Sunday, February 28, 2016

'5 Women Wearing The Same Dress' by Alan Ball next at The Company

        5 Women Wearing The Same Dress" by Alan Ball.

Opens on Saturday, Apr 2nd, 8 pm, at the Hackensack Cultural Arts Center, 39 Broadway, Hackensack, NJ and runs Apr 3, 9, 10, 16, & 17.


Theatre is Alive and Well in New Jersey...See a play!

Scene from 'Becky Shaw' (Bob Eberle/CSC)
HACKETTSTOWN: “Becky Shaw,” comedy revolving around a blind date that sets off a series of cataclysmic events, Centenary College, Sitnik Theatre, Lackland Center, 400 Jefferson St. 8 p.m. Feb. 26-27; 2 p.m. Feb. 28 and March 2; 7:30 p.m. March 3, $17.50-$27.50. centenarystageco.org908-979-0900.

MILLBURN: Paper Mill Playhouse, “A Bronx Tale,” world premiere of musical based on Chazz Palminteri’s one-man show and film, 22 Brookside drive. 8 p.m. Feb. 28; 7:30 p.m. March 2; 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. March 3, $37-$110. papermill.org973-376-4343.

MORRIS TWP.: “Healing Voices OnStage: Caregiver Stories,” New Jersey Stages Festival performances of original works written by caregivers, Bickford Theatre, Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights road. 6 p.m. March 1; 7 p.m. March 2-3, $10 suggested donation., 973-971-3706.

RED BANK: “Ropes,” drama by Barbara Colio about a tightrope walker and his three sons, Two River Theater, Marion Huber Theater, 21 bridge ave. 8 p.m. Feb. 26 and March 3; 3 and 8 p.m. Feb. 27; 3 p.m. Feb. 28; 1 and 7 p.m. March 2, $37-$65., 732-345-1400.
Scene from 'Sisters Play' (DRTC)
SUMMIT: Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, “Sister Play,” New Jersey premiere of drama revolving a woman, her husband, her sister and a shadowy drifter, Oakes Center, 120 Morris ave. 8 p.m. Feb. 26-27 and March 3; 2 p.m. Feb. 28, $30-$35. dreamcatcherrep.org800-838-3006.

TRENTON: Passage Theatre Company, “Solo Flights Festival,” 30th anniversary featuring Joseph edward’s “Manchild in the Promised Land” and Susan Stein’s “etty” among other solo shows, Passage Theatre, Mill Hill Playhouse, 205 e. Front St. 8 p.m. March 3-20, $25., 609-392-0318.

WEST ORANGE: “The Brothers Size,” drama set in the Louisiana bayou about two very different siblings, Luna Stage, 555 Valley road. 8 p.m. Feb. 26-27; 3 p.m. Feb. 28; 7:30 p.m. March 3, $22-$, 973-395-5551.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Auditions: 'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum' at The Strollers

The Strollers announce auditions for their spring musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Auditions are
Tuesday, March 1, 7:30 pm
Wednesday, March 2, 7:30 pm
callbacks Saturday, March 5, 1 pm
(other times available by appointment)

All auditions take place at
The Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts
0 Durand Road
Maplewood, NJ 07040

Come prepared to sing 16-32 bars from the show (any song), read scenes with other actors, and do some light choreographed movement.

For any questions, email or visit

Performance dates
Friday, May 6, 2016, 8pm
Saturday, May 7, 2016, 8pm
Sunday, May 8, 2016, 2pm

Friday, May 13, 2016, 8pm
Saturday, May 14, 2016, 8pm
Sunday, May 15, 2016, 2pm

Friday, May 20, 2016, 8pm
Saturday, May 21, 2016, 8pm

Tuesdays, 7:15-9:15pm
Wednesdays, 7:15-9:15pm
Saturdays, 1:30-5:00pm

Character descriptions
Prologus/Pseudolus (male lead; baritone): Must have strong stage presence and comic timing

