Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Open House at EXIT 82 Tonight

Come to our open house tonightWednesday, August 31st from
7pm - 9pm
 at the Exit 82 Studio at 1171 Fischer Blvd in Toms River!
Registration will be available for all fall classes! 
Registration is also available online by clicking here

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Review: 'Iago' by James McLure at NJ Rep

IAGO by James McLure
Reviewed by Michael T. Mooney
at New Jersey Repertory Company
on August 27th at 8 pm

“I used to know human beings. Then I got involved in the theatre.” ~ James McLure's IAGO

Instead of Othello and Desdemona IAGO opens with a dramatic exchange between Lord Horatio Nelson and Lady Emma Hamilton, a scene vaguely (if not directly) taken from the 1941 film THAT HAMILTON WOMAN. Here, however, the couple are standing in front of a red velvet stage curtain bathed in footlights – bowing to thunderous applause from an adoring (unseen) audience. This brief prologue sets the tone for what's to come: part-historical romance, part love letter to the theater. That historical romance, however, isn't between Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton.

Ezra Barnes, Liza Vann, Todd Gearhart
Backstage, after the couple's performance, we also meet up-and-coming young Australian actor Peter Finney (Todd Gearhart) as well as a well-known English director named Sir Basil Drill (John FitzGibbon). Those au fait with the world of the paint and the motley – and perhaps possessing some serious cinematic savvy – will soon realize that playwright James McLure is actually writing about real-life celebrity couple Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, here coyly dubbed Anthony Roland (Ezra Barnes) and Vivacity Wilkes (Liza Vann). The Peter in the room is none other than a young Peter Finch, with whom Leigh famously conducted a torrid extra-marital affair. Marshaled by Drill (who is modeled on self-described genius Noel Coward), the three rehearse a production of OTHELLO, a fact that – like their names – McLure likely invented to parallel the actors' real-life romantic triangle.

This was McLure's final play before his untimely death in 2011. It is rare for NJ Rep – which exclusively produces premieres – to be without a living author in the wings. Experienced director SuzAnne Barabas (photo) deftly fulfills McLure's intentions, smartly mixing the abundant theatrical ambiance with quick pacing and spare (but effective) design elements to also reflect the characters' better known movie careers. 

The talented cast rightfully uses McLure's script as their prime resource, and while suggesting their famous inspirations, they wisely do not attempt to imitate them. Set designer Charles Corcoran beautifully balances the script's multiple locations without taxing the play's tricky theatrical metaphor. As usual, Jill Nagle's lighting is exquisitely evocative and Patricia E. Doherty's wardrobe nicely conveys the 1950s, as well as the more flamboyant costumes for the play's theatrical moments.

Those looking for a bio-pic style look at the subject would best look elsewhere. While the play is constructed using cinematically brief scenes, the details are often seen through a fuzzy lens. The short scene structure often gives short-shrift to traditional character development, but McLure more than makes up for it with a plethora of pithy dialogue. When Peter hopes that appearing in OTHELLO will launch his acting career, Sir Basil dryly replies that “No one ever became a star playing Iago.” IAGO is McLure's tribute to star-crossed lovers living and working in a star-struck theatreland.

IAGO is on stage at New Jersey Repertory Company at 179 Broadway, Long Branch, through September 25, 2016. For tickets and further information call 732.229.3166 or visit

Photo by SuzAnne Barabas

Monday, August 29, 2016

Tri-State Actors Theater to present a Reading at Irish Pub!

SAVE SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24! Tri-State Actors Theater presents a Reading of the acclaimed Irish Play, THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE staged with a stellar professional cast at the fabulous IRISH COTTAGE PUB & RESTAURANT in Franklin, NJ., beginning at 7:30pm. Great food and drink served and GREAT IRISH DRAMA all in one evening!

'Guys and Dolls' in concert at 4th Wall Theatre

4th Wall Theatre proudly presents GUYS AND DOLLS in Concert, Sept 30-Oct 2 only, at Westminster Arts Center in Bloomfield, NJ.

Audition: '9 to 5' at Barn Theatre in Montville

The Barn Theatre in Montville, New Jersey continues its 89th Season by holding open auditions on September 11th & 12th for its upcoming production of " 9 to 5", Book by Patricia Resnick, Music and Lyrics by Dolly Parton.  " 9 to 5" will be directed by Claudia Metz.
AUDITION DATES: Sunday September 11th, 7pm to 10 pm and Monday, September 12th, 7pm to 10 pm.
PERFORMANCE DATES: Nov. 11, 19, 25, 26, Dec.1, 2, & 3 @ 8 pm and Nov. 12, 13, 20,& 27 @ 2 pm. (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.)

9 To 5 The Musical, with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton and book by Patricia Resnick, is based on the hit movie starring Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton and Dabney Coleman. Set in 1979, “when apples and blackberries were something you’d pick behind the barn,” this hilarious story of friendship and revenge in the Rolodex era is outrageous, thought­provoking, and even a little romantic.
Pushed to the boiling point, three female co­workers concoct a plan to get even with the sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot they call their boss. In a hilarious turn of events, Violet, Judy and Doralee live out their wildest fantasy ­ giving their boss the
boot! While Hart remains "otherwise engaged," the women give their workplace a dream makeover, taking control of the company that had always kept them down.
Please prepare 32 bars for your vocal audition. Please bring sheet music in your key. An accompanist will be provided. Songs from 9 to 5 are welcome, but not necessary. If you are auditioning for a specific role, please select a piece in that range. Actors being considered for certain roles MAY be asked to learn a short dance combination. Bring/wear shoes/clothes that will allow for dance.

