Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Vagabond Players to present ‘Celebrate Frank! A musical celebration of the life of Frank J. Burns, Jr.


The Vagabond Players will present, “Celebrate Frank!” a musical celebration of the life of Frank J. Burns, Jr., a performer, teacher, mentor, friend, Vice-President of The Vagabond Players and life long resident of Roxbury Township, whjo was taken from us earlier this year…far too soon. This musical revue is filled with Broadway songs from many of the shows Frank was in.

The show will be presented at the Investors Bank Theater, 76 Eyland Aveune in Succasunna, NJ. In co operation with the Roxbury Arts Alliance. Tickets are $20.00 for adults and $15.00 for children and senios. Reservations can be made by calling 862-219-1379 or going to the Roxbury Arts Alliance web page,

Cast member consist of Frank’s student and fellow actors: Chris and Jodi Bosch, Ben Brown, Amanda Claas, John DeVita, Allie Eichvalds, Kaitlyn Franck, Kelley Guerra, Katy Hannon, Ann Hattem, Duffy Heitmann, Hope Keil, Kelly Kohaut, Katie LeFevre, Jeffery Meudt, Kathy Mierisch, Kevin Ohlweiler, Reggie Onorati, Kristina Plate, Will Sandoval, Bob Scarpone, Thomas Silkowski, Emily Silkowski, Victoria Hill Smith, and Alicia Vega.

All proceeds will go toward the Frank J. Burns, Jr. Memorial Performing Arts Scholarship being established at County College of Morris. Any other check donations should be made out to The Vagabond Players to be then put into the fund.

‘A Few Good Men’ at Holmdel Theatre Company

The Holmdel Theatre Company presents

Written by: AARON SORKIN

Directed by: BRIAN REMO
Jul 25, 26, Aug 1, 2, 8, and 9 @ 8pm
matinées on Jul 27 and Aug 3 @ 2pm
Don't miss this taut, tense thriller!!
Inspired by true events, two Marines are accused of the hazing death of a fellow Marine at Guantanamo Bay. This hard-hitting, suspenseful story puts the Marine code of honor on trial when two military lawyers uncover a high-level conspiracy in the course of defending their clients.
Aaron Sorkin (Moneyball, The Social Network, The West Wing) wrote the captivating courtroom drama, which ran for nearly 500 performances on Broadway in 1989. Sorkin later adapted his work into an Oscar-nominated film in1992 directed by Rob Reiner and starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore.
Carmen Balentine, Kristin Barber,
Timothy Cary, Dave Duncan, Ed Estevez, Paul Fiumano,
David Harris, Jesse Luciani, Bill King, Bobby Marusiefski,
Dave Murray, Ross Pohling, Patrick Schladebeck,
Michael Sockol, David Sussman, James Walsh

Holmdel Theatre Company
at The Duncan Smith Theater
36 Crawfords Corner Road, Holmdel NJ 07733
(on the grounds of the Holmdel High School)

Expanded Offerings for Fall Semester of Shakespeare Theatre Academy


The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey has announced an expanded roster of offerings for the upcoming Fall Semester of its Shakespeare Theatre Academy.


Popular classes from last year return along with seven new seminars designed by leading industry professionals—including an intensive two-day session devoted to performing and teaching Shakespeare. “Whether a student is entering the world of theatre for the first time or already a seasoned performer, The Shakespeare Theatre provides learning opportunities that are both rigorous and fun for aspiring artists of all ages,” Associate Director of Education Doug West said.

Classes meet once a week and offer participants the opportunity to work with The Shakespeare Theatre’s renowned artistic and educational staff as well as guest artists from across the state. To register or find more information about The Shakespeare Theatre Academy, call 973-845-6742, email, or visit

“At our core, we are a teaching theatre, and we strive to extend that mission to the community by offering instruction in all aspects of theatrical creation, both onstage and behind the scenes,” Director of Education Brian Crowe said. This semester, Stephen Davis, professor of Theatre Arts at Centenary College, will teach a new seminar in stage makeup. Popular scene study classes taught by Crowe, a frequent Main Stage director, also return in addition to a wealth of new opportunities. Through text, character and language analysis, participants will bring some of classic theatre’s greatest characters to life.

The Shakespeare Theatre Academy will introduce its first classes for elementary school students this fall in response to popular demand. The Shakespeare Theatre welcomes this opportunity to assist tomorrow’s artists as they begin to explore the craft of acting and the world of theatre. The new Creative Dramatics class allows students grades 1-4 to learn self-expression and confidence through a variety of workshops and theatre games. For older students, the new Teen Actors Workshop trains young artists in ensemble work and performance techniques.

The Shakespeare Theatre’s fall classes include:

Youth Programs: September 15 – October 20, 2014

Creative Dramatics (grades 1-2): Imagination, team work, self-expression, and confidence are not only important skills in creating theatre, but also in life. Students will discover how to utilize their natural curiosity, energy, and creativity through theatre games, student-inspired improvisations, and an exploration of language basics. Six Sessions/ Mondays 3:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Creative Dramatics (grades 3-4): A fun and engaging introduction to acting for young people. Students will learn to harness their imagination, work in collaborative teams, and create characters through a variety of workshops and theatre games while gaining confidence in self-expression and public speaking. Six Sessions/ Mondays 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Young Actors Workshop (grades 5-7): Encouraging creativity and teaching teamwork and self-expression are the driving forces of this high-energy series. Each week, students of all experience levels will dive into theatre games and exercises designed to unleash their own power of creation and invention. From voice and movement work to exploring the power of language, these classes are designed to empower young people as only theatre can. Six Sessions/ Tuesdays 3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Teen Actors Workshop (grades 8-12): Acting fundamentals are the focus of this fun and fast-paced series. Through a variety of theater games, seminars, exercises, and scene work, students will discover the power of language and self-expression while learning ensemble work and performance techniques— all while using a variety of classic texts including Shakespeare. Six Sessions/ Wednesdays 5:45 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

Adult Programs

Shakespeare Book Club: Reading the Bard Aloud: “Book-club meets Dead Poet’s Society meets an evening out with friends — The Shakespeare Edition!” Explore the fascinating universe of Shakespeare’s canon in this engaging new offering from The Shakespeare Theatre. Enjoy libations and snacks with fellow readers in this fun, casual, and social atmosphere, while you explore four different plays —including Henry VIII and Much Ado About Nothing ahead of their arrival on our Main Stage this fall. Scripts included in enrollment fee. September 23 – November 11, 2014; Eight Sessions/ Tuesdays 7:00 p.m. . – 10:00 p.m.