Hysterium (male comic lead; baritone): High strung, easily excitable, good stage movement

Hero (male romantic lead, 20s-30s; tenor): earnest but naïve; in love with Philia

Philia (female romantic lead, 20-30's; soprano): sweet, innocent; must have good comic timing

Senex (older male, baritone): Roman senator; hen-pecked father of Hero

Domina (older female, mezzo soprano): domineering wife of Senex, overbearing mother of Hero

Marcus Lycus (adult male, baritone): brothel owner and pimp, comically swarmy

Miles Gloriosus (male, bass): captain in Roman army; Hero’s rival for Philia’s affections

Erronius (older male): confused and elderly comic relief

The Courtesans (the wares of the House of Marcus Lycus, any voices)
Gymnasia (“Amazonian” and/or athletic)
Tintinabula (belly dancer)
Vibrata (wild and sexy)
The Geminae (twins, two similar looking actresses)
Panacea (sweet and “giving” courtesan)
The Proteans (3 or more males, any voices, multiple roles)

NJ Premiere of JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH at The Growing Stage

The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, located in the Historic Palace Theatre on Route 183 in Netcong, presents the New Jersey premiere of JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH. The show runs March 11th through April 3rd with performances Friday evenings at 7:30PM, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 4:00 PM. Based on the book by Roald Dahl, JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH, has Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and a Book by Timothy Allen McDonald. It was originally produced at Seattle Children’s Theater under the director of Linda Hartzell. This production is under the direction of Stephen L. Fredericks, The Growing Stage’s Executive Director with musical direction by Stephen Fox and Choreography by Jillian Petrie.

Featuring a wickedly tuneful score by the TONY Award-nominated team of Pasek and Paul (Dogfight and A Christmas Story the Musical) and a curiously quirky book by Timothy Allen McDonald (Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley), critics rave James & the Giant Peach is a “masterpeach!” The story introduces us to James, who is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, where he discovers a magic potion which results in a tremendous peach – and launches a journey of enormous proportions. Suddenly, James finds himself in the center of the gigantic peach among human-sized insects with equally oversized personalities, but after it falls from the tree and rolls into the ocean; the group faces hunger, sharks and plenty of disagreements. Thanks to James’ quick wit and creative thinking, the residents learn to live and work together as a family. The dangerous voyage is a success, but the adventure takes a whole new twist once they land on the Empire State Building.

JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH features the talents of seven professional equity performers in the cast. Danielle Becht of Morris Township, makes her Growing Stage debut as James; Robert Allan of Flanders plays Ladahlord; Lori B. Lawrence of Hackettstown and Martha Simmons Harvey of Bernardsville portray Aunts Sponge and Spiker. Rounding out the cast as the insects and various other characters are Jeremy Feight of New York, NY as Earthworm, Izzy Figueroa of Laurence Harbor as Centipede, Cara Ganski of Avenel as Ladybug, Robert Mintz as Grasshopper and Casey Low as Spider.

Opening Night includes a special post-show talkback with the company. All Friday tickets are $15 and Saturday and Sunday tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $15 for children. To purchase tickets, please or call the Box Office at (973) 347-4946

Group rates and Birthday Party packages are available. The Growing Stage’s programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals.

JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI, 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019, Phone: 212-541-4684, Fax : 212-397-4684,

Paper Mill Playhouse Presents an Exclusive Industry Reading of THE OUTSIDER by Paul Slade Smith Reading features Kelsey Grammer, Lenny Wolpe, Rob McClure among others

Kelsey Grammer and Rob McClure ( Photo by Walter McBride)

Paper Mill Playhouse will be hosting an invite-only, industry reading of Paul Slade Smith’s The Outsider this March in New York City. 
In line with Paper Mill Playhouse’s mission of fostering a creative environment for advancing the art form, the theater is bringing together top industry professionals to aid in the development of the play.

