?

Produced in association with Hat on a Hat, LLC.

NJ Rep is located at 179 Broadway in Long Branch, just minutes from the Jersey Shore

Richard Wesley’s Playbook at Crossroads Theatre Company


7 LIVINGSTON AVE. NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ 08901
www.crossroadstheatrecompany.org | 732-545-8100
Crossroads Theatre Company thanks its major supporters:
Johnson & Johnson
The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
Middlesex County Cultural & Heritage Commission
New Brunswick Cultural Center
New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts

Paper Mill’s 2014-2015 season to include Broadway bound production of Disney’s ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’

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Paper Mill Playhouse has announced the lineup for its 2014-2015 season, featuring four musicals and one Tony Award- winning play, including at least one production bound for Broadway. 

Paper Mill Playhouse will open its 2014-2015 season with a Broadway-bound, world-class revival of Can-Can, introducing a brand-new book to accompany its incredible Cole Porter score. This fresh new production features direction by the legendary David Lee (Frasier, Cheers) and showstopping choreography by Patti Colombo (Paper Mill’s Peter Pan, On the Town, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers). The show features a re-crafted script by Joel Fields (Ugly Betty, The Americans) and David Lee. 

Just in time for Christmas, Paper Mill Playhouse will present Elf, a fantastical holiday musical for the entire family based on the 2003 film that starred Will Farrell. Elf was a smash hit on Broadway and now Paper Mill Playhouse will give this heartwarming tale its New Jersey premiere. 

Warm your winter spirit with the comedy that won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.  Master of comedy Christopher Durang mixes four distinct characters and dishes up a hilarious stew in this play that Backstage called “breathtakingly funny and quietly poignant.” This the same play that opened at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton last season prior to moving to Lincoln Center. READ OUR REVIEW.

Next spring, Paper Mill Playhouse will once again partner with Disney Theatrical Productions with which it has previously partnered on Newsies and High School Musical, to present the US premiere of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, inspired by the classic Victor Hugo novel and created for the stage by two masters of stage and screen, composer Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Pocahontas) and lyricist Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin). An intimate retelling of the famous love story scripted by Peter Parnell, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is produced in association with La Jolla Playhouse (Christopher Ashley, Artistic Director/Michael Rosenberg, Managing Director). 

Finally, Paper Mill Playhouse will close its 76th season with the world-premiere musical Ever After, a sparkling new show based on the 1998 film that starred Drew Barrymore. Ever After will be directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall.

“We are very proud of our recent accomplishments,” remarked Managing Director Todd Schmidt. “In just the past two seasons, Paper Mill Playhouse has grown its subscriber base by more than 50% to over 21,000 and the theater has seen a more diverse audience visit our campus. With Newsies a hit on Broadway, Les Misérables and Honeymoon in Vegas heading to Broadway in 2014 and at least one show in our upcoming season with Broadway plans, Paper Mill Playhouse is THE place to premiere a production with Broadway aspirations.

Paper Mill Playhouse will produce eight performances a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Three, four and five-show subscription packages are available now starting at just $84. Each subscription package includes a different level of special benefits (see www.papermill.org for details).  Single tickets will go on sale in June starting at just $28. Student rush tickets are $20 and available the day of the performance in person or by phone and will only be distributed with current student ID.  Tickets and subscriptions may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, or at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.papermill.org.  Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express accepted.  Groups of ten or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call973.315.1680. Titles, casting and dates subject to change.

Paper Mill Playhouse’s 2014-2015 Season

Can-Can

October 1  through October 26, 2014

Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter

Book by Abe Burrows

Revised by Joel Fields and David Lee

A brand-new production of Cole Porter’s classic musical heading to Broadway from Paper Mill Playhouse. Pistache, a Parisian café owner, decides to feature the scandalous dance, the Can-Can, but will her defiance of the law end her business and her love life? This fresh new production features direction and a re-crafted script by the legendary David Lee (Frasier, Cheers) and showstopping choreography by Patti Colombo (Peter Pan, On the Town, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers).

Elf

November 26, 2014, through January 4, 2015

Book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin

Music by Matthew Sklar

Lyrics by Chad Beguelin

It’s the fantastical holiday musical for the entire family in its New Jersey premiere!  This is the hilarious and joyous tale of Buddy, an orphan who is mistakenly transported to the North Pole and raised by Santa’s elves. Now, as a grownup, he embarks on a journey to discover his true identity.  Based on the 2003 film that starred Will Farrell, Elf was a smash hit on Broadway.  This is a holiday treat for your whole family from Paper Mill Playhouse.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

January 21 through February 15, 2015

By Christopher Durang

Winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play!  Outrageously funny!  The master of comedy, Christopher Durang, mixes four distinct characters and dishes up a hilarious stew.  “Will Vanya and Sonia ever find happiness?  Will Masha sell the Bucks County farmhouse out from under them?  And will Spike ever put his pants on?” —USA Today. Touching and wickedly, hysterically funny.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame  (US Premiere)

March 4 through April 5, 2015

Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz

Book by Peter Parnell

Directed by Scott Schwartz

Based on the novel by Victor Hugo

PRODUCED BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT WITH DISNEY THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS

Inspired by the classic Victor Hugo novel, this is the only stage collaboration between two giants of the American musical theater—composer Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Pocahontas) and lyricist Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin). An intimate retelling of the famous love story featuring a lush, emotionally rich score, Hunchback of Notre Dame will leave you inspired. See it now in its US premiere.

Ever After  (World Premiere)

May 21 through June 21, 2015

Book and Lyrics by Marcy Heisler

Music by Zina Goldrich

Directed by Kathleen Marshall

The world premiere of a sparkling new musical! Adapted from the film that starred Drew Barrymore, directed and choreographed by three-time Tony winner Kathleen Marshall, Ever After is a wondrous tale that sets the Cinderella legend straight with the “true” story of Danielle de Barbarac, beautiful and independent, friend of da Vinci, a renaissance woman for all time. Fantastically funny, hopelessly romantic, it’s the must-see musical you’ve been waiting for!