Adult Scene Study: Performing Shakespeare: Take the first steps to realizing your acting potential. Designed for novice and early-level actors, this eight-week series explores the first steps into the intricacies of performing the master playwright’s works. Classes include engaging theatre exercises, language work, and character creation. Through small group performances, beginners can let their work shine in the safe environment of this fun and energetic classroom. September 24 – November 12, 2014; Eight Sessions/ Wednesdays 7:30 p.m. . – 9:30 p.m.

Stage Makeup: Zombies, Vampires and Ghouls…Oh, my! Guest artist Stephen Davis takes students through the fascinating world of stage makeup. Just in time for Halloween, students will learn about contouring, as well as techniques to create bruises and wounds, old age and decay. A Ben Nye Theatrical Makeup Kit is required for the class, which will be ordered through The Shakespeare Theatre at a special industry discount — a perfect take-away from the class for students to continue to explore their own mad make-up creations in the future. October 2 – October 9, 2014; Two Sessions/ Thursdays 7:00 p.m. . – 10:00 p.m.

Mask-Making Workshop: Complete your costume this Halloween with Director of Education Brian B. Crowe in this special four-session class exploring the technique of mask-making. Students will examine some of the masks that have graced The Shakespeare Theatre stages and learn how to make a basic plaster cast of their faces to create unique, form-fitted creations of their own. Each participant will leave the class with a plaster cast of his/her face and two masks of their own creation. Basic materials included with the enrollment fee. September 27 – October 18, 2014; Four Sessions/ Saturdays 10:00 a.m. . – 1:00 p.m.

The Shakespeare Theatre Weekend Intensive: An essential introduction (or a wonderful refresher) to performing and teaching Shakespeare! This two-day intensive, led by acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre artists and educators, is a perfect way to “up your game” with the Bard. Sessions include: voice and speech, movement for the actor, text analysis, “the deliciousness of language,” and monologue/scene coaching. Enrollment includes a ticket to the Shakespeare Theatre’s upcoming production of Henry VIII. November 8 – November 9, 2014; Saturday/10:00 a.m. . – 6:00 p.m. and Sunday/ 10:00 a.m. . – 4:00 p.m.

kirbyA long-standing leader in arts education, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is deeply committed to nurturing new talent for the American stage and providing compelling enrichment programs for patrons of all ages. The Theatre’s Summer Professional Training Program brings early-career artists from across the nation to study and experience classic theatre in an intense, hands-on environment alongside some of the most respected artists in the country.

The Junior and Senior Shakespeare Corps provide an exciting immersion in Shakespeare and other classics for young people ages 11 to 18 for over two decades. The Pages-to-Players in-school residencies, the Shakesperience: NJ Student Shakespeare Festival, and the Shakespeare LIVE! educational touring company and workshops provide even more opportunities for students and educators to be a part of the magic of classic drama. Patrons of The Shakespeare Theatre have long praised the Theatre’s Symposium and Know-the-Show series, as much appreciated opportunities for audiences to get a deeper look into the work on stage.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Single Tickets Go On Sale for Paper Mill Playhouse’s 2014- 2015 Season on Wednesday, July 30, 10:00 am

aaPM exterior (1)

The Acclaimed Theater Will Feature New Works Headed to Broadway and Beyond


●   Can-Can       Elf  Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

The Hunchback of Notre Dame      Ever After

Paper Mill Playhouse will be selling single tickets for its highly anticipated season starting Wednesday, July 30th at 10:00am. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling our box office at 973.376.4343, or by visiting the theater box office at 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, New Jersey.

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 Columbo (Paper Mill’s Peter Pan, On the Town, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers). Can-Can will star Tony Award nominee Kate Baldwin as Pistache and Broadway veteran Jason Danieley as Aristide. 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.”

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 76thseason 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.

“What a thrill to produce another show heading for Broadway next season,” commented Mark S. Hoebee, Producing Artistic Director for the Millburn theater.  “Paper Mill Playhouse is honored to bring so many incredible artists to work in New Jersey next season.  The list is remarkable and includes Kathleen Marshall, Patti Colombo, Scott Schwartz, David Lee, legendary composers Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz (lyrics), future theatrical legends like Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler and our producing partners Jonathan Burrows and Kevin McCollum.  We are proud to have created an irresistible lineup of stories you will love, glorious music that will warm your heart and many memorable moments of theater magic.”

Tickets range in price from $27 to $98. For even better value at up to 40% off, three, four, and five show subscription packages are available starting at $87 with exclusive benefits for subscribers to enjoy all season long including prime seating and discounts at local restaurants. For varying subscription packages, new benefits and details, call the subscription office at 973-379-3717 or visit the subscribers’ page at

As always, groups of ten of or more are eligible for discounts up to 40% and are encouraged to call group sales at 973.315.1680

“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. Of course, none of what we do would be possible without the generous support of our donors, subscribers, patrons, foundations and corporate partners, including season sponsorship from our friends at Investors Bank.”

“Investors Bank is proud to continue our support of Paper Mill Playhouse for their 2014-2015 season,” said Kevin Cummings, President and CEO. “Paper Mill Playhouse provides accessibility to Broadway-quality theatrical performances outside of the hustle of a city environment. This allows theater patrons the chance to experience superb performances in a local theater atmosphere while also supporting their community. In addition, Paper Mill’s outreach partnerships with not-for-profit organizations create a win-win. We are honored to be a partner with Paper Mill Playhouse as their mission closely mirrors Investors Bank’s in improving the communities we serve. We wish them continued success with the new season's performances.”

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 for details).  Single tickets will go on sale on July 28 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  Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express accepted.  Groups of ten or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. Titles, casting and dates subject to change.

Paper Mill Playhouse’s 2014-2015 Season


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 Columbo (Peter Pan, On the Town, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers).


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



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 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.

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization, is one of the country's leading regional theaters.  Paper Mill Playhouse programs are 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.  Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.                