At once a razor-sharp comedy and a sincere tribute to democracy, The Outsider is a timely and hilarious take on modern American politics. Ned Newley (Lenny Wolpe) doesn't even want to be Governor. He is terrified of public speaking; his poll numbers are impressively bad. To his ever-supportive Chief of Staff (Rob McClure), Ned seems destined to fail. But a political guru named Arthur Vance (Kelsey Grammer) sees things a little differently: Ned might be the worst candidate to ever run for office. Unless the public is looking for... the worst candidate to ever run for office.

Joining Grammer, McClure (Noises Off, Honeymoon in Vegas) and Wolpe (The Drowsy Chaperone, Bullets Over Broadway), are Erin Noel Grennan (Chicago Med, Reckless at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Lisa O’Hare (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder), Kristen Sieh (O, Earth, RoosevElvis) and Steve Rosen (Guys and Dolls, Spamalot). Don Stephenson (Titanic at Lincoln Center, Guys and Dolls at Goodspeed) directs.

Paul Slade Smith (playwright) is currently appearing on Broadway in Finding Neverland. His play Unnecessary Farce has had over 190 productions in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Singapore, Iceland and Switzerland. As an actor, Paul’s credits include Chicago Shakespeare Theater, The Goodman, Steppenwolf, American Repertory Theatre, and national tours of Wicked and The Phantom of the Opera.

In its sole previous production (2015), The Outsider was hailed by critics as “a great American play” and “an exceptional world premiere”. To learn more about the play, its reviews and awards, visit

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. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

'Music of The Movies' concert narrated by Peter Dinklage in Basking Ridge

The community chorus of music in the Somerset Hills is preforming in concert on Sunday, March 13 at 5 PM at Basking Ridge High School.

This concert is entitled Music of the Movies, and it will be narrated by the well-known actor Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) who grew up in Mendham. 

The concertmaster will be his brother Jonathan Dinklage, and their Mom sings in the chorus. 

This will be a wonderful and eclectic concert filled with all different types of choral music from the movies of the last 80 years. The concert will include a multimedia presentation to accompany the grand music of the movies.

To order tickets go to the website- music Tickets are going fast.


The Somerset Hills Community Chorus was formed under the auspices of Music in the Somerset Hills, an organization established to provide cultural enrichment for the residents of New Jersey's Somerset Hills and the surrounding region through performances of classical masterworks. As part of its ongoing mission to provide amateur musicians with opportunities for fellowship, continued exploration and growth, The Somerset Hills Community Chorus gives less-experienced singers the opportunity to make music with seasoned professionals in a supportive and encouraging environment, organizer said.

Music in the Somerset Hills is overseen by Artistic Director Stephen Sands, a resident of Basking Ridge and a professional musician and music educator in the Somerset Hills School District for more than 17 years.

Those interested in auditioning for the chorus should visit for more information contact 
Music in the Somerset Hills General Manager Katharine Baer at, or call (973) 339-7719.

       Rejoice in the Lamb - Benjamin Britten - Somerset Hills Community Chorus 2013

Thursday, February 25, 2016

NJPAC and The Johnny Mercer Foundation Introduce Over 130 New Jersey Middle School Students to the Magic of Musical Theater


Students Learn the History of American Musical Theater and Create Their Own Musical Production to be Performed at NJPAC on June 8

Celebrating their fourth year of introducing New Jersey middle school students to the magic of musical theater, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and The Johnny Mercer Foundation (JMF) announced that three new schools and two new teaching artists have joined this year’s program. The Johnny Mercer Foundation/NJPAC Musical Theater Residency Program offers students, in grades 6 to 8, an immersive study of the history of the American musical and the essential tools to create their own musical.

The three new schools are Terence C. Reilly School No. 7 in Elizabeth, Union Hill Middle School in Union City, and Abington Avenue School in Newark. These schools will join Harriet Tubman School in Newark and Heywood Avenue School in Orange, which are both participating for the second year. Alexander Ratner and Madeline Calandrillo will join the team of NJPAC teaching artists, including Victor Burks, Daryl Stewart, Janeece Freeman-Clark, to implement this program unique to NJPAC.