Paper Mill Playhouse offers our audience an opportunity to enhance their theater experience with behind-the-scenes views of our mainstage productions.  Have you ever wanted to sneak a peek behind the curtain? Or wondered what the director was thinking, or how the cast prepares for a show? Well, here’s your chance! Join us for one of many revealing insider’s experiences.  Visit the Paper Mill Playhouse website at www.papermill.org for dates for our Director's Viewpoint Series, Conversation Club Series, Q&A With the Cast and more.

Paper Mill Playhouse offers people with disabilities the opportunity to see live theater with dignity and independence through our myriad of award-winning access programs and services, including audio description and sensory seminars for the blind, Braille and large-print programs, American Sign Language interpretation for the deaf, open-captioning for those with hearing loss, and assistive listening devices.

Musical ‘Working’ next at Women’s Theater Company in Parsippany

Working

Take a break from an exhausting work week and enjoy the Women’s Theater Company’s production of Working at Parsippany Playhouse in Parsippany, New Jersey. Written by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso, this musical explores the lives of men and women the world so often takes for granted. Working is produced and directed by Barbara Krajkowski with musical direction led by Warren Helms and music staging by Lauren Moran Mills.

This 2010 version of Working celebrates everyday people by exploring their relationships with their jobs which ultimately reveals key aspects of their humanity. Working allows the audience to get a rare glimpse of the actors and technicians working to put on a show. This raw adaptation only enhances the realistic and relatable nature of the subject matter.

The cast includes equity performers Scott McGowan from Maplewood, NJ, Lea Antolini from Sparta, NJ and Joseph Elefante from Pompton Plains, NJ, as well as, Danny Arnold from Mt.Arlington, NJ, Debra Lynch from Wyckoff, NJ and Brittany Goodwin from Cedar Knolls, NJ.

Working runs March 7 through March 23; Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 3 pm; tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors. The Women’s Theater Company would like to celebrate the municipal workers of Parsippany by offering a 2-for-1 special for the production of Working. Each employee may purchase two tickets for the price of one standard ticket.

The Women’s Theater Company is located at the Parsippany Playhouse at 1130 Knoll Road, Lake Hiawatha, NJ. For GPS driving directions, please enter the town of Boonton, 07005.

To purchase tickets online go to www.womenstheater.org or call 973-316-3033, or email

Photo: Bottom: Scott McGowan, Debra Lynch, Lea Antolini, Middle:  Joe Elefante, Brittany Goodwin, Top: Danny Arnold (WTC)

‘Mi Casa Tu Casa’ Returns as Part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s Stages Festival

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A touring production of Mi Casa Tu Casa will be presented in partnership with Luna Stage and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance for four dates in March 2014. Luna Stage will host two shows on March 1 and 8 at 11:00 am in its theatre in West Orange, NJ. The other two performances will take place on March 7 at 6:00 pm at Abington Avenue School in Newark, NJ, and on March 22 at 3:00 pm at the Institute of Music for Children in Elizabeth, NJ.

Mi Casa Tu Casa is a vibrant blend of music and stories for the entire family. This bilingual play highlights the universal elements of Latin American folklore and opens doors to a wide range of world cultures. Musicians and storytellers are your guides on a journey through time, place, and imagination. Even audience members become part of the fiesta in this unique interactive experience.

Mi Casa Tu Casa was co-created by Michael Aquino, Deivis Garcia, Jane Mandel, and Dania Ramos. The original version, a bilingual holiday show, premiered at Luna Stage in December 2011 (poster above) and was remounted in 2012. READ OUR 2012 REVIEW.

The touring version of Mi Casa Tu Casa offers favorite tales and songs in a new form that celebrates joy and magic found throughout the year. The current production, directed by Jane Mandel, features Michael Aquino, Jennica Carmona, Jane Keitel, and Chris Kent. It is presented as part of the 2014 New Jersey Stages Festival with generous support from the New Jersey Theatre Alliance and the HMS Foundation.

Mi-Casa-Band-Picture

March 1 and 8, 11:00 am: Luna Stage, 555 Valley Rd, West Orange, NJ - Adults $8, children 12 and under free (limit 4 children per adult). | March 7, 6:00 pm: Abington Ave School, 209 Abington Ave, Newark, NJ - Adults $2, children free. | March 22, 3:00 pm: Institute of Music for Children, 780 Salem Ave, Elizabeth, NJ - $6 adults, $4 children 12 and under; Institute Members $3.00 Adults, $1 children 12 & under. For tickets visit: http://www.stagesfestival.org/

Michael Aquino is an actor, musician, and singer-songwriter. At Luna Stage, he was featured in Sheldon Harnick’s musical Dragons and Ibsen’s Ghosts. Michael served as the Summer Camp Director for Luna and collaborated with students in writing the score for their original musical. In 2008 Michael created Indie Music Circus, a showcase for independent musicians. 2010 saw the release of his band Sirs’ debut album, The Black Friday Sessions. Michael will be showcasing original music this spring at The Singer-Songwriter Cape May Festival.

Deivis “Deivito” Garcia is a Spanglish singer-songwriter based in Jersey City, NJ. He enjoys learning folkloric music of the Americas and synthesizing their sounds into music that reflects his perspective as a New Jerseyan of Puerto Rican and Bolivian descent. He is a co-creator of Mi Casa Tu Casa and a member of The Casa Band and Jersey City’s Spanglish super-group The United States of Boogaloo. He hails from Elizabeth, NJ.

Jane Mandel holds an MFA from New York University and has had a career in the theatre as actress, director, teacher and producer. She is the founder of the non-profit theatre, Luna Stage Company, and served as Artistic Director for over twenty years (currently AD Emeritus). One of her passions is creating devised theatre. She created and directed In the Name of the Woman (the first production done at Luna Stage), “We don’t have enough sugar for the public” (an exploration of Racism), The American Project (which asks the question “what does it mean to be an American?”), and co-created Mi Casa, Tu Casa (a bilingual Latino based play with music).

