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Saturday, March 5, 2016

THE ALIENS Invade Maplewood: Play by Pulitzer Prize-Winner Annie Baker presented by THE THEATER PROJECT

   L-R: Ryan McGilloway, Nick Cornwell, and Lawrence James and director Nick Walsh

(MAPLEWOOD, March 31 – April 4) Two young drifters hanging out behind a Vermont coffee shop discussing art and the nature of the universe decide to teach a lonely high school student everything they know. THE ALIENS, “a gentle and extraordinarily beautiful new play” (New York Times) by Pulitzer Prize-Winner Annie Baker is being presented by The Theater Project, March 31 – April 3, at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, 10 Durand Rd, Maplewood.

Described as a play with music about friendship, art, love and death, THE ALIENS is part of a rich tradition of stories told from the point of view of the outsider, in this case the drop out or slacker who avoids commitment to a nine to five routine. “I think these plays are especially popular with young people,” says Artistic Director Mark Spina, “Transitioning from college to the working world is tough – there is always the dream of trying a less traditional path and exploring life’s other possibilities, but there is also the fear that straying from the nine to five routine will leave you adrift.”

Nick Walsh, the play’s director says, “Since graduating from college, I find myself constantly relearning everything that I thought I once knew. For a brief moment of time, Evan, the main character in THE ALIENS, escapes from his sheltered lifestyle and truly learns what it means to have a friend, from two guys most people would consider losers.”

A recent Ramapo College grad, Nick Walsh directed one of the pieces in The Theater Project’s 2015 festival of one act plays. “I had watched one of Nick’s rehearsals,” says Mark Spina, “and talked to him about his approach to material. I was extremely impressed, so when he proposed this project to us, I jumped on it.” Part of the company’s mission is to provide opportunities for playwrights and directors.

THE ALIENS is being presented in tandem with THE GROUNDLING (April 14-24), a comedy by Marc Palmieri. Patrons can see both plays for $40 when they pre-purchase tickets.

The Theater Project, an award-winning company celebrating 22 years, presents its main stage season at the Burgdorff Center in Maplewood. It also offers programs, such as workshops and presentations with playwrights, and classes for kids in theater, improv and music, in Cranford, Maplewood and Union. For information, visit:

top photo: cast and director/TTP

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