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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre sets 2016-2017 season

 Harriett Trangucci and Jessica O’Hara-Baker will appear in The How and the Why by Sarah Treem (Steve McIntyre)

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, in residence at Oakes Center at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit, is announcing its 2016-2017 season.  This professional company will bring three productions, including two New Jersey premieres, to the stage in addition to improvisational comedy, new play readings, a holiday variety show and many programs for seniors and students.  As always, the Dreamcatcher Resident Acting Company and their guests will tell stories that reflect our shared experience of being human with heart and humor.

Dreamcatcher’s fall mainstage production is The How and the Why. Evolution and emotion collide in Sarah Treem's thought-provoking and sharp play about science, family, and survival of the fittest. On the eve of a prestigious conference, an up-and-coming evolutionary biologist wrestles for the truth with an established leader in the field. This intimate and keenly perceptive play explores the difficult choices faced by women of every generation. During its 2011 premiere at the McCarter Theatre, critics said: "Sarah Treem's play brims with ideas and emotional colors that eddy and refract like rivulets in a lively, plunging stream." —Washington Post. "A moving portrait of a woman meeting with equanimity an unexpected, often painful series of questions about the choices she made in the past." —NY Times. The How and the Why will open on September 22and will play until October 9.

The second mainstage production of the season, opening in February, is the New Jersey Premiere of Donald Margulies’ Shipwrecked! An Entertainment. The adventurous Louis de Rougemont invites you to hear his amazing story of bravery, survival and celebrity that left nineteenth-century England spellbound. Dare to be whisked away in a story of the high seas, populated by exotic islanders, flying wombats, giant sea turtles and a monstrous man-eating octopus. Shipwrecked! examines how far we're willing to blur the line between fact and fiction in order to leave our mark on the world. When South Coast Rep premiered the play in 2007, critics said: "The Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Donald Margulies scampers to the defense of good old-fashioned yarn spinning with Shipwrecked!”—NY Times. "…a deft literate narrative folded into a vaudevillian romp." —LA Times. Shipwrecked! runs February 16 through March 5.

Dreamcatcher’s final mainstage production of the season will be the New Jersey Premiere of Wendy MacLeod’s comedy Things Being What They Are. As Bill anxiously waits for his unfaithful wife and his furniture, he is visited by Jack, a divorced neighbor who suggests the loneliness of life after marriage. At first Jack appears to be a nightmare neighbor—intrusive, needy, boorish—but gradually Bill's perception of his new "friend" deepens. The play is a funny and wistful exploration of love, loss, masculinity, and the needs that bring people together and drive them apart. At its premiere at Seattle Rep in 2003, critics said: "This funny, charming, and rather moving little sleeper of a play from Wendy MacLeod probes the vulnerabilities of heterosexual, middle-class, decaying maleness with…good humor, affection and incisive accuracy." —Chicago Tribune.Things Being What They Are runs from April 20 through May 7.

The improv comedy group Multiple Personality Disorder will bring its own brand of silliness and spontaneity to life for two evenings during the season.  The first MPD show will be on Saturday, October 15, 2016 and the second will be Saturday, May 13, 2017.

From Friday, October 28 through Sunday, October 30 will be an original musical cabaret performance entitled I Believe In Music: The Songs of the 70s. On December 2 and 3, Dreamcatcher will present A Very Special (Holiday) Special, a unique and affectionate send-up of traditional television holiday variety shows.  This Very Special Special will include holiday songs, comic sketches and improv, and lots of good old-fashioned fun.

In the spring, two “Meet the Artist” free new play readings will be held on May 17 and 24, thought-provoking experiences which include the opportunity for audience discussion with the writer, director and actors after the performance.

Dreamcatcher Junior, the summer program for students aged 10-17, will culminate in its annual production on Friday, July 28, an original family show that always draws on the creativity of its young actors to shape the piece.  Each year, the youth company creates a one-of-a-kind piece that has ranged from fairy tale quest to Shakespeare adaptation to musical revue.

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

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

About Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre:

Dreamcatcher was founded in 1994, and is a non-profit professional ensemble of actors who build community with the audience by sharing life-affirming stories in an intimate environment.  We seek to expose theatregoers to ideas and lives like and unlike their own, to awaken their imaginations and create empathy for others. The company focuses on deepening the experience of our patrons by supplementing the performances with personal contact through receptions, talkbacks, and interactive programs.

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

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