Dania Ramos is a writer and a theatre professional. Her writing has been featured at Repertorio Español, Luna Stage, Playwrights Theatre of NJ, Passage Theatre, and the Rose City Project Literary Reading Series. She was a runner-up in the 2013 MetLife Nuestras Voces National Playwriting Competition and a recipient of a NJ State Council on the Arts Playwriting Fellowship. She was a participant in Playwrights Theatre of NJ’s Emerging Women’s Playwrights Project. Dania is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University and a BFA in Theatre Performance from Montclair State University.

Luna Stage was founded in 1992 by Jane Mandel, Artistic Director, and became an Equity Theater in 1995. Its mission is to produce thought-provoking theatre that gives voice to emerging American playwrights and re-examines contemporary and classic plays that speak to our times. As producer, educator and innovator, Luna Stage is committed to collaborating with artists of multiple disciplines and partnering with our community to illuminate the diverse perspectives of our society. The current Artistic Director of Luna is Cheryl Katz.

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Founded in 1981, the New Jersey Theatre Alliance supports a thriving professional theatre community with a wealth of resources. The Alliance provides innovative, collaborative and engaging programming for theatres and their diverse audiences. The New Jersey Theatre Alliance is committed to working with its membership to make live theatre accessible to everyone and serving as a cultural access resource for the state’s theatres and cultural community.

Websites: http://www.casaproductions.wordpress.com, http://www.lunastage.org, https://njtheatrealliance.org, http://www.stagesfestival.org

Photo: “Mi Casa” cast Dec. 2011(LSC)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Creative Writing Workshop for Youngsters at Holmdel Theatre Company

STORY PIRATES
CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP - 2014

April 26 - May 17
Four consecutive Saturdays from 10:00 - 11:00am
Students: Grades 5 - 8
Class size limited to 20 students
Tuition: $40
Location: Duncan Smith Theater 
36 Crawfords Corner Road on the Holmdel High School campus

On-line Registration:
www.holmdeltheatrecompany.org

The Story Pirates are returning to Holmdel Theatre Company to help students discover the fun and excitement of unleashing their imaginations onto the blank page ... and then seeing their writing come to life on stage.
HTC will be offering the Story Pirates nationally-acclaimed "Idea Storm" Program consisting of a four-week series of creative writing workshops that culminate in a musical, sketch comedy show based on the students' stories and performed by professionsl actors and musicians for your friends and family.
For additional information, please call HTC at 732.946.0327.

See the Story Pirates in action at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmvh8gAXt_c

Pushcart Players Bring Cuentos Del Arbol to Dreamcatcher as Part of the Stages Festival

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The New Jersey Theatre Alliance presents Pushcart Player’s production of Cuentos Del Arbol (Tree Tales) at Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre on Sunday, March 16 at 2:00 pm at the Oakes Center at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit. This event is part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s Stages Festival, the state’s largest annual theatre festival that provides discounted and free theatre performances, workshops and events for all ages throughout the month of March.  The play is recommended for Spanish, English or Bi-lingual audiences of any age. This event will be free, but reservations are required.

The Stages Festival is a statewide program offering free and discounted tickets to performances, workshops, classes and events at the states professional theatres, partner performing arts centers, as well as libraries, schools, senior centers and museums.  The program was developed to encourage New Jersey’s residents to attend their local professional theatres by making the experience affordable, accessible and fun.

All across the state, patrons will receive free and discounted tickets to over 100 performances and special events, including classes, and workshops for all ages.  Since its inception 17 years ago, the program has served over 80,000 people.

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, professional Theatre in Residence at the Oakes Center in Summit, will host the award-winning Pushcart Players for this special one-day event. The Pushcart Players, based in Verona, provide educational programming and entertainment for young audiences and their families statewide and nationally. Cuentos Del Arbol encompasses four charming stories drawn from Spanish and Latin-American folklore, and provides a splendid celebration of musical theatre.

Reservations are required for Cuentos Del Arbol, playing Sunday, March 16 at 2:00 pm. To reserve, please call 908-514-9654 or email info@dreamcatcherrep.org. More information on the program may be obtained by calling Dreamcatcher’s business office at 908-514-9654 or emailing info@dreamcatcherrep.org

njta (1)

Founded in 1981, the New Jersey Theatre Alliance is the first statewide organization for professional, not-for-profit theatre companies in the United States, and is a leader in developing model programs that foster collaboration, cooperation and audience development. The Alliance provides member theatres and arts patrons a wide range of supportive services and programs, assists member theatres in their growth and development – as well as in the promotion of their programs – helping them reach their full potential. For arts patrons, the Alliance provides a variety of services to enhance their theatre-going experience.

The Stages Festival is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.  Additional program sponsors are Bank of America and The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. Additional program support has been provided by The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The HMS Foundation, The F.M. Kirby Foundation, The George A. Ohl, Jr. Trust Foundation, Prudential Foundation, The Smart Family Foundation, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation and The Victoria Foundation. To receive a full schedule of events for The Stages Festival please visit www.stagesfestival.org.

Review: 'Small musical has big heart' by Ruth Ross

Here is our friend and mentor Ruth Ross’ review of ‘The Other Josh Cohen’ at the Paper Mill Playhouse. Visit Ruth’s website njartsmaven.com.
vcm_s_kf_m160_120x160By Ruth Ross
I call them "pocket musicals." It's not a technical dramatic term, but one I coined to describe short (often 90-minute), one-act musical plays with small casts, limited musical accompaniment, simple sets and uncluttered plots about ordinary people facing the vicissitudes of life.
Josh Cohen Press Photo 3Originally presented at the 2010 New York Musical Theatre Festival and subsequently staged Off-Broadway, The Other Josh Cohen, now onstage at the Paper Mill Playhouse, fits the description to a T. With book, music and lyrics by David Rossmer (right) and Steve Rosen (left), this energetic musical comedy traces the life of Josh Cohen ("a poor shlub who never pays retail") as he copes with what appears to be a lifelong battle with bad luck.

He has no luck with women; he is broke and underemployed; and his apartment has just been cleaned out by a burglar. But when a mysterious letter arrives containing a check made out to "Josh Cohen" in the amount of $56,000, his annual St. Valentine's Day pity-party suddenly doesn't seem so bad. Unfortunately, he does not recognize the name of Irma Cohen, the woman who has sent the check (a long-lost relative?), so he sets out to find out who she is and why she sent him the money—a quest that provides much hilarity and fun.