Beginning this month, each residency, which is provided free to each school, will meet twice a week for 20 sessions. During these sessions, students learn the diverse history of the American musical, as well as the creation process of a new musical, including lyric writing, rehearsing and performing. They develop their creativity, self-confidence, and ability to tell their own story through the American musical. Each class will create sections of a joint musical, which will culminated in a full, collaborative show on Wednesday, June 8 at 3 pm in NJPAC’s Victoria Theater.

 “Self-expression is such an important topic these days, and
The Johnny Mercer Foundation is incredibly proud to partner with NJPAC to encourage students to express themselves through the writing of words and music,” stated JMF Vice President, Jonathan Brielle (photo).

“We are delighted to host this one-of-a-kind musical theater program,” said Alison Scott-Williams, NJPAC’s Vice President of Arts Education. “To witness first-hand the growth of these middle school students as collaborators to write, rehearse and perform their own musical is thrilling. NJPAC is

grateful to The Johnny Mercer Foundation for funding this extraordinary residency.”

The residencies help schools meet their curricular goals; NJPAC’s education programs are developed in accordance with the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards.

This program is made possible by generous support from The Johnny Mercer Foundation. Additional funding for Arts Education at NJPAC is provided by The Prudential Foundation, the Victoria Foundation, Merck Company Foundation and ADP.


The mission of The Johnny Mercer Foundation (JMF) is to support the discipline of songwriting in the tradition of the Great American Songbook as exemplified by the life and work of Johnny Mercer: lyricist, composer, performer, collaborator and producer. The Foundation continues Johnny’s legacy by partnering with individuals and organizations dedicated to celebrating and nourishing the disciplines he mastered, and the causes he championed.

In addition to the Kaufman Music Center in New York, JMF partners with several institutions including The Johnny Mercer Foundation/NJPAC Musical Theater Residency Program; The Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project with Northwestern University (The American Music Theatre Project) to nurture and encourage young talent in the field of songwriting; and The Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals for emerging writers to research, develop, and create new musicals.

As well, JMF has a unique relationship with Georgia State University, where The Johnny Mercer Collection, including Johnny’s many works, personal papers, and memorabilia are housed. They also support Georgia State University in a fellowship-type program to facilitate music education through the development of an elementary and middle school curriculum that focuses on and the Florida International University Fellowship Program to create high-quality instructional materials and provide professional development opportunities for music and language arts teachers.

The Foundation is also a major supporter of the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, the Braille Institute, UCLA’s Art of the Brain Program, and the television station KCET in Los Angeles.



New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States and is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey - where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. 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 more than 10 million visitors (including over 1.5 million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

'THE BOOK OF D' world premiere production at The Growing Stage has ended successful run

The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, New Jersey just ended the world premiere production of THE BOOK OF D this past weekend (February 21). 

Stephen Fredericks and wife Lori
THE BOOK OF D, written by Cody Daigle-Orians, is the winner of our 2015 New Play-Reading Festival. This 
production was under the direction of Stephen L. Fredericks, The Growing Stage’s Executive Director.  

THE BOOK OF D introduces us to D, a young outcast, who escapes into a world of stories. He keeps a book, 
The Book of D, to grapple with the tough things in his life — his parents’ divorce, his lack of friends, and the 
reasons for everything. When he makes a new friend, Blu, who introduces him to Greek mythology, friendship becomes a new story for D to write.

THE BOOK OF D featured the talents of four professional equity performers. Phylicia Freeman of Burlington,
made her Growing Stage debut in the role of Mom and Eurydice; Izzy Figueroa of Old Bridge, recently seen as Snail in A Year With Frog and Toad, played Dad, Orpheus, Theseus and The Minotaur; Ginny Bartolone of Montclair, who first performed with The Growing Stage as a child, returned to our stage playing the Teacher and Pirithous and Barbara Haag of Chester, made her Growing Stage debut as the Bus Driver and Hades.  