***IMPORTANT: You will be asked to list ALL potential conflict dates AT THE TIME of your audition, (NOT after casting).
Please be prepared with your calendar and out-dates, as a rehearsal schedule will be generated based upon availability of staff and cast.

Actors are asked to arrive to sign in within the first hour of the audition start time. All roles are open/ available. Age appropriate actors, singers, and dancers of all types, races, are encouraged to attend. Newcomers are especially welcomed. Crew and other volunteers are also needed for the production. If interested, please
CAST REQUIREMENTS: (7 males, 8 females +)
VIOLET NEWSTEADFemale 40­50 Vocal range: alto.
Smart, efficient, widowed mother of a teenage son who is constantly being passed up for promotion in the boys’­club world of climbing the corporate ladder. She runs the office from her desk while her boss takes the credit. She is frustrated with her position, but not bitter. Comedic role – witty and sharp

JUDY BERNLY: Female 30 ­ 40 Vocal range: soprano, high belt.
Judy Bernly is a meek housewife with her first foray into the working world when her husband runs off with his secretary. Judy changes throughout the play into a force to be reckoned with, taking control of herself and her life. Comedic role – confusion.

DORALEE RHODES: Female 25 ­ 35 Vocal range: soprano, high belt.
Doralee Rhodes is a sexy, country gal who is the secretary for the boss, Franklin Hart. She is misunderstood at the beginning of the play due to rumors about an affair with the boss, but comes to be a strong cog in the machine that destroys Hart. Country singing. Comedy is sharp and no­nonsense.

FRANKLIN HART: Male 45­60 Vocal range: baritone.
Franklin Hart is a pompous jerk and his own biggest fan. If he wasn’t the boss, he would have no friends at all. Was trained by Violet, and then promoted ahead of her, so there
is no love lost between them. Spends his time trying to seduce Doralee. Smarmy. Sexist, Egotistical, Lying, Hypocritical, Bigot.
ROZ KEITH: Female 30+ Vocal range: alto, high belt.
Roz Keith is the office busy­body. She is in love with Mr. Hart, and does everything she can to undermine the rest of the office to earn his affections. Over the top comedic role.
JOE: Male 20­29 Vocal range: tenor, high baritone.
Charming, attractive accountant who is interested in Violet. Doubles in the Men’s Ensemble.

KATHY: Female 18+
Office Gossip. Doubles in the Women’s Ensemble

DWAYNE RHODES: Male 20 ­ 35
Doralee’s husband. Country. Doubles in the Men’s Ensemble.

MARGARET Female 35+
Office lush. Doubles in the Women’s Ensemble.

MISSY HART: Female 18+
Hart’s Wife. Fluttery and Ditzy. Doubles in the Women’s Ensemble.

Violet’s teenage son. Must look young enough to pass as a teenager, but old enough to double in the Men’s Ensemble.

DICK BERNLY: Male 30­50
Judy’ sleazy ex­husband. Also doubles as the detective.
Franklin Hart’s Yes­Man. Also trained by Violet and promoted over her. Also doubles as the cop.

Young and vibrant secretary. Gets fired by Hart wrongfully. Doubles in the Women’s Ensemble. Also doubles as the Candy Striper.

Chairman of the Board of the company. Colonel Sanders type.
ENSEMBLE (Male and Female, all ages) Looking for all ages and types of singers and dancers to complete the ensemble. Fun musical arrangements with interesting harmonies and dance numbers.
The Barn Theatre is located at 32 Skyline Drive in Montville, NJ, just minutes off Route 287 (Exit 47). For more information or directions, call 973­334­9320 ext. 5, or

Strollers Benefit Gala for 85th Season Anniversary!

Audition: For The Musical, “A Christmas Carol”

“Become a part of a holiday tradition!” The Chatham Community Players will hold open auditions for Philip Wm. McKinley's original musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' most famous work, A CHRISTMAS CAROL. This biennial event has been pleasing audiences in Chatham since 1988.

Director Jeffery Fiorello and Musical Director, Jack Bender, seek a large cast of varying types and ages, all of whom need to sing and move well. Dawn Afanador is the Choreographer. Production dates are December 9 thru 21, 2016.

Auditions will be held for Children (16 years and younger) on Saturday, September 17th from 10 - 11 am and Adults from 11 – 1 pm at Stanley Congregational Church - 94 Fairmount Ave, Chatham.

Auditions will be held for Adults (17 years and older) on Wednesday, September 21st from 7:30 - 10 pm at Stanley Congregational Church - 94 Fairmount Ave, Chatham

Musical Director, Jack Bender, asks that auditioners be ready to sing a song, which shows their vocal range, and must bring sheet music in the appropriate key and marked with chord changes. An accompanist will be provided. Child actors without previous audition experience or material can choose a traditional holiday song or another non-rock song that they know well. Our Choreographer, Dawn, asks that actors be prepared to move around the stage.


This version, produced exclusively at the Chatham Playhouse since 1988, Dickens serves not only as narrator, but also as a character that befriends Scrooge and walks beside him during his life-changing journey through memories and premonitions. While the script remains true to the original story, the playwright also pulled from letters that Dickens wrote to family and friends. The story of Ebenezer Scrooge has become one of the most beloved of all holiday tales, and this unique production also reminds us that Dickens’ inspiration for penning the story goes much deeper.

Principal Roles

Charles Dickens - a tenor who narrates the show

Scrooge - the center of the production, requires a character baritone voice and an actor with both comic and dramatic range

Tiny Tim - a young boy (or girl) soprano with a winning smile

Bob Cratchit - a warm baritone

Mrs. Cratchit - requires a mezzo soprano with a big heart

Additional Cast Members

The Ghost of Christmas Past - (a young girl or boy with a lilting soprano) Should be a dancer or have had dance training.