Review: Chatham Community Players' Impressive 20th Edition of the ‘Jersey Voices One-Act Festival’


A highlight of the summer community theatre season for the past 20 years has been the Chatham Community Players' annual "Jersey Voices One-Act Festival." This special 20th season, they are presenting 12 of the 'best-of-the best" selected from the 112 original plays they have presented over the past 19 seasons. 

This impressive production includes ten original short plays written by New Jersey playwrights as well as two original dance pieces to represent the 20 years of “Jersey Voices.”  The plays are presented in repertory style in the comfortable black box theater in the Chatham Playhouse.  To keep things simple, the two programs are labeled A and B. The schedule this past weekend was Friday Program A, Saturday Program B, and Sunday Program A. This week it will be Friday Program B, Saturday Program A, and Sunday Program B. The themes run from broad comedy to heart tugging drama to the challenges of love (and marriage!).

The two programs are divided equally with three pre-intermission and three post-intermission. The total time is about two hours including a discussion with the actors, directors and writers.

The fact that the evening consists of six separate, different themed plays that are obviously short and each ends with a nice plot twist presents a bit of a reviewing conundrum. In other words, we will only include here the author's description with no further plot discussion.

We attended a performance of Program A on Sunday night, and will cover Program B next Sunday. The A program is as follows:

Act One:

Voices In SickIn Sickness and Fine China by Margaret Ruvoldt
What goes on when a woman drags her fiancé to register for wedding gifts?  This production features Ken Vespasiano and Miriam Salerno. Directed by Steve Catron. Ken Vespasiano and Miriam Salerno (photo right) are nicely paired as a couple who are about to move from the state of "living together" to the state of marriage. This is a nice light start to the program. Catron is a very in-demand director with a growing list of successes.

Voices Couple Sr.Grandparents Day by Grace Wessbecher of Morris Plains

Two grandparents each narrate their own story by reminiscing about growing up in Northern Ireland in two different religions and therefore two different neighborhoods. There is an attraction between them that would never have been allowed but that was then and this is now.  This production features Howard Fischer and Geraldine Baillod (photo right). Directed by Joann Scanlon.  Howard Fischer and Geraldine Baillod are both 'spot-on' as the reminiscing Northern Ireland couple. Very touching story of the havoc the "troubles" made on many lives. Wonderful accents. Baillod demonstrates the acting skill that won her a Perry Award for her role in the Chester Theatre Group's recent "Blood Brothers." Ms. Scanlon's sensitive direction is also 'spot-on.' She impresses every year. 

voices danceLove Me Deadly by Desirée Caro and Anthony Rubolotta of Montclair
A lyrical dance piece centering on the romantic exploits of “Charlie” and his three femme fatales, cautioning us that, in love, everything has its price.  This production features Darius Delk as Charlie (photo right), Katey Sabo as First Love, Zetta Cool is the Starlet and Melissa Kaban as The Vixen. Directed and Choreographed by Desirée Caro. Nice change of pace with a story told via dance. Romance takes a nasty dark turn in this dance piece about love and violent death. Darius Delk is a standout. Desirée Caro is clearly a very talented choreographer.

Act Two:

Voices PrintEleanor Descending a Staircase by Ian August of Lawrenceville

Eleanor wants to buy a print of a painting for her husband's birthday. To do that, she must wrestle with what is Art, what is its purpose in life, and why is this sales clerk such an ass?  This production features Judi Laganga and Brian Carroll (photo right). Directed by Jon DeAngelis. This is a seriously funny skit. Brian Carroll is properly droll as the clerk in D.C., New York, Paris and Afghanistan! Judi Laganga, a marvelous actress, is an absolute hoot as the very frustrated wife.

Voices Ebbets FieldEbbets Field by Frank Briamonte of Scotch Plains
A cherished childhood memory is revisited.  This production features Art Delo as the memory challenged Vincent, Michael King as his son Daniel, and Kendall Green as Leslie an assisted living nurse (photo right). Directed by Arnold J. Buchiane.

This is a superior piece that touches the heart, particularly if you are dealing with this tragic situation in your family.  Art Delo is excellent as the father, Kendall Green makes a fine nurse, but, Michael King, who impressed in "Glengarry Glen Ross," "Best Man" and "God of Carnage," gets the MVP trophy for the evening. King would win star applause on anyone's stage on either side of the Hudson.

voices boatRun of the River by William Kovacsik of Singapore
A father gets an unexpected second chance to tell his son things he meant to say.  This production features Christopher C. Gibbs as Jim McCandliss and Matt Lafargue as his late son Tom. Directed by Maybelle Cowan-Lincoln. Both men are perfect in their roles, with Christopher C. Gibbs nicely demonstrating his pro level acting ability.

As with our two prior "Festival" experiences, the play selection, staging and performances were impressive. The entire event is another example of the marvelous acting, directing, and oh yes...writing talent we have in the Garden State. Ticket info is below. Don’t miss!

We will review Program B next Sunday night. That program is as follows:

​Ping by Mary Jane Walsh

A one-woman play that depicts, in a riveting fashion, a mother's unwavering love for her grown child.  This production features Teri Sturtevant of Hillsborough. Directed by Arnold J. Buchiane

Ties by Eric Alter of Livingston

A father and son cannot communicate with or accept each other until forgiveness for either of them weighs too heavily.  This production features Frederick Gallo of Morristown, Matthew Cronin of Chatham and Mike King of New Providence. Directed by Jon DeAngelis of Chatham

Tech Support by Henry Meyerson

A tongue-in-cheek look at what we suspect is really happening when we call the Tech Helpdesk. This production features Liz Royce of Cedar Grove and Kristin Bennett of Montville. Directed by Maybelle Cowan-Lincoln of Morris Plains

Couples Therapy by Amanda Mayer of Livingston

What goes on when a wife drags her husband to a marriage counselor?  This production features Colleen Grundfest of Warren and Lewis Decker of Millington. Directed by Steve Catron of Mendham.

