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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Luna Stage Closes its 2014-2015 season with TAR BEACH, a world premiere by award-winning playwright Tammy Ryan


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Luna Stage presents the world premiere of Tar Beach by Tammy Ryan.  Tar Beach opens to previews on Thursday April 9, 2015 and runs Thursdays through Sundays through May 9th. Opening night is Friday April 17, 2015.  Select performances are followed by Talkbacks with the Creative Team. Tickets range from $25-$35 dollars.  Group sales available. $10 Student Rush tickets available one half-hour before curtain. Individual tickets can be purchased at lunastage.org, or at the box office Tues.-Fri. 10am-3pm (973-395-5551).

It is July 1977. Son of Sam is on the loose and New York City is in the midst of a brutal heat wave. Sixteen year old Mary Claire and her best friend Mary Francis start that day sunning themselves on the roof of an Ozone Park row house. Younger sister Reenie is searching for her lost Greek Mythology class project, while their parents are consumed by the battles of their troubled marriage. The boy crazy Marys hatch a plan to stay out all night, but an overstressed electrical grid leads to a city-wide blackout and a sudden loss of innocence.

Tar Beach was named a finalist for the Terrence McNally Playwriting Award, The Source Theater Festival and a Jane Chambers Playwriting Award honoree. It was included in the 2014 edition of The List compiled by The Kilroys as "one of the most excellent new plays by female-identified authors of last year".

The Luna Stage premiere features a cast of five: Heather Benton, Alanna Monte, Emmanuelle Nadeau, Bart Shatto, and Emily Verla, and is directed by Luna Artistic Director Cheryl Katz.

tammy-ryan-01-400x400 Tammy Ryan's plays have been performed across the United States at such theaters as The Alliance Theater Company, Florida Stage, Marin Theater, Dallas Children’s Theater, The Dorset Theater Festival, Stamford Theater Works and 29th Street Rep among others. In 2012 she won the Francesca Primus Prize from the American Theater Critics Association for her play Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods, which premiered at Premiere Stages and Playwrights Theater of New Jersey.Soldier’s Heart, her play about sexual assault in the military premiered at The Rep at the Pittsburgh Playhouse last season and received its New Jersey premiere this past summer at Premiere Stages.

Cast member Heather Benton is a company member of the award winning international company East River Commedia, a co-founder of the Flying Sandbox, an actor-training studio of physical theatre, and artist collaborator with Théâtre Trouvé. Alanna Monte attends Montclair State University as a Theatre Studies Major and is making her professional debut. Emmanuelle Nadeau, a sophomore at Westfield High School, was recently seen as "Scout" in To Kill A Mockingbird at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Bart Shatto has performed on Broadway in the Tony-nominated Hands on a Hardbody, Dracula, the Tony-nominated The Civil War and Les Miserables (in the iconic role of "Jean Valjean"). Emily Verla has appeared Off-Broadway and in New York at New York Classical Theatre, Theatre East, and Theatre for the Heart, and others.

Luna Stage, a proud member of Valley Arts, is located at 555 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ 07052. The theatre is handicapped accessible and offers assistive listening devices.

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