Monday, July 31, 2017

An Enchanted Thornbush Grows in Madison

The young writers and performers of "The Enchanted Thornbush" with Thornbush director, Jane Keitel and assistant director, Loren Donnelly.

Madison, NJ — The Madison Recreation Department, in partnership with Writers Theatre of New Jersey, will present “The Enchanted Thornbush,” a brand new, original musical devised by students aged eight through thirteen that are part of Writers Theatre’s Madison Summer Youth Theatre program. Performances will be at Drew University’s Dorothy Young Center for the Arts in the Directing Lab Theater on Thursday and Friday, August 3 and 4 at 7:30 PM and on Saturday, August 5 at 2:00 PM. Reservations and information are available online at  or by calling 973-514-1787, extension 31. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for students and senior citizens, and Madison senior citizens are admitted for free by making a reservation through the Madison Senior Center at (973) 593-3095.

“The Enchanted Thornbush” follows three groups of people and pets as they fall through a magical thornbush portal and find themselves in the world of Yarra. Cooperation and friendship are two of the show’s major themes as animals and humans must work together to defeat an evil landscaper, find the four keys that unlock the portal, and make their way home.

“The Enchanted Thornbush” cast created the script and the songs themselves under the guidance of professional actor and musician, Jane Keitel, who will also serve as the show’s director. 

“The Enchanted Thornbush” is another example of the creativity and resourcefulness that comes from the collaborative creative process,” said John Pietrowski. “These students wrote an hour-long, very accomplished play with music in six fun-filled weeks. We would love as many people as possible to come out and see it.”

The Directing Lab theater is an air-conditioned, well-appointed, intimate performance space just off of Madison Avenue. The cast are ages seventeen through twenty-four and feature several college theater and music majors and other vocalists. The project is under the direction of Actors’ Equity member and professional musician, Jane Keitel. Loren Donnelly is assistant directing. James Sullivan is the show’s Technical Director.

For more information on any of Writers Theatre’s programs, please visit or contact Writers Theatre at P.O. Box 1295, Madison, NJ, 07940, 973-514-1787 x20 or

About Writers Theatre of New Jersey:

Writers Theatre is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, professional (Actors’ Equity) theatre and a community of professional playwrights, theatre artists, and arts educators that provides opportunities for writers to develop their works in a nurturing environment and connect with new audiences. Our New Play Development Program is a multi-step process through which playwrights, theatre artists, and audiences collaborate to bring selected texts from rough draft to finished production.

Our Education Programs introduce students of all ages and backgrounds to the possibilities inherent in thinking and communicating creatively. Writers Theatre’s New Jersey Writers Project provides hands-on workshops led by professional writers-in-residence to students in schools and community centers throughout the state. We place an equal emphasis on Development and Educational activities, and encourage our community and audiences to participate fully in both.
We are honored that, every year since 2003, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (NJSCA) has designated Writers Theatre as a Major Arts Institution. This means that the Council considers Writers Theatre to be “an anchor institution that contributes vitally to the quality of life in New Jersey.”

Funding for our activities comes from: 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, the F.M. Kirby Foundation, Inc., Dramatist Guild Fund, Horizon Foundation of New Jersey, The Shubert Foundation, The Victoria Foundation, and many corporations, foundations and individuals.

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