The Ghost of Christmas Present - (an imposing character tenor) Must be comfortable with music and be physically fit.

Belle - an ingénue soprano age 18-24

Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig - comic character actors needed

Various Other Ensemble members portray a variety of roles including the Pawnbroker, Charwoman, Undertaker, Laundress, Cratchit Children, the Ghost of Marley, Young Scrooge, Fan, Scrooge's Nephew and Niece and Carolers.

The Chatham Players have an open call casting policy. ALL roles are open, none are precast, and everyone is encouraged to audition. Any questions, please call Gus Ibranyi at (201)-563-0362 or email For directions, audition form and additional information about the Chatham Playhouse, please visit

Scene Study Class for Adults and Teens at Dreamcatcher with Free Introductory Workshop

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, professional Theatre in Residence at the Oakes Center in Summit, will offer two levels of Fall Scene Study classes for adults and teens beginning October 19, with a free introductory workshop on October 5.

Film and theatre director and acting instructor Alex Craig Mann (Summit) will teach the six-week Scene Study for Teens and Adultsclasses. Level 1, for students who have little or no formal acting training, runs from October 19 through November 23 on Wednesdays from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm at the Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue in Summit. Level 2, for students with acting training and experience, runs from October 20 through December 1 on Thursdays from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm (no class on Thanksgiving) at MONDO, 426 Springfield Avenue in Summit.

As an introduction to the instructor and his methods, Dreamcatcher will offer a free workshop on Wednesday, October 5 from 7:00 – 10:00 pm at the Oakes Center. This workshop is an opportunity to get to know Alex and his approach to the craft of acting and training actors, as well as to begin the hands-on process of working on your prepared material. After an introductory conversation, you are invited to get up and perform monologues, scenes or audition sides that you’ve selected and rehearsed for the workshop. Alex will then work with students on their pieces, directing them on the spot and seeking input from the rest of the group. Registration is required by emailing, or by calling 908-514-9654.

The six-week scene study classes are primarily designed as a collaborative endeavor in which the actors learn to direct themselves. Alex will guide the actors to create a scene that adheres to the story dictated by the writer and incorporates as dynamic a performance as possible. Alex’s philosophy as an acting teacher is:  "Attitude monitors Talent". The attitude of the artist is paramount to their growth and success. Attitude is like the aperture of a camera. If it is closed, negative, and filled with self-invalidation, then only a fraction of their talent will manifest. If it's open, giving, and positive, then all their talent, like light, can shine through.  

These classes are designed for the New Jersey actor who is looking for professional instruction without the cost and inconvenience of travelling to New York. Alex Craig Mann has a long career both in front of and behind the camera. He has recently relocated to the east coast after having taught at the Beverly Hills Playhouse for many years. More information can be found on his website, The cost for either Scene Study class is $315.

Municipal and street parking is available for the class held at MONDO, including a garage directly behind the building. At Oakes, parking is available in the lot behind the theatre on Ashwood Avenue and at the Summit Recreation Center on Morris Avenue.  Both facilities are wheelchair accessible.  To register for the classes or for information on any of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre's programs, please visit or contact Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre at The Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901, 908-514-9654.

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.

Dreamcatcher’s programs are funded by the New Jersey State council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Dramatist Guild Fund, The Summit Area Public Foundation, the Manley-Winser Foundation, and many other corporations, foundations and individuals.  Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre is a senior member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

Casting set for Mel Brooks’ award-winning musical The Producers at The Paper Mill Playhouse

Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director), recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, is proud to announce complete casting for Mel Brooks’ award-winning musical The Producers, directed by Don Stephenson and choreographed by Bill Burns. The Producers features music and lyrics by Mel Brooks, a book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, and the original Broadway direction and choreography by Susan Stroman.

Leading the company are David Josefsberg as Leo Bloom, Michael Kostroff as Max Bialystock, Ashley Spencer as Ulla,Kevin Pariseau as Roger De Bris, Mark Price as Carmen Ghia and John Treacy Egan as Franz Liebkind. The Producers will run at the Millburn, New Jersey, theater from September 28 through October 23, 2016. The official press opening night isSunday, October 2, 2016, at 7:00 pm. Major support for The Producers is provided by The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation. Paper Mill Playhouse's 2016-2017 season is proudly sponsored by Investors Bank.

The Producers is the hilarious smash hit about two theatrical producers who scheme to get rich by overselling interests in a Broadway flop. Complications arise when the show unexpectedly turns out to be successful. The musical took Broadway by storm in 2001, winning a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards and three Olivier Awards.

The Producers will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Performance schedule: Wednesday at 7:30pm, Thursday at 1:30pm and 7:30pm, Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 1:30pm and 8:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm.

Tickets are on sale now starting at $32. Tickets may be purchased by calling973.376.4343, 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 10 or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. Students may order $20 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office on the day of the performance.

“It's a thrill to revisit this hilarious show as a director, having played the part of Leo on tour and on Broadway,” commented director Don Stephenson. “To build The Producers at Paper Mill Playhouse is ideal. The facilities and the support that artists receive make for an enjoyable and seamless creative process.”

David Josefsberg (Leo Bloom) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse, where he was seen as Tony Rocky in Honeymoon in Vegas and as Max in Lend Me a Tenor. He reprised his role in Honeymoon in Vegas on Broadway and he is currently appearing in An Act of God. Mr. Josefsberg’s other Broadway credits include Les Misérables, Motown, The Wedding Singer and Grease.