The Fruppum, Alabama, Chamber of Commerce by John Dowgin of Spotswood

Two old codgers run gas stations across the street from each other since forever. One talks a blue streak, the other mumbles answers. One thinks they are identical copies of each other, the other knows different. When modern life enters the differences begin to show and the quiet one wins the day.  This production features Jim Clancy of Basking Ridge, Kevern Cameron of Hamburg and Chip Prestera of Stirling. Directed by Joann Scanlon of Chatham

Executive Dreams written by Don Howes of Morristown

This is what happens when inattention meets imagination in this rocking dance piece.  This production features Rachel Fikslin, Kimberly Jackson, Michal Efron, Melissa Kaplan and Gabriel Malo.  Directed and Choreographed by Don Howes of Morristown

​​The single remaining ​performance date for “Program A” is Saturday, August 2 at 8 pm; ​The two remaining performance dates for “Program B” are ​Friday,  August 1 at 8 pm and ​Sunday, August 3 at 7 pm.

imagesAll performances will be performed at the Chatham Playhouse 23 North Passaic Ave Chatham, NJ.

All tickets to each “Program” are $15, but if you buy one of the “Combo Tickets” for $25, it allows you entry for both Program A and Program B (one performance from each Program). 

To access the theater’s online ticketing service, simply go to  To purchase a “Combo Ticket” (tickets to both Programs), you must contact the Box Office at (973) 635-7363.  For more information go to  

It is highly recommended that tickets be purchased in advance. Patrons with special needs requiring seating accommodations should contact the Playhouse at least 24 hours prior to the performance. Without prior notice, accommodations cannot be guaranteed.

Cast photos by Howard Fisher

Next at NJ Rep: Robert Caisley's National New Play Network world premiere ‘LUCKY ME’


Robert Caisley's National New Play Network world premiere, LUCKY ME,  begins Thursday, July 31 at New Jersey Repertory Company, located at 179 Broadway in Long Branch, and will run through August 31.

From the playwright who brought us Happy comes a whimsical, romantic comedy about love, aging, cracked windows, broken bones, airport security, and bad luck.... directed by SuzAnne Barabas and starring Dan Grimaldi (The Sopranos), Wendy Peace, Michael Irvin Pollard and Mark Light-Orr.

Sara Fine’s having a bad week. The light bulbs in her apartment keep burning out; the aquarium is perpetually full of dead fish; the cat’s gone AWOL, again, and her blind, elderly father -- who chased off her last beau -- is immediately suspicious of Tom, the new neighbor, a TSA agent who just brought Sara home from the emergency room on New Year’s Eve with a fractured 5th metatarsal. As Tom’s attraction to Sara intensifies, he learns of an increasingly bizarre streak of bad luck that’s been haunting Sara for years – twenty two years to be precise.

Lucky Me begins preview performances Thursday, July 31 and celebrates its opening night Saturday, August 2 at New Jersey Repertory Company (179 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ), and runs through Sunday, August 31.

Tickets may be purchased by calling 732-229-3166 or online at

The production team includes: Jessica Parks (Set Design & Props), Jill Nagle (Lighting Design), Merek Royce Press (Sound Design), Patricia E. Doherty (Costume Design), Michael Carroll(Technical Director), and Jennifer Tardibuono (Stage Manager).

Cast Photo by SuzAnne Barabas

Local Stars Shine In Algonquin Youth Ensemble Production of ‘Godspell’


The local stars of the Algonquin Youth Ensemble bring to life timeless tales of friendship, loyalty and love with performances of “Godspell” on August 1, 2 and 3.

Ranging in age from 14 to 20, the cast rocks the score with chart topping songs and a book by a visionary playwright (John-Michael Tebelak) to continue the tradition of “Godspell” being a sensation that has touched audiences worldwide.

The role of Jesus Christ will be played by Kevin Thrower of Neptune and Judas will be played by Eddie Rogers of Long Branch. The remaining feature roles are played by Matt Giunco of Manasquan, Gianna Grandinetti, Emily Latshaw and Jake Walsh of Wall, Olivia Coniglio of Brick, Victoria Cancro of Brielle, Luke Pearlberg of Brielle, Mikey Friedman of Freehold, Rebecca Madeira of Howell, and Nicole Curnan of Toms River.

The talented ensemble includes Bianca D’Anton, Ally DeForge and Ally Nudo of Manasquan; Aidan Dougherty, James Finnegan and Kerielle Sollecito of Brielle; Ryan Alger of Wall; Mackenzie Malpass and Jillian Moran of Pt. Pleasant Beach; Jake Coniglio, Annie Rose DiMurro and Fiona Sheridan of Brick; Thomas Chadwick of Colts Neck; Maria Utz of Farmingdale; Danny Scerbo of Freehold; Hannah Fyfe, Jada Sanchez and Tommy Taylor of Howell; Siobhan Jones of Millstone and Jaclyn Fraser of Morris Plains.

“Godspell” is co-directed by Julie Nagy, the Algonquin’s Education Director, and Ian Moore. Musical direction is by John Watson with choreography by Casey Abel. Tommy Fletcher of Wall is the stage manager, while Maeve Oldham of Brick and Mia Sanchez of Brick are the production interns.

Based on the Gospel According to St. Matthew, “Godspell” is the first major musical theatre offering from Grammy and Academy Award winner Stephen Schwartz (“Wicked,” “Pippin”) it took the world by storm. Led by the international hit, “Day By Day,” this musical features a parade of beloved songs including "Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord," "Learn Your Lessons Well," "All For The Best," "All Good Gifts," "Turn Back, O Man" and "By My Side."

The cast helps Jesus Christ tells different parables by using a wide variety of games, storytelling techniques, and hefty dose of comic timing. An eclectic blend of songs ranging in style from pop to vaudeville is employed as the story of Jesus's life dances across the stage. Dissolving hauntingly into the Last Supper and the Crucifixion, Jesus's messages of kindness, tolerance, and love come vibrantly to life.

The Friday and Saturday performances on August 1 and 2 are at 8 p.m., with a Sunday matinee on August 3 at 3 p.m. Regular seating is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $15 for students. A limited quantity of premium seating is available for $5 more. Purchase online at, by calling 732-528-9211 or by stopping in to the Box Office at 173 Main Street from 12-6 p.m. on weekdays or 12-4 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are subject to $2 processing fees.

About Algonquin Arts Theatre

Algonquin Arts Theatre (AAT) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1992 with the mission to provide cultural enhancement and arts education to all audiences at the Jersey Shore through high-quality performances and programs in theatre, music, film and dance. The end goal is to foster appreciation of the arts and promote lifelong learning, particularly among underserved audiences including the economically disadvantaged, senior citizens and individuals with disabilities.

