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Monday, June 2, 2014

2014-2015 schedule for The Growing Stage in Netcong


Here is the 2014-2015 schedule for The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey:

THE PALACE FILM FEST: September 19 – 21 2014

“We will be bringing back to the big screen experience such classic films favorites that once “played the Palace!”  We are currently in negotiations for such titles as GULLIVER’S TRAVELS, Abbott and Costello’s JACK IN THE BEANSTALK, and THE WIZARD OF OZ.”

FALL SEMESTER OF THE TGS ARTS ACADEMY: September 20 – December 13, 2014

Classes for young people pre-K through high school in creative dramatics, performance, musical theatre and specialized one-shot workshops for older students throughout the twelve week session. All of our classes are process-oriented rather than performance based, to ensure that focus is on the experience of the participating in arts.

Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID:  October 3 – 26, 2014

Music by Alan Menken

Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater

Book by Doug Wright

In a magical kingdom under the sea, the beautiful young mermaid Ariel longs to live in the world above.  Based on Hans Christian Anderson’s beloved tale, with music by eight-time academy Award-winner Alan Menken, it’s a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages.  Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID will capture your heart with irresistible songs including “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl” and “Part of Your World.”


Last year’s event at Harvest Fest at Hudson Farm Club was a tremendous success with over 400 attendees, 12 local restaurants and 26 micro-breweries/wineries participating in our most successful fund raising event ever.  Invite your friends to Harvest Fest 2014 on Thursday, October 23rd, at the former BASF headquarters located at the International Trade Center in Mount Olive.

2014 -2015 NEW PLAY READING FESTIVAL/stage one:  November 7 – 9, 2014

In its brief three year history, 144 new works have been submitted to our festival from around both the United States and the world.  To date, we have received submissions from England, Brazil, Iraq, Cameroon, and Scotland.  Two festival winners have seen their work fully mounted on our Main Stage -WITH TWO WINGS by Anne Negri in 2013, an East Coast premiere, and THE SECRET LIFE OF HUBIE HARTZEL by Susan Rowan Hartzel in 2014 – a World premiere.   Five hundred elementary students viewed the staged readings, and the process is quickly becoming a favorite of our patrons as they assist us in nurturing new works for our young audiences!

THE STORY OF THE NUTCRACKER:  November 21 – December 21, 2014

Book by Stephen L. Fredericks & Perry Arthur Kroeger; Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Adapted from the ballet created by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

The Growing Stage’s original adaptation transforms the classic holiday ballet into a fully formed theatrical production laced with the music of Tchaikovsky.  The mysterious Uncle Drosselmeir brings his niece, Clara, a very special gift, a Nutcracker.  After the family has gone to bed, Clara sneaks downstairs to see her gift.  As the clock chimes twelve, the adventure begins!  Clara and the Nutcracker, who is really a prince, journey through the Land of Sweets, battle an army of mice, sail on the Lemonade Sea, rescue the Sugar Plum Fairie and finally reclaim the Prince’s crown from the Dowager Mouse Queen and her inept son.  It’s a delicious holiday treat for the entire family!

14th ANNUAL TOYS FOR TOTS EVENT: December 3, 2014

The United States Marines reported that last year’s event at The Growing Stage brought in the most toys of any single Toys for Tots event.  This opportunity to help less fortunate families from our home county is something we cherish, because it highlights the true spirit of the holidays and means so much to those in need.


In order to broaden our patron base and engage the community as a whole, we recognize and celebrate the work of Martin Luther King Jr. in this film series for young people and their families.

WINTER SESSION OF THE TGS ARTS ACADEMY:  January 24 – April 18, 2015

We offer classes for young people pre-K through high school in creative dramatics, performance, musical theatre and specialized one-shot workshops for older students throughout the twelve week session.