Michael Kostroff (Max Bialystock) is best known for his roles on HBO's hit television series The Wire and The Disney Channel's Sonny with a Chance. Mr. Kostroff was seen on Broadway in The Nance. At Paper Mill Playhouse Mr. Kostroff appeared in Can-Can, Les Misérables and Lend Me a Tenor.

Ashley Spencer (Ulla) appeared on Broadway in Rock of Ages, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Grease and Hairspray. Ms. Spencer was a finalist on the NBC television series Grease: You’re the One That I Want. Ms. Spencer previously performed the role of Ulla at Pittsburgh CLO.

Kevin Pariseau (Roger De Bris) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse, where he portrayed Charles Thomson in 1776. On Broadway Mr. Pariseau appeared in Legally Blonde and he performed in Show Boat with the New York Philharmonic.

Mark Price (Carmen Ghia) was featured on Broadway in Mary Poppins, All Shook Up, Wonderful Town, Dance of the Vampiresand others. Mr. Price was seen at Paper Mill Playhouse in Can-Can and Lend Me a Tenor.

John Treacy Egan (Franz Liebkind) returns to Paper Mill following his performances as Mr. Bumble in Oliver! and Tito in Lend Me a Tenor. Mr. Egan appeared on Broadway in Casa Valentina, Sister Act, Bye Bye Birdie, Disney's The Little Mermaid, The Producers and Jekyll & Hyde. On television Mr. Egan was featured on The Good Wife, Boardwalk Empire, Nurse Jackie, 30 Rocknd more.

Rounding out the ensemble are: Jacob ben Widmar, Michael Biren, Courtney Brady, Tim Capodice, Jesse Carrey-Beaver, Scott Cote, Madeleine Doherty, Hannah Flam, Brad Frenette, John Jeffords, Jeffrey Johnson II, Naomi Kakuk, Jenny Laroche, Liz McKendry, Kelly Peterson, Emily Jeanne Phillips, Jessica Sheridan and Kate Wesler.

Don Stephenson (Director) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse, where he directed Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike andLend Me a Tenor. He also played John Adams in 1776. Mr. Stephenson directed Titanic at Lincoln Center, Of Mice and Manhattanat the Kennedy Center, The Other Place at the Alley, Guys and Dolls and The Roar of the Greasepaint… at Goodspeed, Lend Me a Tenor at Bay Street, The Cottage at Theatre Aspen, Noises Off at Pittsburgh Public Theater, Titanic at the Muny, Deathtrap andThe 39 Steps at Flat Rock Playhouse, Titanic at the Hangar Theatre, Sister Act at Marriott Theatre and I’ll Eat You Last at TheaterWorks (Hartford). Mr. Stephenson directed Oleanna, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Doctors and Diseases at the Barter Theatre. Some of Mr. Stephenson’s other directing credits include A Charles Dickens Christmas (Urban Stages), Buck Simple(Garrick Gaieties), When Pigs Fly (Kaufman Theatre), Golden Voices (Symphony Space) and Old Flames (Theatre-Studio Inc.).

Bill Burns (Choreographer) served as the resident director and choreographer on The Producers tour. On Broadway, Mr. Burns performed in Fosse, Victor/Victoria, Beauty and the Beast, Metro, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway and La Cage aux Folles. Mr. Burns directed and choreographed productions of The Producers at North Shore Music Theatre, Ogunquit Playhouse, Pittsburgh CLO, the Muny and more.

James P. Moore (Music Director) worked on the Broadway productions of On the Town, Gigi, Follies, South Pacific, Ragtime,Steel Pier and Company. Mr. Moore worked on tours of The Producers, Kiss Me, Kate, Crazy for You and more. Next spring Mr. Moore will music direct the Broadway revival of Miss Saigon.

The Producers design team includes:

Robin Wagner (Original Scenic Design) is a three-time Tony Award winner for his scenic designs for The Producers, City of Angels and On the Twentieth Century. Some of Mr. Wagner’s other Broadway credits include Young Frankenstein, The Boy from Oz, Kiss Me, Kate, Saturday Night Fever, 42nd Street and more.

David Peterson (Scenic Coordination) served as the associate scenic designer for many Broadway shows including Young Frankenstein, A Chorus Line, The Wild Party, Kiss Me, Kate, Victor/Victoria and more.

William Ivey Long (Original Costume Design) won six Tony Awards for best costume design and currently serves as chairman of the American Theatre Wing. Mr. Long designed costumes for many Broadway shows including Chicago, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Cabaret, Grey Gardens, The Boy from Oz, Hairspray and more.

Martha Bromelmeier (Costume Coordination) has designed costumes for hundreds of theatrical productions including The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Ogunquit Playhouse and Cagney off-Broadway. Ms. Bromelmeier has worked at many regional theaters including Barrington Stage, Goodspeed, Bay Street, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey and more.

John Lasiter (Lighting Design) served as lighting designer for the Broadway production of High. Mr. Lasiter worked off-Broadway on Make Me a Song, Running Man, Common Vision and more. Mr. Lasiter provided lighting designs for regional theater productions at Arena Stage, Goodspeed, Hartford Stage, Pittsburgh Public Theater and more.

Randy Hansen (Sound Design) is Paper Mill Playhouse’s resident sound designer and has designed sound for more than 130 musicals and 40 plays. Many memorable moments include working with opera star Jessye Norman, the Indianapolis and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Mr. Hansen was the president of Audible Difference Inc., a sound design company that over the past 30 years has served the fashion industry in New York and Paris.