Rounding out the cast were the following young performers: Sean Cahill of Netcong as D; Julia Mayhood of Stanhope as Blu; Terrell Cannon of Dover as Andy and Lysander; Amanda Beck of Hackettstown as Mia and 
Hero; Dalton Allison of Byram as Cal; Hana Hassan of Budd Lake as Len and Isabella DiBernardino of Flanders as Rae.

View video:CLICK

For more information about the Growing Stage visit the website.  

The home of TGS is the historic Palace Theatre on Route 183 in Netcong, NJ.

Interior views:

Complete Cast Info:

D – Sean Cahill (12 years old, Netcong Resident)
Blu – Julia Mayhood
Andy, Lysander – Terrell Cannon
Mom, Eurydice – Phylicia Freeman*
Dad, Icarus, Orpheus, The Mintaur – Izzy Figueroa*
Teacher – Theseus – Ginny Bartolone*
Bus Driver, Hades, Pirithous – Barbara Haag*
Mia, Hero – Amanda Beck
Cal, Informative Greek – Dalton Allison
Len, Blabbermouth Greek – Hana Hassan
Rae, Fawning Greek – Isabella DiBernardino

*Members of Actor’s Equity Association

Production Staff:
Director – Stephen L. Fredericks
Stage Manager – Becky Nitka*
Scenic, Mask Design & Painting – Perry Arthur Kroeger
Costume Coordinator – Lori B. Lawrence
Costumes Provided by Scaramouche LLC
Lighting Design – S.L. Fredericks
Light Board Operator – Justin Watt
Backstage Crew – Linnea Weston, Caitlyn McCormack

Centenary Stage Company's TYRO Acting Program for young artists offered this spring.

The Centenary Stage Company continues their tradition of nurturing young artists by offering the TYRO Acting Program again this spring. The TYRO Theatre Program provides an introduction to theatre skills for children ages 8 – 10. The program runs March 9 to May 11 and meets on Wednesdays of each week in The Little Theatre located on the campus of Centenary College. Registration is $150 per student and limited to ten students. The registration deadline is February 24, 2016.

The TYRO Program is led by Maria Brodeur, the CSC Education Director. Brodeur is a professional actress and arts educator with experience in children’s theatre who holds a BA in Theatre and Education from Rutgers University. One TYRO parent recently exclaimed, “I saw so much growth in Christine this summer as a result of the wonderful handling given by all of you.” TYRO, along with the critically acclaimed Young Performers Workshop programs, represents the youth educational arm of the Centenary Stage Company, a professional Equity theatre in residence at Centenary College.

For additional information regarding TYRO program, to see a full listing of all CSC programs or to register visit, call the box office at (908) 979 – 0900 or stop by the Lackland Center at 715 Grand Ave. located on the campus of Centenary College. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 1 – 5pm.

The 2015-16 season of performing arts events at the Centenary Stage Company is made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Shubert Foundation, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the Sandra Kupperman Foundation, and CSC corporate sponsors, including Premier Season Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, Home Instead Senior Care (Washington), The Holiday Inn in Budd Lake, and Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.

photo courtesy of CSC/Bob Eberle

American Theater Group: State-Wide Drama Festival April 28 in Rahway

New Jersey High School Students Will Perform on a Professional Stage and Work
With Theater Industry Professionals

American Theater Group (ATG), New Jersey’s newest professional theater, located at the state-of- the-arts Hamilton Stage Theater in Rahway, is proud to announce its first annual High School Drama Festival, an event that promises to be an extremely popular annual offering. On April 28, ATG will serve as host to high schools throughout New Jersey for a day of great theater and inspiring instruction.