Josh Cohen Press Photo 5The seven young actors pull quadruple duty as actors, singers, dancers and musicians. Only Rossmer and Rosen play single parts: the former as the Josh Cohen of the story and the latter as the narrator (and future Josh Cohen). Their repartee is charming and comedic, and even though Rossmer's Cohen is rather shlubby, he's very lovable and we find ourselves rooting for his success. The other five play a multitude of roles, a feat enhanced by the terrific costumes designed by Jennifer Caprio, along with wigs by Amanda Miller, to match each character (kudos to the dressers offstage, too). Check out the get-up on the actor playing Neil Diamond!(Above L-R: Hannah Elless, Kate Wetherhead, Steve Rosen, Ken Triwush; Photo by Jerry Dalia)

Josh Cohen Press Photo 4Kate Wetherhead is wonderful as Josh's various would-be girlfriends, all of whom ditch him rather unceremoniously. Vadim Feichtner, Hannah Eless, Ken Triwush and Catherine Salamone portray so many characters that it was hard to keep track of who played whom. Needless to say, they all performed with great energy and élan.

Ted Sperling's crisp direction keeps things moving along on a functional set by David Korns, so there is nary a dead spot in the action. Andrew Palermo's musical staging, especially the choreography, conveys youthful exuberance. And Vadim Feichtner's musical direction puts across the bouncy songs very well. Hannah Eless is to be commended for her drumming and drum arrangements. (Above L-R: Rossner, Elless, Triwush, Wetherhead, Feichtner, Salamone, Rosen; Photo by Jerry Dalia)

My only complaint is the decibel level of the sound by Randy Hansen. I was sitting in Row K, and much of the time I could not understand the lyrics. Those I did hear were clever; I wish I could have discerned more.

The Other Josh Cohen continues Paper Mill Playhouse's run of presenting new shows. While it may not have the scope (or the stars) of Newsies andHoneymoon in Vegas, the energy and passion of the actors (all of them from the Off-Broadway production) convey a big dramatic heart that envelopes the audience in this funny, uplifting story—big time!

The Other Josh Cohen will be performed eight times a week at the Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, through March 16. For information and tickets, call the box office at 973.376.4343 or by visiting online at www.papermill.org.

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cocGS9zM24E

Posted by Ruth Ross

Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery to be co-produced by McCarter and Arena Stage

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McCarter Theatre Center and Arena Stage at the Mead Center have announced the world premiere co-production of Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, as part of each institution’s upcoming 2014/15 season.

Equal parts adventure and comedy, Baskerville finds the inimitable Sherlock Holmes and his sturdy companion Dr. Watson battling their greatest mystery to date amid foggy London streets and the foreboding moors of the English countryside. With a mythical hellhound prowling the mists, the great detective will need every ounce of his legendary wit and deductive power to solve the case…before it’s too late. From first clue to final curtain, Baskerville will be a fast moving, pulse-pounding, and murderously funny ride.

Adapted from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s beloved 1901 mystery, Ken Ludwig’s inventive new adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles will be helmed by award-winning director Gary Griffin.  Baskerville will consist of a cast of five ricocheting through more than 30 separate roles in an imaginatively non-traditional staging. This hilariously off-beat piece will, in the words of the playwright, “move seamlessly…tumbling forth as the best adventures stories do, with relentless pace and enormous heart.”

Mr. Ludwig adds: “I'm thrilled to be working on the world premiere of Baskerville with two of my favorite theaters in the world, the McCarter Theatre and Arena Stage.  I'm equally excited that the play will be directed by the immensely talented and visionary Gary Griffin, and I know that I couldn't be embarking on this adventure with a more remarkable team.”

An award-winning playwright whose work has been performed in over 30 countries and in more than 20 languages, Ken Ludwig’s previous works include the Tony Award-winning Lend Me A Tenor, which The New York Times called "one of the two great farces by a living writer.” His other best-known Broadway and West End shows include Crazy For You (5 years on Broadway, Tony and Olivier Award Winner for Best Musical), Moon Over Buffalo, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, among others.

Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery will begin previews on the Arena stage on January 16, 2015, open January 22, and close February 22, 2015. The production shifts to Princeton, NJ for a McCarter Theatre Center run starting previews on March 10, 2015, opening March 13, and closing March 29, 2015.

Visit www.mccarter.org for updates and more information on 2014/15 programming.

Final 4 performances of ‘Rx’ at Dreamcatcher Rep-Discount available

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre

Final 4 performances!

Rx at Dreamcatcher

Critics love Kate Fodor's RX, now playing for 4 more performances at Dreamcatcher Rep.

examiner.com
"The high entertainment level it delivers is in large part due to the contributions of the director, Laura Ekstrand, and the exceptional talent of the resident performers led by Jessica O'Hara-Baker."
-- Rick Busciglio for Northern NJ Theater Examiner/New Jersey Footlights
Full review

Star-Ledger
"Artistic director Laura Ekstrand leads an entertaining production, with actors from the repertory company seemingly tailor-made for their roles."
-- Ronni Reich for The Star-Ledger Full review

Talkin Broadway

"Fodor's Rx is a light, warm, goofy and slap sticky feel good romantic comedy."
-- Bob Rendell for Talkin' Broadway Full review

View photos on Facebook

Dreamcatcher Rep presents the New Jersey premiere of Rx, Kate Fodor's romantic comedy about love, happiness and pharmaceuticals.

In 'Rx', Meena is desperately unhappy at her job so she participates in a drug trial for a new medication designed to increase job satisfaction. Will the new drug provide a shortcut to happiness? Or will falling in love threaten to derail her journey to personal fulfillment? 

Directed by Laura Ekstrand and featuring a cast of Dreamcatcher ensemble favorites:

  • Jessica O'Hara-Baker
  • Dave Maulbeck
  • Janet Sales
  • Jason Szamreta
  • Noreen Farley

Rx runs 3 weeks only, February 13 - March 2.
Info  *  Tickets


SAVE 15% (advance only)     Enter code PILLPOP at checkout


Event:
RX Info

When:

February 13 - March 2
Thursday + Friday + Saturday at 8pm  ---  Sunday at 2pm

Location:
Oakes Center
120 Morris Avenue, Summit   Directions

(entrance on Russell Place, parking lot at 20 Ashwood Ave.)