Paul Huntley (Hair & Wig Design) won the 2003 Tony Award for excellence in theatre and the 2002 Drama Desk Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Huntley provided hair and wig design for many Broadway shows including Fun Home, The Visit, Big Fish, Gypsy and more.

Angelina Avallone (Makeup Design) provided makeup designs for many Broadway shows including Cabaret, Big Fish, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Chaplin, The Addams Family and more.

Telsey + Company (Casting) is an award-winning organization of casting professionals in New York City with local, regional, national and international clientele including Broadway and touring companies of Hamilton, Kinky Boots, Finding Neverland, The Color Purple and Wicked. The lead casting director on this project is Cesar A. Rocha, CSA.

The Production Stage Manager is Gary Mickelson.

Free Audience Enrichment Activities for The Producers

Wed. September 28 6:30pm Art Gallery The Director’s Viewpoint

Enjoy coffee on us as The Producers director Don Stephenson talks about his involvement with the musical.

Thurs. September 29 6:30pm Mezzanine Conversation Club

Thurs. October 6 Learn more about the show you are about to see, led by members of Paper Mill’s Artistic and Education Departments.

Thurs. October 13

Thurs. October 20

Sat. October 22 Following Matinee Orchestra Q&A with the Cast

Meet the cast and ask actors questions about the show or the role they are portraying.

Paper Mill Playhouse, a leader in accessibility, will offer audio-described performances for The Producers on Saturday, October 22, 2016, and Sunday, October 23, 2016, at 1:30 pm. Prior to these performances at noon, the theater will offer free sensory seminars. Sensory seminars offer an opportunity for patrons with vision loss to hear a live, in-depth description of the production elements of the show and hands-on interaction with key sets, props, and costumes. There will be a sign-interpreted and open-captioned performance on Sunday, October 23, 2016, at 7:00 pm.

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization and recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, 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.


Growing Stage 2016-17 Season opens with Peter and the Starcatcher

 2016 – 2017 Season: 


A Play by Rick Elice
Music by Wayne Barker
Based on the Novel by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson

October 7 – 23, 2016

Fridays at 7:30PM
Saturdays and Sundays at 4:00PM
Tony-winning Peter and the Starcatcherupends the century-old story of how a miserable orphan comes to be The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up (a.k.a. Peter Pan). A wildly theatrical adaptation of Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s best-selling novels, the play was conceived for the stage by directors Roger Rees and Alex Timbers and written by Rick Elice with music by Wayne Barker. From marauding pirates and jungle tyrants to unwilling comrades and unlikely heroes, Peter and the Starcatcher playfully explores the depths of greed and despair and the bonds of friendship, duty, and love.
A young orphan and his mates are shipped off from Victorian England to a distant island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They know nothing of the mysterious trunk in the captain’s cabin, containing a precious, otherworldly cargo. At sea, the boys are discovered by a precocious young girl named Molly,  a Starcatcher-in-training, who realizes that the trunk’s precious cargo is starstuff, a celestial substance so powerful it must never fall into the wrong hands. When the ship is taken over by pirates – led by the fearsome Black Stache, a villain determined to claim the trunk and its treasure for his own – the journey quickly becomes a thrilling adventure.
Featuring a dozen actors portraying more than 100 unforgettable characters, Peter And The Starcatcher uses ingenious stagecraft and the limitless possibilities of imagination to bring the story to life.
Age Recommendation: ENTIRE FAMILY


The Musical

Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Book by Mike Ockrent and Lynn Ahrens
Based on the story by Charles Dickens

November 18 – December 18, 2016

Fridays at 7:30PM
Saturdays & Sundays at 4:00PM
*Special Performance/Time: Sunday, December 4th at 3:00PM followed by the Netcong Holiday Parade!
Broadway heavy hitters Alan Menken (Disney’s Beauty And The Beast, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Little Shop Of Horrors); Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime, Seussical, Once On This Island) breathe fantastic new life into the classic tale of A Christmas Carol.
Ebenezer Scrooge is a prosperous curmudgeon who believes personal wealth is far more valuable than the happiness and comfort of others. With an infuriated “Bah! Humbug!” Scrooge summates his feelings of Christmas tidings and charitable giving, but he’s forced to face his selfish ways when three ghosts on Christmas Eve lead him through his Past, Present, & Future. Thanks to their guidance, Scrooge recognizes his faults and greets Christmas morning with a cheerful “Happy Christmas” before spending the day reconnecting and sharing love with those that mean the most to him. A Christmas Carol is a spectacular adaptation of Charles Dickens’s most well-known story.
Age Recommendation: ENTIRE FAMILY




Book by J.S. Puller

February 10 – 19, 2017

Fridays at 7:30PM
Saturdays & Sundays at 4:00PM
FREE Post-Show Talkback Sessions: Feb. 10, 11, 12.
Storytelling is the native language of all human beings. But what would the world have become without stories? THE BOX OF STORIES presents a world that might have been. When the trickster gods Coyote, Loki, and Anansi steal the art of storytelling from mankind, sealing away stories into a magical box, it is a young girl without a name that rises to become a hero. Upon finding the box, she uses the stories inside to reintroduce mankind to civilization. Spanning the realms of Native American, Norse, African, Greek, Indian, Vietnamese, Celtic, and Middle Eastern mythology, THE BOX OF STORIES demonstrates the power of the spoken word and the ability of mankind to grow, learn, and survive.
Age Recommendation: ENTIRE FAMILY

THE NEVERENDING STORY (Atreyu And The Great Quest)

