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Monday, June 5, 2017

Dreamcatcher Announces its 2017-2018 Season

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Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, in residence at Oakes Center at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit, is announcing its 2017-2018 season.  This professional company will bring three productions, including one New Jersey premiere and two world premieres, to the stage in addition to improvisational comedy, a cabaret, new play readings, a holiday variety show and many programs for seniors and students.  As always, the Dreamcatcher Resident Acting Company and their guests will tell stories that reflect our shared experience of being human with heart and humor.

Dreamcatcher’s fall mainstage production is the New Jersey Premiere of Every Brilliant Thing. This solo show that is performed in the round had its debut in London and then travelled to Off-Broadway in 2016. In the play, we meet a man whose mother has struggled with mental illness since he was a child. In response, he begins to make a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world. 1. Ice cream. 2. Kung Fu movies. 3. Burning things. 4. Laughing so hard you shoot milk out your nose. 5. Construction cranes. 6. Me. Gradually, the list takes on a life of its own. In this intimate, funny and moving conversation, the protagonist engages the audience by asking them to read items from the list and, occasionally, to help him tell his story. Every Brilliant Thing will open on September 21 and will play until October 8.

The second mainstage production of the season, opening in February, is the World Premiere of What Stays by Dreamcatcher ensemble members Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta. Dorothy, the matriarch, has two days to finish packing up the family home and move to a new condo, so she’s called in her adult children to help with the task. When several unexpected visitors show up as well, the job becomes even more complicated. What they don’t know is that in the course of their visit, she plans to reveal to them something that she’s kept hidden for decades. What she doesn’t know is that nearly everyone in the house has secrets of their own. Ultimately, the family will discover the cost of hiding the truth and the cost of telling it. Together they’ll decide what stays with them and what will be left behind. What Stays runs February 8 through March 25.

Dreamcatcher’s final mainstage production of the season will be the World Premiere of Continuing the Conversation: An Evening of Short Plays Inspired by Current Events. A follow-up to Dreamcatcher’s Evening of Short Plays in Response to the Election, Continuing the Conversation is an opportunity to check in with the community on what’s important to us in real time. Suzanne Bradbeer, Richard Dresser, Steve Harper, Dania Ramos, Lia Romeo and David Lee White will create original plays for an ensemble of six actors. Written on a theme chosen by the writers in the months prior to the production, Continuing the Conversation will be focused on the interaction between the stories we tell in the theatre and the lives we are living. It’s a chance to connect artists to audience in an immediate way, with several discussions following the performances throughout the run. Continuing the Conversation runs from April 26 through May 13.

The improv comedy group Multiple Personality Disorder will bring its own brand of silliness and spontaneity to life for two evenings during the season.  The first MPD show will be on Saturday, October 14, 2017 and the second will be Saturday, March 17, 2018.

From Friday, November 17 through Sunday, November 19, Dreamcatcher will present an original musical cabaret performance entitledBroadway by the Book. On December 2, Dreamcatcher will present A Very Special (Holiday) Special, a unique and affectionate send-up of traditional television holiday variety shows.  This Very Special Special will include holiday songs, comic sketches and improv, and lots of good old-fashioned fun.

In the spring, two “Meet the Artist” new play readings will be held on May 16 and 23, thought-provoking experiences which include the opportunity for audience discussion with the writer, director and actors after the performance.

Dreamcatcher Junior, the summer program for students aged 10-17, will culminate in its annual production on Friday, July 27, an original family show that always draws on the creativity of its young actors to shape the piece.  Each year, the youth company creates a one-of-a-kind piece that has ranged from fairy tale quest to Shakespeare adaptation to musical revue.

Throughout the year, Dreamcatcher offers internships for high school and college students, classes for teens and adults, and many volunteer opportunities.  In addition, the theatre provides a menu of outreach programs for students and seniors that travel to other venues.  All of Dreamcatcher’s activities center on the collaborative nature of theatre and creating a comfortable environment for artists and audiences of all ages to explore and grow together.  The company’s work is supported by grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and several other corporate and individual donors that believe in the power of the arts to bring people together and promote understanding between them.

Season passes may be purchased that provide substantial discounts to all events, and special rates for groups are also available.  The theatre at Oakes Center is wheelchair accessible, and such access services as large print scripts, assistive listening devices, and audio description will be available by prior arrangement throughout the season.  Performances will be held at Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901.  For more information and tickets for any of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre’s programs, please call 908-514-9654, and visitwww.DreamcatcherRep.org.

About Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre:

Dreamcatcher was founded in 1994, and is a non-profit professional ensemble of actors who share contemporary, life-affirming stories that foster a deeper understanding of how we are all connected.  We seek to expose theatregoers to ideas and lives like and unlike their own, to awaken their imaginations and create empathy for others. The company focuses on deepening the experience of our patrons by supplementing the performances with personal contact through receptions, talkbacks, and interactive programs.

Dreamcatcher's core company of professional local actors performs contemporary work that entertains and challenges, and has at its heart a belief in the essential goodness of people. The company’s activities include mainstage productions, improvisational comedy and cabarets, new play readings and a variety of educational and senior outreach programs.

Dreamcatcher’s programs are funded by 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, Dramatist Guild Fund, The Summit Area Public Foundation, the Manley-Winser Foundation, and many other corporations, foundations and individuals.  Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre is a senior member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

Photo: Clark Scott Carmichael in Every Brilliant Thing (David Miceli)

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