Price:
$35 adults

$30 seniors 65+ with ID       Seniors, see special date below
$30 students 25- with ID

See discount below. Buy tickets now No fees! 

Discount:
Our e-mail friends SAVE 15% (advance only). Enter code PILLPOP at checkout. 

Note to season passholders: don't forget to reserve your seats! E-mail us for help

MORE INFO ONLINE:   Our current season   |   RX

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre

Oakes Center   *   120 Morris Avenue   *   Summit, NJ 07901 

Tickets: 800-838-3006   *   Info: 908-514-9654

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Review: ‘The Liar’ great fun at Centenary Stage Company

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David Ives’ clever adaptation of the classic French farce "The Liar" opened at Centenary Stage Company this past weekend. This production, set in 1643 Paris, is stylishly directed by the CSC's artistic director, Carl Wallnau with a marvelous cast of mostly Equity pros led by Brian Sheppard.

"The Liar" is pure zany fun starting with the opening remarks to the audience by actor Tom Morin. Morin, seen last season as the cripple in the "Cripple of Inishmaan," has a fine comedy turn as the enterprising servant for hire Cliton, the lead jester of the play.  Cliton has one slight  flaw ...he can not tell a lie! This affliction is particularly unsatisfactory since his new employer, the handsome and charming Dorante (played with great style by Brian Sheppard), who has arrived in Paris seeking a suitable bride, is incapable of telling the truth. Dorante believes the best and quickest route to his marital goal is to fabricate outlandish tales of conquest both in the boudoir and on the battlefield.

The plot: Dorante, on his very first day in Paris, meets two beautiful young women, who are not only close friends, but live on the same exclusive street and each has a servant. Here is where the fun and resulting confusion starts and ends. The two servants, Isabella and Sabine are twin sisters (played nicely by Morgan Mack, a recent Centenary grad making her Equity debut) Sabine serves the charming Clarice (Dana Gartland) and Isabella serves Clarice's best friend, the quiet, but attractive Lucrece (Erica Knight). Dorante falls in love with... Clarice, whom he unfortunately mistakes for her friend Lucrece. He spends most of the two-hour hilarious adventure pursuing her via every means possible including a dark midnight rendezvous and a passionate note.

Rounding out the fine cast is Phil E. Eichinger as Alcippe, Clarice's secret and very jealous fiancé. One of the comedy high points is a sword less duel between Dorante and Alcippe. Playing Dorante's aristocratic father, who is also in Paris to arrange a marriage for his master liar of a son, is the very impressive Alan Coates.  Lastly, Christopher J. Young has the supporting role of Philiste, Alcippe's friend.

What takes this play to a special level, adding greatly to the enjoyment, is that the entire play is delivered in clever, very amusing modern rhyming verse.

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Director Carl Wallnau's' production team includes the  award winning television and stage set designer Bob Phillips, who has designed an outstanding single set with a Parisian backdrop, that works for all scenes via the simple placement of potted plants, a bench and curtains. The prop movements are cleverly choreographed by Lea Antolini-Lid. The colorful, nicely detailed period costumes are the work of costume designer Julia Sharp; the lighting designer is Ed Matthews; the fight coordinator is Stephen Davis; and the sound designer is Kyle Dylan Conner. Danielle Constance serves as stage manager.

"The Liar" is a fun romantic event that, of course, has a happy ending (with a nice twist). How the tale is resolved, naturally, requires a visit to the Centenary Stage Company. If you are looking for a bright break from the dreary days of winter, look no further, this is a wonderful joyous example of the magic that is live theatre. Laughs are guaranteed.

Reviewed by Rick Busciglio February 23, 2014

"The Liar" performance times are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. There are 2 p.m. matinées on Wednesdays February 26th and March 5th. Tickets range from $25 to $27.50 with discounts for students and seniors. Every Thursday night is “Family Night,” which offers a 2-for-1 rush ticket price when purchased at the door.

1007LacklandBldgTickets may be purchased online at www.centenarystageco.org, at the CSC Box Office located in the David and Carol Lackland Center at 715 Grand Ave in Hackettstown, or by calling 908-979-0900.   The Box Office is open 1-5 PM Monday through Friday, and 2 hours prior to performance times. CSC also operates a second Box Office during the season at 217 Main Street in Hackettstown open Monday through Friday 3-6 p.m.

Photos: 1: Tim Morin and Brian Sheppard (Bob Eberle)

             2: Erica Knight (Bob Eberle) 

Monday, February 24, 2014

‘Good People’ opens March 14th at Chester Theatre Group—with online ticketing

Good People

The last time Gloria Lamoureux took the stage at Chester Theatre Group, she brought Shirley Valentine unforgettably to life in a bravura, one-woman show that earned her the Perry Award—the “Tony” of New Jersey’s Community Theater world—for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play.

Shirley_1 (1)Gloria (photo right) is sure to give Perry voters much to talk about once again when she leads the cast of Good People, opening March 14th at CTG. (After all, Frances McDormand of Fargo fame won the Tony for the very same role in 2011.)

Lamoureux will portray Margie Walsh, a single mother who is one paycheck away from desperation in the Boston blue-collar neighborhood known as “Southie.” Her old boyfriend, Mike, is now a doctor, living the good life on the right side of the tracks. When Mike turns Margie down for a job, she hatches a plan to turn the tables on him—a plan that sets their two very different worlds on a collision course. The play, penned by David Lindsay-Abaire (Pulitzer prize winner for Rabbit Hole), evokes the full gamut of emotion, from laughter to tears, from edge-of-your-seat tension to heartbreaking pathos.

The show is directed by Cindy Alexander of Annandale (who also helmed the aforementioned production of Shirley Valentine.) Joining Lamoureux in the six-person cast are Matt Meier of Long Valley as Mike, and CTG veterans Ellen Fraker Glasscock (of Chester) and Claudia Metz (of Boonton) as Margie’s best friends Dottie and Jeannie. Mike’s African-American wife, Kate—whose race is another source of tension between the old lovers—will be portrayed by CTG newcomer Kellei Cosby, a resident of Lake Hiawatha. Completing the cast as Margie’s former boss, Stevie, is George Bierly of Morristown. Diane Butler of Bernardsville is the show’s producer.