Algonquin Arts Theatre's programs are 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 Paul F. Zito, M.D. Educational Foundation and by Simon Kaufman, Esq. & Maria Zito-Kaufman.

Video: Godspell Rehearsal Promo -



Date & Time:
Friday, August 1 - 8 p.m.; Saturday, August 2 – 8 p.m.; Sunday, August 3 – 3 p.m.


Algonquin Arts Theatre, 173 Main Street, Manasquan, N.J.


Premium: $25 (Adults), $23 (Seniors), $20 (Students)
Regular: $20 (Adults), $18 (Seniors), $15 (Students)

Group discounts for 10 or more tickets to the same performance.
Algonquin Arts Box Office: 732-528-9211 or

All tickets subject to $2 per ticket fee.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Auditions: Algonquin Arts Theatre Production of ‘Annie Get Your Gun’


Director: Gina Lupi
Musical Director: Vincent Zito
Choreographer: Samantha Amaral

Sunday, Aug. 10 – 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 12 – 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 13 – 7 p.m.

algonquin-arts-theatreLocation: Algonquin Arts Theatre’s Victoria J. Mastrobuono Studio, located at 173 Main Street in Manasquan (park on Main Street or behind the theatre at 60 Abe Voorhees Drive, Manasquan).


Algonquin Arts Theatre
Friday, Oct. 24 – 8 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 25 – 8 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 26 – 3 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 30 – 8 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 1 – 2 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 1 – 8 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 2 – 3 p.m.
Note: No performance on Oct. 31

Please sign upon arrival and please prepare to sing 32 bars of music and bring your sheet music to the audition in the correct key. An accompanist will be provided. Please also come prepared to dance.

AUDITION MATERIALS: Sides will be posted at a later date.

Music & Lyrics by Irving Berlin
Book by Herbert Fields and Dorothy Fields

From a story by Dorothy and Herbert Fields and featuring the lyrics and music by one of America's greatest composers, Irving Berlin, "Annie Get Your Gun" presents the story of sharpshooter Annie Oakley and her romance with Frank Butler, another member of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. The show has given us such hits as "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly," "Anything You Can Do," and the stage performers theme song, "There's No Business Like Show Business." As one song from the show tells us, "They Say It's Wonderful" and you're sure to agree after experiencing this fantastic show. Produced via special arrangement with Rodgers and Hammerstein.


Annie Oakley: This role will be played by Carter Calvert (Always Patsy Cline, Evita at AAT; Ain’t Nothing But the Blues (Broadway); Cats (Broadway National Tour).


Dolly Tate: Frank's lovely assistant in the Wild West Show. She is Winnie's older and overprotective sister. She is bigoted, ambitious, and mean-spirited. Her main role in life is to make everyone else miserable. She is jealous of Annie and goes to lengths to make her lose to Frank in the final show-down. She is over-the-top in her personality but is funny in her demeanor. (Age: 30-40 Alto)

Winnie Tate: Dolly's 17-year-old sister. She is in love with Tommy Keeler, who throws knives at her in his act in the Wild West Show. When they elope, Dolly is outraged and she has the marriage annulled because Winnie is underage. When Winnie turns 18, she and Tommy are reunited. (Age: 17 Soprano)

Jessie/Nellie/Minnie: Annie's little sisters who help out with the family's hunting business. Very proud of Annie and travels with her on tour. (Ages: 10 - 14 strong child singers/actors. Soprano/Alto)

Frank Butler: A suave sharpshooter in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. He enjoys his status of star and as a heartbreaker. He meets Annie and begins to fall in love with her until she shows him up. As her skills develop and his status is threatened, he becomes more and more sensitive. (Age: 25-45 Baritone)

Buffalo Bill Cody: Colonel William F. Cody is the owner of the Wild West Show. He is a former soldier and Indian scout who turned to show business. He has two stars (Frank and Annie) until Frank decides to go with the competitor. Buffalo Bill takes Annie on tour all over Europe but when finances dry up, he works to merge with the competitor and bring the two stars back. (Age: 45-70 Baritone)

Chief Sitting Bull: He is a Sioux warrior. He is a wise, older man who adopts Annie when he sees how well she shoots. He knows a good investment and once she joins the Wild West Show, he decides to put his money into show business. He is comical in a staid way; very dry sense of humor. (Age: 40-65 Baritone)

Tommy Keeler: Handsome young knife-thrower in Wild West Show. He is half Indian and half Irish. He is in love with Winnie and is willing to wait for her to turn 18 before they can be legally married. (Age: 19-23 Baritone)

Charlie Davenport: He is the manager of the Wild West Show. He runs around all the time and stays involved. He sets up each scene of the production. Good natured fellow who works hard to please everyone. Dolly tried to "snag" Charlie when it becomes clear Frank is with Annie. (Age: 30-45 Baritone)

Little Jake: Annie's little brother who helps out with the family's hunting business. He is very proud of Annie and travels with her on tour. (Age: 8 - 10, strong child singer/actor)

Pawnee Bill*: He is the shrewd owner of a competing western show. He hires Frank when he leaves Will Bill's show. Although they have a lot of shows on their tour, their profits are being eaten up by fees. In the end, he is willing to merge the two financial-suffering shows to make one successful one. (Age: 40-65 Baritone)

Foster Wilson*: Owner of the Wilson Arms Hotel. He doesn't want the Wild West Show to set up and take over his hotel. Frank offers him $100 if Wilson can find a challenger who can outshoot Frank. Wilson "discovers" Annie and convinces her to challenge Frank in the sharp-shooter match so he can collect the bet. Gentle with children, he is a nice, hard-working man. Sings one song with Annie and the kids. When Annie wins the challenge, he pays her $5, as promised. (Age: 45-70 Baritone)

*The roles of Foster Wilson and Pawnee Bill may be played by the same actor

Ensemble - Cowboys/Cowgirls/Indians: These folks add flavor and depth. They perform as the Roustabouts and other performers in Wild Bill's Wild West Show who set up the various scenes. (Age: Various ages and various vocal ranges).