Adapted by David S. CraigNEVER2
Based upon the novel by Michael Ende

March 10 – April 2, 2017

Fridays at 7:30PM
Saturdays & Sundays at 4:00PM
Told with all the thrills of a classic adventure, the story begins with Bastian, a lonely boy, who stumbles into a curious bookshop where he discovers a curious book—The Neverending Story. Bastian hides in the attic of his school and begins to read, and a huge adventure surges into life. Fantastica, a land of stories, is being destroyed by the Nothing. The Childlike Empress has chosen Atreyu, a young hunter, to be the Hero of the Great Quest. Atreyu, an orphan, is an unlikely choice, but he accepts and, with his horse and companion, Artax, rides to face the menace. First, he experiences the Nothing and discovers its thoughtless destruction. Then he is guided by a dream to the Swamps of Sadness where he meets Morla, the Ancient One, who reveals another solution. He must find the Childlike Empress a new name. With this new direction, Atreyu faces Ygramul the Many, befriends Falkor the Luck Dragon, and solves the riddles of the three magic gates to meet Uyulala. From her he learns that only a human child can give the Empress a new name. In despair he faces his final test—the werewolf Gmork—and returns to the Childlike Empress without a new name. However, his quest has attracted a human child. It is Bastian himself who calls out a new name for the Empress, and the story rushes to its triumphant and moving conclusion. Commissioned by Seattle Children’s Theatre and Imagination Stage.
Age Recommendation: ENTIRE FAMILY

Dr. Seuss’s THE CAT IN THE HATCat-In-The-Hat_4C

Based on the book by Dr. Seuss

Play Originally Produced by the National Theatre of Great Britain 
Adapted and originally directed by Katie Mitchell

May 5 – 21, 2017*

Fridays at 7:30PM
Saturdays & Sundays at 4:00PM
The National Theatre’s adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s The Cat In The Hat is a lively, engaging “play with sound effects” for performance by adults for young children. Not a word has been touched or added to Dr. Seuss’s classic, ensuring anyone who’s read the story will find themselves transported into the world they’ve always imagined.
From the moment his tall, red-and-white-striped hat appears around the door, Sally and her brother know that The Cat In The Hat is the funniest, most mischievous cat they have ever met. With the trickiest of tricks and craziest of ideas, he is certainly fun to play with. And he turns a rainy afternoon into an amazing adventure. But what will mum find when she gets home…?
Age Recommendation: Pre-K through Adult
If you are interested in booking a group or Main Stage Matinee, you can email us

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Tri-State Actors Theater is now accepting registrations for its Fall 2016 Acting Classes

NEWTON… Tri-State Actors Theater is now accepting registrations for its Fall 2016 Acting Classes for Children and Teens, and Advanced Acting Workshops for Adults. Adult classes meet Mondays, beginning September 19 at High Point Regional HS, Wantage. Teen and Children’s Classes meet at The SpringBoard Shoppes, 145 Spring St., Newton. Teen classes meet Mondays, beginning September 19, and Children’s classes meet Saturdays, beginning September 24.
THE ADVANCED ACTING WORKSHOP is for adults, 18 and over, with or without acting experience. Workshops, taught by actor and teacher, Tara Bowles, will be held from 7 pm to 9 pm on Mondays, beginning September 19 and end on Monday, November 21, at High Point Reg. HS. The class registration fee (10 sessions) is $260.00. Ms. Bowles has worked as an actress, director and a teacher of acting. She studied at the Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting and taught for Miss Adler in NYC and Los Angeles. She also taught at the National Shakespeare Conservatory, and the L’Ecole Cantonale D’Art, a school for film makers in Lausanne, Switzerland.

TEEN CLASSES are for students ages 13-17 and will be taught by Artistic Director/Actor/Teacher Paul Meacham. Students will learn basic skills of acting, work on monologues and 2-character scenes, with individual instruction for every student. Paul Meacham founded TRI-STATE ACTORS THEATER, a non-profit professional theater company, in 1988. He has directed many of its productions. Fall Acting Classes meet on Mondays, from 6 pm until 8 pm, September 19 through Monday, November 21. Classes meet at the Springboard Shoppes, 145 Spring St., Newton. The class registration fee (10 sessions) is $230.00.

CHILDREN'S CLASSES, for ages 6-12, will be under the instruction of Patricia Meacham. A long-time educator and theater professional, Ms. Meacham has worked with children in theater and education for over twenty years and has guided youngsters in many acting and puppetry workshops in Sussex County. She has served as TAT’s Managing Director since 1988. The classes will focus on creative dramatics and games. Fall classes will be held on Saturdays, from 10:00 am until noon, September 24 through Saturday, October 29. The class registration fee (6 sessions) is $200.00.

Acting lessons are a wonderful way to build self-confidence, to create and to be creative both mentally and physically. Advance registration is preferred. Each class requires a minimum number of students. Payment may be made in advance or at the first class meeting. For more information, please contact Tri-State at 973 383-0510 or on the web at

Funding has been made available in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through the State/County Partnership Block Grant Program, as administered by the Sussex County Arts and Heritage Council.

Auditions: Cole Porter Musical Review at Strollers

Acting Classes at The Company start September 19

"The Company Theatre Group's Academy for Performing Arts will be offering once a week, on Monday evenings, the first class in our acting program - one for adults, and one for kids. So, if you're looking for an acting class for yourself or someone you know, this fall is the perfect time to start out.

The classes begin Monday Sept 19th and go through Monday Oct 24th. The youth class will begin at 6:30pm, the adult class will begin at 7:30pm. Each will be one hour long.