Good People will have seven public performances on March 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29, and 30 (and one private performance reserved for United Way of Northern New Jersey). The Friday and Saturday night shows will begin at 8PM. The one Sunday matinee on the 30th is at 2 pm.

Tickets are $20 with a $2 discount available for seniors aged 65 and over and students under 18. Tickets can be reserved by calling the theater box office at 908-879-7304 or by visiting www.chestertheatregroup.org.

Also of note: Good People is also the very first CTG show to offer online ticket purchasing via the group’s recently redesigned website.

Black-River-Playhouse-chesterChester Theatre Group’s Black River Playhouse is located at 54 Grove Street in downtown Chester, NJ at the corner of Grove Street and Maple Avenue.

 

Gloria Lamoureux photo by Lamont Hill

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Playwrights Theatre and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts to present writings from Residents of the Greenfields Residential Community Home

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The Residency is part of the Playwright Discovery Program of the Very Specials Arts in Washington, DC

Playwrights Theatre has partnered with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for two Writings from the residents of the Greenfields Residential Community Home in Ringwood, NJ, the results of a 10-week workshop conducted for the Playwright Discovery Program of Very Special Arts in Washington, DC. Playwrights Theatre provided a playwriting and creative writing residency at Greenfield’s Residential Center which houses 32 incarcerated boys ages 13-16.

During the 24-session residency, master teaching artists Dominique Cieri and Horace Jackson fostered group collaboration through writing, movement and visual arts dramatizing the participant’s perspectives on their lives creating two theatrical performance pieces. As this residency comes to a close, there will be a presentation for family, friends and the public of the young men’s work, and a documentation of their creative writing will be produced in an anthology.

15-njpacThe performance will take place in the Horizon Theatre at NJPAC on Friday, February 21, 2014, at 7pm. The performance will consist of plays and poems written in the class and will be performed by the residents working alongside professional actors. A post-performance talk-back will be held with the boys and the residency teaching artists. The public is invited free of charge.

“We are very grateful to The Playwright Discovery Program at Very Special Arts in Washington DC for providing us with the contract to return to Greenfields after a five-year hiatus. Prior to state funding cuts that precluded the continuation of our program at Greenfields, we had been teaching residencies at the site for nearly twenty years,” said John Pietrowski, Playwrights Theatre’s Artistic Director. “This has allowed us to return and do this important creative and academic skills-based activity with the residents. We really encourage the public to come by and see the performance. The guys have a lot to say, and they say it with a lot of ingenuity and energy.”

About the VSA Playwright Discovery Award Program:

The VSA Playwright Discovery Competition invites middle and high school students to take a closer look at the world around them, examine how disability affects their lives and the lives of others, and express their views through the art of script writing. Writers may write from their own experience and observations, or create fictional characters and settings. Scripts can be comedies, dramas, or even musicals-be creative! Young writers with and without disabilities are encouraged to submit a script. Entries may be the work of an individual student or a collaboration by a group of students.

About Greenfields Residential Community Home:

Green Residential Community Home is located in rural Passaic County on the grounds of Ringwood State Park. It is a residential facility for younger male juvenile offenders between the ages of 14 and 17. The center serves a maximum of 28 residents.

The program’s goal is to provide a safe, secure, and structured environment where program participants learn to modify their behaviors and reactions; utilizing ART (Aggression Replacement Training), and other proven treatment modalities. Through these concepts, residents learn to adapt to change, accept accountability, and develop self-discipline. Individual and group counseling is provided by a contracted Psychologist and Psychiatrist.

Staff members act as role models, instilling a sense of esprit de corps, teach realistic goal setting, and promote responsible decision- making. These efforts are supported by our involvement in a proven concept of a champion Model.
In addition we have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Division of Parks and Forestry. Specifically we are mandated to complete fifty- two (52) man-hours of work per week at Ringwood State Park. Residents perform daily community service on the grounds of Ringwood State Park and Ringwood Manor. Projects include but are not limited to planting of seasonal flowers, gardening, landscaping, installing fences, maintaining flower beds, and general clean up. Students are eligible to receive educational / vocational credits through Structured Learning Experience (SLE).
The young men of Green RCH also provide assistance to the municipal government, ambulance corps, fire department, a local battered women’s shelter, and maintain one of the town’s main roads through the Adopt-A-Road Program.
The Green Residential Community Home places a priority on education and appreciation for the environment by supporting all State and National Initiatives on recycling.

About Playwrights Theatre:

Founded in 1986, Playwrights Theatre is a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit professional theatre and arts education institution dedicated to developing and nurturing the dramatic imagination of artists, students, and audiences. Our New Play Program creates development opportunities for professional writers through readings, workshops and productions, and invites audiences to participate in authentic feedback experiences. Our New Jersey Writers Project, Poetry Out Loud, New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest and Festival, and Creative Arts Academy programs provide a comprehensive and hands-on arts education experience to over 31,000 students, Pre-K through adult.

Writers in the New Play Program are drawn from across the country, including our affiliation with the National New Play Network, a nation-wide group of theatres dedicated to the development and production of new work. Teaching Artists in our Education Programs are professional artists working in their field in the New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia metropolitan areas. From 2003-2013, we have been designated a Major Arts Institution by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (along with only four other theatres: The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, George Street Playhouse, McCarter Theatre Center and Paper Mill Playhouse) as “an anchor institution that contributes vitally to the quality of life in New Jersey.”

Funding for our activities comes 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, the F.M. Kirby Foundation, Inc., Dramatist Guild Fund, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, The Shubert Foundation, Travelers, The Victoria Foundation, and many corporations, foundations and individuals.

Playwrights Theatre is a member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, the National New Play Network, and Madison Arts & Culture Alliance.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Next at Circle Players the dark comedy ‘Ravenscroft’

Circle Players will present “Ravenscroft,” a comedic mystery written by Don Nigro.