Looking for:

- 4-6 strong female and 4-6 strong male dancers who sing well

- 4-6 strong female and 4-6 male singers who move well


Mac: He is the prop man in the Wild West Show. He carries on props and other supplies needed by the performers in the show. (Age: 18-30)

Running Deer: He is one of the Indians who travel with the Wild West Show. (Adult)

Eagle Feather: He is one of the Indians who travel with the Wild West Show. (Adult)

Dining Car Waiter: Employee on the Overland Steam Train. (Adult)

Sleeping Car Porter: Employee on the Overland Steam Train. (Adult)

Messenger: Employee on the Cattle Boat. (Adult)

Can-Can Girls: Appear in the pantomime when Wild West Show is on tour in Europe. (Age: 18-25)

Young Men & Young Women: These are guests (dancers) who are at the Ballroom in the Hotel Brevoort in NYC. (Age: 16-30)

Band Leader: This is the person who directs the band as well as announces the guests as they arrive at the big party at the Hotel Brevoort in NYC. (Age: 25-70)

Mrs. Sylvia Potter-Porter: A socialite at the party at the Hotel Brevoort in NYC. She arrives with Pawnee Bill (Age: 35-60)

Mrs. Schuyler Adams: A socialite at the party at the Hotel Brevoort in NYC. (Age: 35-60)

Photographer: Takes pictures of Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill when they agree to the merger of the two shows. (Age: 20s)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Call To Support The Company Theatre Group’s Semi-Annual Fundraising Drive

co_logo.152115426 (1)

“It's that time again...our semi-annual fundraising drive.  And, we hope you'll consider: A Tax-Deductible Donation to: The Company Theatre Group, Inc.

Your generous contribution will help ensure that we can continue to bring theatre to the community for the remainder of 2014. Your gift also will help ensure that we can continue to give free tickets to local senior centers and other groups who could not otherwise see live theatre.  And, now for the first time, your donations will help us teach young actors at our new school!!!

(If you are or have a young aspiring actor please be sure to check out our website for classes beginning Aug 11th.)

You can donate on their website:

“No contribution is too small.”

And, please consider asking your place of employment for a matching grant for whatever amount you can donate.  Every penny will be put to good use!!!

Thank you so much!  We cannot do this without your continuing support.”

Lou Scarpati

Managing Artistic Director,The Company Theatre Group, Inc.

a non-profit 501c3 company

Last Two Chances to See ‘Avenue Q’ at Wayne’s Rosen Performing Arts Center


Avenue Q presented by the Rosen Performing Arts Center

There are 2 more performances. 7:30 tonight and 2:00 Sunday!

Winner of the Tony "Triple Crown" for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book, AVENUE Q is part flesh, part felt and packed with heart. AVENUE Q SCHOOL EDITION is a laugh-out-loud musical that tells the timeless story of a recent college grad named Princeton who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. He soon discovers that although the residents seem nice, it’s clear that this is not your ordinary neighborhood. Together, Princeton and his new-found friends struggle to find jobs, dates, and their ever-elusive purpose in life.

This edition of AVENUE Q has been modified by the AVENUE Q authors to create an adaptation that maintains the dramatic intention and integrity of the piece, while editing it to make it more appropriate for younger audiences and performers.

Wayne YMCA, 1 Pike Dr, Wayne, New Jersey 07470

Registration open for UCPAC's August 25-29 Summer Theatre Camp

Registration is open for the 2014 Summer Theatre Camp running Aug. 25-29 at Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway.

The five-day course in theatre production basics is suitable for ages 5-15 and is taught by Children's Stage Adventures, a renowned educational troupe that has operated more than 300 drama residencies across the country.

This year’s featured play is Androcles and the Lion, a classic tale from the Aesop’s Fables storybook. 

Registration forms are available online at; reservations may also be made at the UCPAC Box Office at 1601 Irving Street in downtown Rahway or by calling (732) 499-8226. Tuition is $200 per child for the week.

UCPAC Summer Theatre Camp offers children the chance to particpate in a live musical production, learning the nuts-and-bolts of play production from casting to curtain. The end result is a high-quality musical performed by some 50 students complete with professionally designed scenery and costumes, props and makeup and sound and lighting equipment. 

“The CSA team arrives with everything it takes to put on a play,” says Union County Performing Arts Center executive director Lawrence E. McCullough. “On Monday morning the team holds an audition workshop to get the creative process going. By Friday, the entire show comes alive.”

Besides the element of ever-present fun, participating in theatre activity has been shown to boost children’s academic performance, reading comprehension, communication skills, self-esteem and empathy. 

“Drama is able to tap a wide range of skills and expressive modes,” says McCullough. “Just one week of theatre camp can make a big difference in a young person’s life.”
** For more information about the 2014-15 performance season at Union County Performing Arts Center and Hamilton Stage, visit  

See A Play Near You This Weekend!

Here is a selected list of current professional and community plays:


BEACH HAVEN Surflight Theater “Fiddler on the Roof,” musical by Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick and Joseph Stein. Through July 27. $45. Surflight Theater, 201 Engleside Ave.; (609) 492-9477.


CAPE MAY Cape May Stage, the Robert Shackleton Playhouse “Moon Over Buffalo,” comedy by Ken Ludwig. Through Aug. 1. $15 to $35. “Blithe Spirit,” comedy by Noël Coward. Aug. 2 through Sept. 19. $15 to $35. Cape May Stage, the Robert Shackleton Playhouse, 405 Lafayette Street. (609) 770-8311;


CAPE MAY East Lynne Theater Company “Zorro!” action drama adapted by James Rana. Through Aug. 30. $15 to $30. East Lynne Theater Company, 500 Hughes Street. (609) 884-5898;

Voices In Sick

CHATHAM Chatham Playhouse “Jersey Voices One-Act Festival.” Through Aug. 3. $15. Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Avenue.; (973) 635-7363.


HOBOKEN Edge Lofts “Core Values,” a workplace comedy by Steven Levenson. Through July 27. $30. Edge Lofts, 1405 Clinton Street. (201) 683-7014;


LONG BRANCH New Jersey Repertory Company, Lumia Theater “Lucky Me,” by Robert Caisley. July 31 through Aug. 31. $35 to $60. New Jersey Repertory Company, Lumia Theater, 179 Broadway. (732) 229-3166;


MANASQUAN Algonquin Arts Center Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” Through July 27. $20 to $36. “Godspell,” Algonquin youth ensemble. Aug. 1, 2 and 3. $13 to $25. Algonquin Arts Center, 173 Main; (732) 528-9211.