Each class will cover the fundamentals of acting and only cost $149.95. That's less than $25 per class. Each class will be simple and interesting enough for a beginner or someone who hasn't done any acting in a while. But, it will also offer enough of a challenge for the seasoned amateur actor to learn a few things, as well.

Classes will be held in the studio/classroom at the Temple Avodat Shalom. 385 Howland Ave, River Edge, NJ

Your can reserve a seat here:

Please register now as seating is limited.

This is great opportunity for a you, a friend, or a young actor to learn the basics from the artistic director of a professional theatre company. ​ All great actors have a solid foundation. This is where you can get that. This class will help everyone develop their talent and acting technique. And, it is also an excellent way to build overall self-confidence and self-esteem in front of a room - something that is useful for everyone, but is especially important for kids.

Hope to see you in class."

Lou Scarpati
Managing Artistic Director
The Company Theatre Group, Inc.

Auditions: 'Mary Poppins' at Centenary Stage

Centenary Stage Company will be holding local, non-equity open auditions for their upcoming holiday production of Disney’s “Mary Poppins” on September 10th & 11th from 6 pm – 10 pm. Actor/Singers will be seen on a first-come first served basis from 6 pm-8 pm. Actor/Dancers should attend the actor/singers call and be prepared to dance at 8 pm.
Auditions will be held in the new David and Carol Lackland Center located on the campus of Centenary University at 715 Grand Avenue, Hackettstown NJ. The production will be directed and choreographed by Broadway veteran Michael Blevins with music direction by Jarred Lee.
“Mary Poppins” opens on November 25th and runs thru December 11th, with performances Wednesdays through Sundays, in the Sitnik Theater of the David and Carol Lackland Center. Weekend rehearsals will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights and Sunday afternoons beginning September 23rd.
All adult roles are available, characters of all types, ages 18 – 60. The audition requires all performers to sing and dance. Please be prepared with proper dance clothes and shoes including tap shoes and a 16-32 bar selection from a song in the style of the show. Interested performers need to bring their picture and resume plus sheet music in the proper key; an accompanist will be provided; a capella singing is not permitted. Sides will be provided at the audition, and all ethnicities are strongly encouraged to attend. This call is for adults only. All positions are paid and compensation determined by role.The role of Mary Poppins, 20 – 30 years old, requires a mezzo-soprano actress with strong top notes, excellent dance ability, and substantial tap dancing skills. The role of the charming everyman, Bert, a Cockney-accented song-and-dance man, ages 30 – 39, requires a strong actor and singer with solid theater dance and excellent tap dancing skills. Additional Principal roles requiring strong acting, singing and movement skills include Mrs. Winifred Banks, Mr. George Banks, Miss Andrew, Admiral Boom/Bank Chairman, Miss Lark, Miss Smythe, Mrs. Brill, Mrs. Cory, and more.
Also seeking a diverse Ensemble ages 18 – 50, that are highly energetic, multi-talented dancer-singer-actors. All Ensemble Players must be quick learners, have strong movement/dance skills and equally proficient singing skill. The creative staff is especially looking for men with Tumbling and tap dancing ability. Roles to be cast from the Ensemble include Bird Woman, John Northbrook, Katie-Nana, Van Hussler, Neleus, Park keeper, Policeman and more. Covers for Principal Roles will also come from this Ensemble.
CSC is also seeking musicians for the Pit Orchestra. Interested musicians can submit materials via hard mail to Centenary Stage Company 400 Jefferson Street Hackettstown, NJ 07840 or electronically
Centenary University students and performers unable to attend the open call will have an opportunity to audition on Monday from 3 pm – 7 pm on the University campus. The Centenary Stage Company is a professional Equity theater in residence at Centenary University. For more information regarding the auditions or Pit Orchestra positions contact the CSC box office at 908-979-0900. The CSC box office is located in the Lackland Center on the campus of Centenary University at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown and is open Monday through Friday from 1 – 5 pm.
The 2016-17 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 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.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera Open House September 10

The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera (Verismo Opera), the house opera company of the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), will hold its fall Open House on Saturday, September 10, 2016. The annual event will be held at 44 Armory Street in Englewood, New Jersey at 2:00 p.m.

Artistic Director Lucine Amara, a Met Opera luminary, invites the public to attend the free event and learn more about the grand opera company's fall season. The program features a 30-minute concert of vocalists performing arias and duets from Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto (photo above) and past productions. Opportunities will be discussed to get involved in the nonprofit opera company as supernumeraries acting in non-speaking and non-singing roles, the 28th Annual International Competition, volunteers working behind-the-scenes, and singers performing in the Verismo Opera Chorus. Exhibits will display memorabilia, costumes, and photos from Verismo Opera’s 28 years of producing grand operas, sponsoring the vocal competition, presenting concerts, holding master classes, giving operalogues, and training the stars of tomorrow.

Ms. Amara, Verismo Opera Music Director/Principal Conductor Lucy Arner, Stage Director Evelyn La Quaif, President Dr. James Garvin, MD, and others will discuss Verismo Opera’s mission, vision, and history. They will introduce the grand opera company’s new 2016-2017 productions of Rigoletto andAida. The company will perform Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto on October 23, 2016 and present Aida on April 23, 2017. Both productions will be performed atbergenPAC, located at 30 North Van Brunt Street in Englewood, New Jersey, at 3:00 p.m.

The Open House site is handicapped accessible. A parking lot has a designated handicapped parking space. The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera is committed to ensuring its programs and services are accessible to all. Members of the public requiring a special accommodation or with specific questions about the physical features of a facility where Verismo Opera performs may call (201) 886-0561 at least two weeks prior to the event.