During the day-long event, students will have the opportunity to present a scene from whatever play or musical that they have performed during the course of the year, or one they have prepared specially for the competition. These excerpts will then be given an in-depth critique by working members of the Broadway theater industry.

ATG will also offer at least one workshop for the participants, in areas such as improvisation, audition techniques, and stage combat. In addition, after the day’s events, students will attend a performance of ATG’s Main Stage production of Crossing Swords. This world premiere musical is about a group of high school students who attempt to put on a play, and end up seeing life imitate art as passions ignite and jealousies fly. The day’s events culminate with a post performance Q&A with the cast and creative team of Crossing Swords.

American Theater Group is New Jersey's newest professional theater company. Founded by New Jersey natives Jim Vagias, Joe Mancuso and Rick Sordelet, and under the Board leadership of Tony-Award winning actress Michel Pawk,

Hamilton Stage

ATG’s mission is to produce works by American Playwrights, with an emphasis on the development of new works and undeservedly neglected classics, and to nurture the audiences and artists oftomorrow by strong arts-in-education programming. Now in its fourth season, ATG’ produces in the new state of the art facility, Hamilton Stage, an intimate 199 seat theater.

For more information, call (732) 238-9982 or visit

Passage Theatre’s 30th Anniversary celebrated with the Solo Flights Festival of one-person plays


WHEN: Mar 3 - Mar 27, 2016; 8 pm Thursdays-Saturdays; 3 pm Sundays

WHERE: The Mill Hill Playhouse, 205 East Front Street, Trenton, NJ (Secure Parking) 

$25. Discounts for seniors, groups and students 

Purchase at or 609-392-0766

In honor of Passage Theatre’s 30th Anniversary, the popular Solo Flights Festival has returned by popular demand to the Mill Hill Playhouse.  The festival was retired 5 years ago in favor of selected single artist events. 

The Solo Flights Festival features a variety of 6 one-person plays written and performed by 6 artists.

This season’s line-up brings to the stage in rotating repertory:
  • An adaptation of Claude Brown’s Manchild in the Promised Land, by Joseph Edwards, directed by Wynn Handman, March 3, 5, and 6In this coming-of-age story, young Claude struggles to find his identity and keep his sanity to overcome social ills and turn his life around. The play explores themes of education, the power of choice, and self-awareness.
  • Panther Hollow, written and performed by David Lee White, directed by John Augustine, performs March 4, 12 and 18 and is a comedy describing life at 25 years upon encountering two dead bodies, a Jacobean tragedy, drugs, Satanists, skinheads, Elizabeth Wurtzel, and Nordic death metal. Coming of age in the Midwest can be tough.
  • Remembrance Day, written and performed by June Ballinger, directed by Janice Goldberg, performs March 10 and 20 and follows the memories of an 80-year-old former British code breaker attending a Remembrance Day service in England.  She looks back on her life and the secrets about her work and identity that she has held for over 50 years.
  • Playwright and performer Leslie Ayvazian reads from her collection of stories Mention My Beauty on March 11 and 19, centered on growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s, a time of rebellion and action and indignation.  Although she joined organizations like VISTA…her attention was elsewhere.
  • Etty, crafted solely from Etty Hillesum’s writings during the Holocaust, is an unconventional theatre experience written and performed by Susan Stein that brings the audience into Etty’s thinking as she wrestles to write the life she is living – her loves, her work, her wry sense of humor and her knowledge of self in this moment in history, all whilst confronting God.March 13 and 14.
  • Improviser and storyteller Alex Clothier tries to tell us what happened when Grandma was hit by a train in Everything’s Fine!, through an exploration of family and memory an intimate night full of secrets, laughter, and food. March 17.
“This has been a long popular type of storytelling with audiences internationally and has the benefit of providing each theatre artist control of their own artistry and career,” Artistic Director June Ballinger explains.  “And it affords Passage the opportunity to curate a wildly eclectic month of theatre with a variety of stories, theatrical forms and generations. 