MORRISTOWN Mayo Performing Arts Center “Menopause the Musical.” July 29 and 30 at 8 p.m. $39 to $69. Mayo Performing Arts Center, 100 South Street. (973) 539-8008;

Learned Ladies13

MORRIS TOWNSHIP College of St. Elizabeth “The Learned Ladies,” by Molière, the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey. Through July 27. $15 and $35; children under 5, free. College of St. Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road. (973) 290-4000;

red hot lovers poster without actors_thumb[2]

POMPTON LAKES “Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” comedy by Neil Simon. Aug. 1 through 10. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. $24. Smiling Rhino Theater, 247 Wanaque Avenue. (973) 248-9491;

unnamed (4)

UNION Premiere Stages at Kean University “Soldier’s Heart,” new play by Tammy Ryan. Through July 27. $15 to $30. Premiere Stages at Kean University, 1000 Morris Avenue. (908) 737-7469;

Photos supplied by theaters

Friday, July 25, 2014

Aspire Performing Arts Company’s Junior Performing Ensemble ‘Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr.’ August 1 and 2 Only

aspire logo

Aspire Performing Arts Company’s Junior Performing Ensemble is currently in final rehearsals for its upcoming production of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr. The production will feature local students ages 7 through 11 and will take place on Friday, August 1 at 8pm and Saturday, August 2 at 3pm at the Jacksonville Chapel in Lincoln Park, NJ.

aliceTravel down the rabbit hole and join Alice's madcap adventures in Wonderland as she chases the White Rabbit, races the Dodo Bird, gets tied up with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, raps with a bubble-blowing Caterpillar, and beats the Queen of Hearts at her own game!

Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr. is directed by Randi Seffinger. The team also includes Anna Ventor, Choreographer; Emily Schider, Assistant to the Director/Stage Manager; and Scott Armato, Musical Consultant.  

The cast includes Cadence Bernstein in the role of Alice, as well as Allessandro Bracchitta as the Mad Hatter, Adriana Brandstetter as the Queen of Hearts, Allison Paterno as the White Rabbit, and Darren Wilkins as the Caterpillar.

Rounding out the cast are Gabriella Canonaco, Mina Cocca, Sophia Flower, Jennifer Gajda, Mia Grillo, Nathan Harris, Emani Legette, Kimberly Massood, Skyler Maxwell, Madison Salamon, Caitlyn Sytsma, Madison Tkaczenko, Brielle Wilhelm, Maggie Wisneski, and Grace Zamloot.

Tickets are general admission and available at the door for $10 each. For more information, visit or contact Aspire PAC at or at 201-220-4933.

The Jacksonville Chapel is located at 264 Jacksonville Road, Lincoln Park, NJ 07035.

Aspire Performing Arts was founded in January 2011 by Lisa Beth Vettoso. Ms. Vettoso has more than twenty years of experience in the performing arts and has been working with youth for more than a decade. Aspire Performing Arts Company’s mission is to provide educational workshops and full-length production opportunities for children and teens, offering them a professional arts experience in a friendly atmosphere. Recent productions by Aspire PAC include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Legally Blonde, Disney’s Aladdin Jr., Footloose, Annie Jr., Once on this Island Jr., G2K Cinderella, and 13.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Two River Theater's 20th Anniversary Season Highlights

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, has concluded its 20th Anniversary Season, highlighted by far-reaching new-play development activities supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The season was bookended by the Two River directorial debuts of acclaimed actors Joel Grey (Paul Osborn’s On Borrowed Time) and Michael Cumpsty (Wendy Wasserstein’s Third).
Highlights of the year include the following achievements:
· The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation awarded the theater a $40,000 grant through its Building Demand for the Arts program. With the support of this grant, Two River launched a new series of conversations and storytelling workshops created and led by award-winning playwright and television writer Tanya Saracho (Girls, Looking) and director Jerry Ruiz, curator of Two River’s annual Crossing Borders festival. In addition to supporting their work as theater artists, this artistic outreach program is fostering a closer relationship between the theater and its Latino neighbors and building demand for theater among Latino audiences.
· Two River’s commissioning program, launched in 2010 to create a pipeline for developing new work that contributes to the vitality and future of the American theater, continued to expand with commissions to playwright and actor Martin Moran (whose performances of his solo shows The Tricky Part and All the Rage were performed at the theater in repertory as A Map of the Soul in 2013/14) and Tony Meneses (author of Guadalupe in the Guest Room, which will have its world premiere in Two River’s 2014/15 Season).
· The theater continued to develop Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Your Blues Ain’t Sweet like Mine and the musical Be More Chill, written by the team of composer/lyricist Joe Iconis and bookwriter Joe Tracz, in preparation for their world-premiere productions in 2014/15. Additional new-play development activities included separate week-long artist residencies with the New York-based company Clubbed Thumb and alumni from NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing program.
· In February, Two River produced Andrea Thome’s new play Pinkolandia, directed by Jose Zayas, as part of Lark Play Development Center’s “Launching New Plays into the Repertoire Initiative” supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Through this rolling world premiere, Two River supported the play’s continued development, as well as conversations around the themes of exile, immigration, and home, alongside initiative partners 16th Street Theater in Chicago, INTAR Theatre in New York, and Salvage Vanguard Theater in Austin.
· In February, the theater launched a new annual program called A Little Shakespeare that brought a 75-minute version of As You Like It—adapted and directed by Jason McDowell-Green, designed by professional artists, and performed by high school students from six area schools—to the Marion Huber stage, with a week of performances overlapping director Michael Sexton’s Rechnitz Theater production of the same play. TheaterWorks and No Seats Empty 2.0, which were launched in the 2012/13 Season to serve at-risk youth, were established as flagship programs. All of Two River’s Education initiatives were augmented by opportunities for enhanced learning including curriculum support, in-school residencies, pre-show workshops, and/or post-show discussions.
· In April, Two River presented its first show for audiences aged 2 to 6 with Hatched: Life on the Farm, performed by the Treehouse Shakers.
· In a first-time partnership, Two River joined with New Jersey Performing Arts Center to co-produce Meredith Willson’s The Music Man: In Concert. 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 was performed by an African-American cast for six sold-out performances in Red Bank and four performances in Newark.
· Other new collaborations in the 2013/14 Season included August Wilson’s American Century Cycle, presented in New York by The Greene Space, for which Two River was a cultural partner; playing host to TEDx Navesink in May 2014; and poetry slams in partnership with the Loser Slam open-mic nights throughout the season.
· In the fall the theater launched “Inside Two River,” an audience-development initiative designed to create a deeper level of engagement for new and current audiences. For each production, Two River now offers a series of free events and programs including open rehearsals featuring cast and artistic teams; humanities forums; guest lecturers; film screenings; and a Two River book club. This season’s events attracted more than 3,000 audience members to the theater.
· In celebration of Two River’s 20th Anniversary, the theater engaged Design Army, an award-winning graphic design firm located in Washington DC, to help refresh and unify its visual identity, including the Two River logo and show art.
· In June, Two River was honored with the 2014 Leadership Award from the Cultural Access Network Project, a co-sponsored project of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance. The award recognized Two River Theater’s outstanding leadership in making its programs and facilities accessible to people with disabilities.
· During the 20th Anniversary Season, Two River’s contributed income increased 25% before taking into account founder support. The theater also secured funding for the first time from national foundations including the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Two River’s 2013/14 Season Supporters
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit theater, Two River keeps ticket prices low to make the theater accessible to everyone. In fact, only one-third of the theater’s operations are support by tickets sales. Two River Theater enjoys support from hundreds of generous individuals, corporations, and foundations.
· Corporate sponsors for Two River’s productions during the 2013/2014 Season included Durso Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley, Investors Bank, Monmouth University, the Unterberg Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, Wells Fargo, Brookdale Community College, and ZAIS Group, among many others.
· Foundation support was provided by The Shubert Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Foundation, and the William T. Morris Foundation, among many others. The theater was also supported by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.
· Two River’s education programs were supported by The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, the Mary Owen Borden Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation, Investors Foundation, and Jorgensen Foundation.
· The theater’s access programs for seniors and individuals with disabilities were supported by the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and Springpoint Senior Living Foundation.
· In-kind support was provided by local businesses including the Molly Pitcher/Oyster Point Hotel, Courtyard Marriott, Flowers on Front, and Spirits Unlimited.
· Sponsors for Two River’s 20th Anniversary Gala included Meridian Health/Riverview Medical Center, Monmouth Medical Center, Monmouth University, and the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County, among many other businesses and individuals.
Two River Theater is supported in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a division within the Department of State and a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Columbus Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Monmouth University, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Durso Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley, Monmouth Medical Center Foundation, Wells Fargo, Investors Bank, Brookdale Community College, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, William T. Morris Foundation, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation at the Atrium at Navesink Harbor, the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.
Two River Theater is easily accessible by car, train, or bus, with great restaurants and shopping within walking distance of the theater. For more information, visit or call 732.345.1400.