The 2016 season is made possible, in part, with funds provided by the New Jersey Council on the Arts/Department of State, through grant funds administered by the Bergen County Department of Parks, Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs. Other supporters include Children’s Aid Foundation, Robert J. Campbell, MD, Cesare L. Santeramo, KSJ, Paul Weiss Matching Fund, The Gerda Lissner Foundation, Inc., and Vanguard Charitable Endowment Fund.

For further information about the program or Verismo Opera, call (201) 886-0561 or send an e-mail to

About New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera

For 28 years, the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera has been an integral part of the region’s classical music culture. Led by Metropolitan Opera luminary Lucine Amara, Verismo Opera delivers a rich, grand opera experience for performers and viewers.

As the Bergen Performing Arts Center's house opera company, Verismo Opera provides performing opportunities for young musicians and artists through its semi-annual productions at the theatre and concerts held in community settings. Community members are invited to get involved as supernumeraries and volunteers.

An annual international vocal competition is conducted in November with finals generally drawing artists throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Verismo Opera also organizes opera workshops, master classes and concerts and offers affordable, highly professional productions.

For more information, visit Verismo Opera's web site,; follow the company on Facebook,, or Twitter @NJVerismoOpera; or call (201) 886-0561.

Monday, August 22, 2016

August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom next at Two River Theater

RED BANK, NJ— Two River Theater announces the cast and creative team for its production of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. The production will run September 10-October 9, 2016, with the opening night on Friday, September 16 at 8pm. The lead production sponsor for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is Riverview Medical Center and the media partner is WBGO Jazz 88.3.

Two River Theater opens its season with an extended four-week run of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Two River’s fourth production from August Wilson’s American Century Cycle following its acclaimed productions of Jitney, Two Trains Running, and Seven Guitars. Wilson’s incendiary drama, set in the 1920s, takes audiences into the world of legendary singer Ma Rainey (the real-life “Mother of the Blues”) as she lays down tracks with her band in a Chicago recording studio.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom will be directed by actor, playwright, and director Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who won a Tony Award for his performance in the Broadway production of Seven Guitars. His recent directing credits include Skeleton Crew at the Atlantic Theater and his own world-premiere play Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine at Two River.

Chanté Adams (Dussie May) is a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, where her credits include Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra. She appeared in Gertrude Stein SAINTS! with FringeNYC and at the Henry Street Settlement - Abrons Arts Center.

Harvy Blanks (Slow Drag) has appeared in all 10 of the plays in August Wilson’s American Century Cycle, including nine Wilson productions at the Denver Center Theater, where he was a company member for 28 years. He appeared in Two River’s productions ofJitney and Two Trains Running. His regional credits include the world premiere of Danai Gurira’s Familiar at Yale Repertory Theatre.

Brian D. Coats (Toledo) made his Two River debut last season in Seven Guitars. His regional credits include Invisible Man (Huntington Theatre Company/Studio Theater), for which he received a shared Helen Hayes Award. His television credits include Boardwalk Empire and The Sopranos.

Michael Cumpsty (Irvin) received a Tony Award nomination for End of the Rainbow and an Obie Award for his performance as Hamlet at Classic Stage Company. His recent credits include Body of an American for Primary Stages and Hartford Stage. At Two River Theater, he has appeared in Absurd Person Singular, Present Laughter, and Much Ado About Nothing and directed Third.

Brandon J. Dirden (Levee) directed August Wilson’s Seven Guitars last season at Two River Theater, where his credits as an actor include Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, Topdog/Underdog, and Jitney. He received an Obie Award for his performance in The Piano Lesson at Signature Theater; his Broadway credits include All the Way. He plays a recurring role on the FX series The Americans.

Bob Mackasek (Policeman) has been seen in August: Osage County with the Chatham Players, Three Sisters with Gowanus Arts Productions, and God of Carnage with Summit Playhouse, among other productions.

Marcel Spears (Sylvester) most recently co-starred in Trouble in Mind at The Guthrie Theater. His New York credits include the title role of the Classic Stage Company’s Young Company production of Othello; the CSC production of Mother Courage; and Page 73’s production of Judy.

Peter Van Wagner (Sturdyvant) has appeared in productions in New York, around the country, and internationally. His credits include A Thousand Clowns at Roundabout, Merry Wives of Windsor at Chicago Shakespeare, and West Side Story at La Scala-Milan. He was part of the SAG Award-winning Ensemble of Boardwalk Empire and has appeared in films including Annie and Arthur.

Arnetia Walker (Ma Rainey-photo right) began her acting career on Broadway at the age of 16 in Lorraine Hansberry’s The Sign in Sydney Brustein’s Window. She went on to appear in Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Wiz, Raisin, and Dreamgirls, where she holds the distinction of being the only actress to have played all three of the lead female roles. Her most recent stage performance was in Head of Passes at The Public Theater. Her film and television credits include Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills and Nurses.

James A. Williams (Cutler) was seen in Jitney and Two Trains Running at Two River. A mainstay of the Twin Cities theater scene since 1976, he is a founding member of Penumbra Theatre Company, where he began his lifelong relationship with August Wilson. His credits in New York include Radio Golf, The Piano Lesson, and My Children! My Africa!.

The creative team for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom includes scenic designer Charlie Corcoran, costume designer Karen Perry, lighting designer Burke Brown, and sound designer Rob Kaplowitz. The original music is by Bill Sims Jr. & Kenny Rampton, the fight direction is by Thomas Schall, the casting is by Heidi Griffith & Kate Murray, and the stage manager is Laura Wilson. 

Ticket Information

Ticket prices range from $40 to $70, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from or 732.345.1400.