CANTERBURY TALES:  January 30 – February 8, 2015

Chaucer’s work will be presented, in part, by the young people that will stage our first Studio Series presentation of the season.  A group of travelers sets out for Canterbury on a pilgrimage. To pass the time, they entertain each other with a storytelling contest. The best story wins a prize.  Each and every performer gets a chance to shine in this spirited, charming script.  Great characters, lots of humor, and strong ensemble work.

2014-2015 NEW PLAY READING FESITIVAL/stage two:  February 27 – March 1, 2015

The four playwright finalists return to us after each has had the opportunity to consider edits and revisions following the first round and having had the opportunity to listen to their initial audiences.  Following this final round, one piece will be chosen by the Growing Stage staff to receive a fully-mounted performance in the 2015-2016 Growing Stage season.

AND THEN  CAME  TANGO – World Premiere:  March 6 – 29, 2015

Book by Emily Freeman

This beautiful play is inspired by the true story of Roy and Silo, two male penguins at the Central Park Zoo who formed a pair bond, built a nest, and were so determined to be parents that they incubated a rock. When given an orphaned egg, the pair successfully raised a baby fledgling. At the penguin exhibit, Lily, a young visitor to the zoo, learns to understand the consequences of doing what she believes is right when faced with a public outcry about Roy and Silo's same-sex pair bond. Dance, storytelling and live music are interwoven with audience interaction in a play that celebrates families of all shapes and sizes.

A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD:  April 17 – May 10, 2015

Book and Lyrics by Willie Reale

Music by  Robert Reale

Based on the books by Arnold Lobel

April 17 – May 10

Original Broadway Version

Arnold Lobel's well-loved characters hop from the page to the stage in Robert and Willie Reale's Tony-nominated musical A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD. This whimsical show follows two great friends -- the cheerful, popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad -- through four, fun-filled seasons.  Waking from hibernation in the Spring, Frog and Toad plant gardens, swim, rake leaves, go sledding, and learn life lessons along the way. The two best friends celebrate and rejoice in their differences that make them unique and special. Part vaudeville, part make believe, all charm, A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD tells the story of a friendship that endures, weathering all seasons.  The jazzy, upbeat score of A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD bubbles with melody and wit, making it an inventive, exuberant, and enchanting musical for the whole family. It is a perfect show to be performed by an ensemble group of actors and can be produced with either simple or extravagant staging and sets.


At our annual fundraising dinner we will announce the 2014 Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation Award-winning play from this year’s New Play-Reading Festival and celebrate the 20th Anniversary of our purchase of the Palace Theatre and the tremendous shared effort it has taken to reclaim its importance in our community.


This is another annual event in which we recognize an individual who has made a significant impact on the mission of The Growing Stage.  It is also an occasion to present up to two scholarships to young people pursuing further study in theatre and/or education.


Just as our initial studio piece introduced our young audience and actors to verse in dialogue, we now engage them with physical comedy and the use of the mask.  A specific title will be announced, but we see great value in providing this opportunity to share the techniques and style of this classic form of theatre.

BAT BOY: THE MUSICAL:  July 18 – August 2

Story and Book by Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming

Music and Lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe

Based on a story in The Weekly World News, BAT BOY: THE MUSICAL is a musical comedy/horror show about a half boy/half bat creature who is discovered in a cave near Hope Falls, West Virginia. For lack of a better solution, the local sheriff brings Bat Boy to the home of the town veterinarian, Dr. Parker, where he is eventually accepted as a member of the family and taught to act like a "normal" boy by the veterinarian's wife, Meredith, and teenage daughter, Shelley. This is our Studio Series presentation conducted with a Master Class philosophy and cast by high-school and college -aged students.

SUMMER ARTS DAY CAMP:  July 6 – August 7, 2015

A successful part of our mission for over twenty-five years, this program features five different themed weeks throughout the summer in which young people, pre-K through 8th grade, create and perform a different piece each Friday evening for their family and friends.  The camp provides young people the opportunity to sing, dance, act and learn stagecraft under the instruction of professional teaching artists. Most importantly, participants learn to share and express new ideas, work as a team in creating their own special piece, and have fun in the arts!

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