There is truly something for everyone, though oddly enough a common theme is pondering the ‘coming of age’…whether 25 or 85!  People were dismayed to see us stop the festival a few years ago, but we decided we needed a change.  But we are back!”

Passage Theatre has been committed to original new work with an emphasis on socially responsible themes for 30 years.  The professional (Actors Equity Association) company performs in the historic Mill Hill Playhouse in Trenton. 

Passage Theatre’s mainstage supporters are: N.J. State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the NEA; Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; The City of Trenton; WIMG 1300; The Curtis McGraw Foundation; The James Kerney Foundation; PNC Bank; The Garfield Foundation; Princeton Area Community Foundation; The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey; The Shubert Foundation; New Jersey Manufacturers; Church & Dwight; Mary G. Roebling Foundation; Anonymous; and Fidelity Savings Bank.

Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap at McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton

opening night

Mayhem and suspicion abound with a new production of Christie’s seminal thriller directed by Adam Immerwahr. The ensemble features Jessica Bedford, Richard Gallagher, Adam Green, Graeme Malcolm, Andy Phelan, Thom Sesma, Sandra Shipley, and Emily Young.

 Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap is a master class in murder/mystery. Called “The cleverest murder mystery of British theatre” by The Daily Telegraph, the world’s longest-running play (currently in its 64rdseason on the West End) contains all the trimmings and trappings of the perfect stage thriller.

Set in the English countryside, The Mousetrap introduces a collection of strangers stranded at a manor house during a horrendous snowstorm. To make matters worse, the group soon discovers a murderer may be among them.

So who’s the killer? Could it be one of the newlyweds (Adam Green and Jessica Bedford) whose rampant suspicions nearly wreck their marriage? Maybe it's the spinster with the curious background (Sandra Shipley). It could be the off-kilter architect (Andy Phelan), the straight-laced retired Army Major (Graeme Malcolm), the mysterious woman (Emily Young), or maybe the odd little man who appears at the door unannounced (Thom Sesma). With a suspicious Detective on the case (Richard Gallagher), The Mousetrap hurtles to an exciting conclusion with numerous twists and surprises. Take your best guess, but whatever you do don’t spoil the ending…

The Mousetrap runs March 8 - 27 on the Matthews Stage. Tickets are available now at the McCarter Box Office, online at, or by phone at 609-258-2787
McCarter Theatre is located at 91 University Place in Princeton, NJ. For more information,

Relaxed Performance – Wednesday, March 16 at 7 pm

A relaxed performance is one that has been adapted to provide a relaxed and safe environment for individuals with autism, learning differences, or other sensory and communication needs so that they and their families may enjoy live theater together. The quality of the production still aligns with McCarter's high artistic standards, but small adjustments are made to certain technical elements (such as sound and light cues). In addition, professional staff will be on hand to assist parents and caregivers, a family restroom will be available, and there will be designated activity and relaxation areas in the lobby. Tickets for this special performance are $5.00, and may be purchased by phone at 609-258-2787 or in person at the McCarter Theatre Center Box Office. 

The Mousetrap – Production Facts

Creative, Production, and Design Team
Playwright: Agatha Christie    Direction: Adam Immerwahr

Scenic Design: Alexander Dodge  
Costume Design: Jess Goldstein   Lighting Design: Philip Rosenberg
Sound Design: Nick Kourtides   Dialect Coach: Gillian Lane-Plescia                         Casting Director: Caparelliotis Casting
Production Stage Manager: Cheryl MintzStage Manager: Alison Cote
Director of Production: David York
Managing Director: Timothy J. Shields   Artistic Director/Resident Playwright: Emily Mann 

CAST (in alphabetical order)
Giles Ralston: ADAM GREEN
Christopher Wren: ANDY PHELAN
Mr. Paravicini: THOM SESMA
Miss Casewell: EMILY YOUNG

The actors and stage managers for this production are members of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.