This psychological drama is a thinking person's Gothic thriller, a dark comedy that is both funny and frightening. On a snowy night, Inspector Ruffing is called to a remote house to investigate the headlong plunge of Patrick Roarke down the main staircase. He becomes involved in the lives of five alluring and dangerous women.

They lead him through a bewildering labyrinth of contradictory versions of Patrick’s demise and that of the late Mr. Ravenscroft. There are ghosts on the staircase, skeletons in the closet, and much more than the Inspector bargained for. His investigation leads into his own tortured soul and the nature of truth itself.

You will not guess the ending, but you will be teased, seduced, bewildered, amused, frightened, and led to a dark encounter with truth … or something stranger.

Alicia Harabin of Somerville is the director, and Ed Faver of Roselle is the producer.

Appearing onstage are Kristin Bennett of Montville, Thom Boyer of Somerville, Debbie Campanali of Towaco, Cody Dalton of Oakhurst, Roxanne Guarino of Metuchen, and Donne Petito of Hopewell.

The theater is located at 416 Victoria Ave., Piscataway.

Performances will be 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, March 7-22, with a 3 p.m. matinee Sunday, March 23.

A wine and cheese reception will follow the opening night performance.
For reservations, call (732) 968-7555, or buy tickets online at  www.circleplayers.com. ($1 per ticket discount online.) Tickets are $18 for adults and $17 for students and seniors. Sorry, no credit cards can be accepted at the theater box office, but may be used online.

Hudson Theatre Works’ Evening of Art & Music in Union City

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Hudson

The Pennington Players Present... Terrence McNally's "Master Class"

Fri. Feb. 21 & 28, 2014 at 8 pm

Sat. Feb. 22 & Mar. 1 at 8 pm

Sun. Feb. 23 & Mar. 2 at 2 pm

The Pennington Players bring Maria Callas back to life in all her temperamental, tempestuous glory. Inspired by a series of master classes the great opera singer conducted toward the end of her career, the play captures Callas as she coaxes, prods and inspires students into giving the performances of their lives while revealing details about her own…her  fierce hatred of her rivals, her triumphs at La Scala and her affair with Aristotle Onassis.  Master Classsoars from the artistic heights to the emotional depths of one of the world’s most famous divas. 

In keeping with the Pennington Players’ goal to make theatre accessible to all, they are offering the audience the experience of an ASL interpreted performance for the deaf, hard of hearing, and ASL community.  ASL is a visual-gestural language used by many deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States and Canada.  It is a complete language with its own grammar and syntax; it is neither merely pantomime, nor English using the hands.   

 The performance on Sunday, February 23, 2014, will be ASL interpreted by Allwyn Baskin and Lisette Weiland in conjunction with the actual performance provided by the cast.  American Sign Language is used for interpreting the performing arts for deaf or hearing-impaired audiences. The two interpreters will be located on a corner of the stage, and will translate the dialogue into American Sign Language. 

Additionally, audience members at the Friday, February 28thperformance of Master Class will have the opportunity to engage in a discussion with the cast and crew about the process of bringing the production together.   This “talkback” session will last about 30 minutes and begin immediately following the performance. 

kelsey_front_wideVENUE:
Kelsey Theatre
1200 Old Trenton Road
West Windsor, NJ
TICKETS:
$18 adults, $16 seniors, $14 students

Dreamcatcher Offers Free Preview of its Summer Theatre Conservatory on March 15th as Part of the Stages Festival

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The New Jersey Theatre Alliance presents Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre’s All in One Theatre Workshop on Saturday, March 15 from 10 am to 2 pm at the Oakes Center at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit. This event is part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s Stages Festival, the state’s largest annual theatre festival that provides discounted and free theatre performances, workshops and events for all ages throughout the month of March.  The Theatre Workshop will provide a preview of Dreamcatcher’s Summer Theatre Conservatory for students aged 10 and up, which runs throughout the month of July. This event will be free, but registration is required.

The Stages Festival is a statewide program offering free and discounted tickets to performances, workshops, classes and events at the states professional theatres, partner performing arts centers, as well as libraries, schools, senior centers and museums.  The program was developed to encourage New Jersey’s residents to attend their local professional theatres by making the experience affordable, accessible and fun.

All across the state, patrons will receive free and discounted tickets to over 100 performances and special events, including classes, and workshops for all ages.  Since its inception 17 years ago, the program has served over 80,000 people.

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, professional Theatre in Residence at the Oakes Center in Summit, will hold the Summer Theatre Conservatory from July 7 through August 1, 2014.  Students in this varied program will take classes in subjects like acting technique, improv, voice, and dance and will have the opportunity to create and put on a show!  The program is open to actors aged 10 and up.  Classes are held Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 pm (with a special performance August 1 at 7:30 pm) at Dreamcatcher’s summer home at Calvary Episcopal Church at 31 Woodland Avenue in Summit.

The STC is a fun way for students to explore their interest and deepen their skills in the performing arts during their summer vacation.  Emphasis is placed on collaboration, freeing your own creativity, and exploring new skills in a supportive environment.  Participants can tailor the program to suit their preferences and their family’s schedule, attending the Conservatory for one, two, three or all four weeks.  Professionals in their field teach all classes, and students receive individual attention, constructive feedback, and the support needed to achieve their personal goals.

Week 1, the Actors’ Workshop (July 7 – July 11), provides a strong foundation in the building blocks of acting:  vocal and physical preparation, Acting Technique, Improvisation and Scene Study.  Week 2, the Musical Theatre Workshop (July 14 – 18), will include classes in Acting Technique as well as in Musical Theatre dance and singing, with the chance to put all three skills together each day.  Weeks 3 and 4, Dreamcatcher Junior (July 21 – August 1), will be a combination of skill-building and rehearsal, as the students put together their own show under the guidance of a professional direction staff.  Past shows have included an original show about a fledgling television network entitled DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL!, a collection of fables and songs called LEGENDS AND LORE and A VAUDEVILLE CALAMITY, a new-fangled, old-fashioned entertainment.  Students from last summer’s Summer Theatre Conservatory commented:  “This is a great program!” and “I learned a lot of awesome stuff.”