Trilogy Repertory To Present Comedy ‘Play On!’ In The Park


Following the successful run of Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Pleasant Valley Park amphitheater in Basking Ridge, Bernards Township Plays in the Park and Trilogy Repertory Company will present the hilarious comedy, Play On!, on July 25, 26, 31, and August 1 and 2, on the park stage. Performances are free to the public and will begin at 8 PM.

Play On! written by Rick Abbott (one of several pen names for playwright Jack Sharkey who authored over eighty plays), is the wonderfully entertaining story of a community theater group attempting to put on a play called Murder Most Foul, written by Phyllis Montague (Eileen McShane of Bernardsville). She constantly makes changes to the script, frustrating the director (Anne King of New Providence), stage manager (Chris Winans of Morristown), and techie (Ed McCarty of Bridgewater) as well as the actors. Nerves fray, and the cast begins to get on each other’s nerves as time grows short, opening night looms, and everything that can go wrong, does! The cast also includes Avery Scott (Califon), Hank Barre (Basking Ridge), Peter Curley (Maplewood), Debbie Glick (Flemington), Ginny Beutnagel (Mendham), and Claire Taylor (Bernardsville).

Play On! Is directed by Jaye Barre, with the assistance from stage manager Marilyn Gamba and Props Designer Eileen McSweeney, all of Basking Ridge. Beverly Webb again returns from California for set decoration and costumes. Lorrie Lane of Basking Ridge is the Producer for Plays in the Park. Bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating. For information, call 908-204-3003.

The partnership of Trilogy Repertory and Bernards Township has produced close to thirty years of family entertainment and achieved several awards for both groups for excellence in theater programming. Most prominent are the awards from ACT (Achievement in Community Theater) and the prestigious “Excellence in Cultural Arts Programming.” “Play On!” is made possible, in part, by support from New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Trilogy Repertory Company ,P. O. Box 199, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Call 908-604-4800 or visit


Caption for cast picture: The cast of Play On! Rehearses “Murder Most Foul” with Claire Taylor of Bernardsville, Hank Barre of Basking Ridge, Ginny Beutnagel of Mendham, Peter Curley of Maplewood, Debbie Glick of Flemington, and Scott Avery of Califon.

End of Summer Short Acting Program with Director Lou Scarpati

It's been several years in the making. And, we're thrilled it's finally here. To celebrate, our first program will be an affordable 

End of Summer Short Acting Program

Taught by The Company's artistic director: Lou Scarpati

Beginning Aug 11 and continuing on Aug, 14, 18, 21, 25, 28, the three week program is designed to introduce new/amateur actors as well as more seasoned local actors to the general acting methods used by The Company.

This short program will seamlessly lead into a fall program for those who wish to delve deeper in the training. And, successful actors will be invited into company membership, as well as have a chance to audition for upcoming company productions and readings.
Our studio will be at the

Temple Avodat Shalom
385 Howland Ave.
River Edge, N.J. 07661

Just across from Van Saun Park

So, there will be 6 classes in total - held in the Youth Lounge.

Teen classes will be at 6pm each of the days, and
Adult classes will follow at 8pm.

Finally, as an added gift, the first of the six classes will be free with no obligation to continue (while seats last). So, there's no risk, if it's not for you. And, if you continue with the program, the 5 remaining classes will be only $99.

If you're interested: email

Again, seating is limited, so please act now if you have an aspiring actor in your house or you are one yourself.