Reservations are required for the Sample Class Day, and enrollment is strictly limited.  To register, please call 908-514-9654 or email info@dreamcatcherrep.org. The cost of the Summer Theatre Conservatory is $275 for one week, $495 for two weeks, $700 for three weeks, and $880 for all four weeks, with limited scholarships available.  Discounts are provided for those who register beforeApril 15.  Admission is on a first come, first served basis until the program is filled or until the deadline of June 1, and applications for the Summer Theatre Conservatory and more information on the program may be obtained by calling Dreamcatcher’s business office at 908-514-9654, emailing info@dreamcatcherrep.org or may be downloaded at www.dreamcatcherrep.org.

Founded in 1981, the New Jersey Theatre Alliance is the first statewide organization for professional, not-for-profit theatre companies in the United States, and is a leader in developing model programs that foster collaboration, cooperation and audience development. The Alliance provides member theatres and arts patrons a wide range of supportive services and programs, assists member theatres in their growth and development – as well as in the promotion of their programs – helping them reach their full potential. For arts patrons, the Alliance provides a variety of services to enhance their theatre-going experience.

The Stages Festival is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.  Additional program sponsors are Bank of America and The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. Additional program support has been provided by The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The HMS Foundation, The F.M. Kirby Foundation, The George A. Ohl, Jr. Trust Foundation, Prudential Foundation, The Smart Family Foundation, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation and The Victoria Foundation. To receive a full schedule of events for The Stages Festival  visit www.stagesfestival.org.

All African-American Concert Version of ‘Meredith Willson’s The Music Man’ at NJPAC in Newark and Two River in Red Bank

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New Jersey Performing Arts Center and Two River Theater have joined to present a concert version of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man, the classic Tony Award-winning musical, directed by Obie Award-winner Robert O’Hara, with music direction by Kenny J. Seymour. America’s favorite musical about big brass bands and small-town spirit will be performed by an African-American cast. The River City, Iowa setting will be based on historical accounts of black communities established during the Great Migration as former slaves moved across the U.S. following the Civil War.

There will be six performances at Two River Theater in Red Bank from March 13-16 and four performances at NJPAC in Newark from March 21-23.

Isaiah Johnson Isaiah Johnson (photo right) will play Harold Hill and Stephanie Umoh will play Marian Paroo. Johnson has appeared on Broadway in Peter and the Starcatcher and The Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino. Umoh played Sarah in the 2009 Broadway revival of Ragtime.

Also featured in the cast are Kevin Boseman (A Chorus Line at Paper Mill Playhouse) as Winthrop; Lawrence Clayton (Jean Valjean in the 25th Anniverary US Tour of Les Misérables) as Mayor Shinn; Bernard Dotson (Chicago Broadway revival) as Charlie Cowell; Kevin R. Free (Once On This Island at Paper Mill Playhouse) as Marcellus; Trent Armand Kendall (Into the Woods Broadway revival) as Olin Britt; Destinee Rea (Hairspray with Theatre Under the Stars) as Amaryllis; Myra Lucretia Taylor (Nine Broadway revival, As You Like It at Two River Theater) as Mrs. Paroo; Aurelia Williams (Once On This Island at Paper Mill Playhouse) as Ethel Toffelmier; and NaTasha Yvette Williams (A Night with Janis Joplin) as Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn.

The creative team includes scenic designer Craig Napoliello; costume designer Dede Ayite; lighting designer Alex Jainchill; sound designer Lindsay Jones; and associate sound designer Jake Zerrer. The casting is by Cindy Tolan & Adam Caldwell and the stage manager is David Apichell.

The Music Man won the 1957 Tony Award for Best Musical and the first Grammy Award for Best Original Cast Album. Winner of Best Musical at the 1957 Tony Awards, The Music Man tells the story of con man Harold Hill, who falls for piano teacher and librarian Marian Paroo in the summer of 1912 as he bamboozles the conservative townsfolk of River City into financing a marching band. “Professor” Hill has to choose between the promise of romance and a quick getaway as his scheme begins to unravel.

The memorable score, which won the first Grammy Award for Best Original Cast Album, includes “Seventy-six Trombones,” “Ya Got Trouble,” “Marian the Librarian,” “Goodnight, My Someone” and “Till There Was You.”

Performance Schedule and Ticket Information

Meredith Willson’s The Music Man
Book, Music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson                 
Story by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey
Concert Adaptation by Evans Haile

njpacvictoria_theater_photo01Performances in NJPAC’s Victoria Theater take place Friday, March 21 at 8pm; Saturday, March 22 at 3pm and 8pm; Sunday, March 23 at 3pm. Tickets, on sale now, are $59.50 and $69.50 and can be purchased at www.njpac.org, by calling 1-888-GO-NJPAC or by visiting the box office at One Center Street in Downtown Newark. These performances have been 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, by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and by Discover Jersey Arts.

redb7Performances in Two River’s Rechnitz Theater are Thursday, March 13 at 8pm; Friday, March 14 at 8pm; Saturday, March 15 at 3pm and 8pm; and Sunday, March 16 at 3pm and 7pm. Tickets starting at $20 are available from 732.345.1400 or www.tworivertheater.org. $20 tickets may be partial view. The co-Lead Sponsors of this production are Brookdale Community College and WBGO.

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New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States.  It is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey—where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. As New Jersey’s Town Square, NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the State’s and the world’s best artists, while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted over seven million visitors (including more than one million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents. Visit www.njpac.org or call 1-888-GO-NJPAC for more information.

Two Riv extTwo River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, is celebrating its 20th Anniversary of creating great American theater by developing and producing new works and world masterpieces. We cultivate an audience that cherishes the intimate joy of theater, enriched when shared by a community of others. Two River Theater supports adventurous theater artists and the development of new work making a sustained investment in the creative process, and cultivates a new generation of theatergoers through arts education programs.

Two River Theater is a member of the League of Resident Theaters (LORT), Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the New Jersey Theatre Alliance,  and ArtPride New Jersey, and has been designated a “Major Arts Institution” by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. For more information, visit tworivertheater.org or call 732.345.1400.