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Friday, July 21, 2017



Center Players, Freehold’s award-winning community theatre, will conclude its successful 2016-17 season with a production of Tom Griffin’s “The Boys Next Door” at Center Playhouse, 35 South St, in downtown Freehold, NJ, from August 4-20th.

Directed by Dave McGrath, who resides in Long Branch, this comedic-drama centers around four intellectually disabled men rooming together, and Jack, their caring social worker who is on the verge of career burn-out. Taking place over the course of two months, the play offers scenes and vignettes to illustrate the daily lives of Jack and his wards.

The play resonates deeply with McGrath, who works for NJ’s Department of Developmental Disabilities, assisting people similar to the drama’s characters. “Over the years, I have developed a great awareness of how they communicate, see things, and reason in the most unreasonable and seemingly illogical way. You begin to understand their fears and frustrations and what makes them comfortable and happy. I’ve also come to appreciate their sense of humor, which is often quite sarcastic,” explained McGrath. “After a while the surrealism that goes along with their world fades and one can almost forget how dependent they are on you and you forget about their disability. My intention is to bring out essentials that we all share. The everyday fears and joys, the need to care for and to be cared about, that we all use some help to get through, and that underneath, we're not so different.”

Performances run Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00pm and Sundays at 2:00pm. There will be an additional 2pm performance on Sat. Aug. 19th. Tickets are priced at $25-27 and are available online at or by calling 732-462-9093.

Celebrating its 16th season at Center Playhouse, Center Players is a respected, award-winning organization, presenting high quality, engaging productions featuring local talent in historic downtown Freehold. In addition to their signature plays, the group also sponsors free play reading events and offers dinner and theater packages with several local restaurants. Center Players was founded in 1996 and gained status as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization and sought to establish a permanent presence in historic downtown Freehold. After performing at various locations around town, the group leased a storefront property at 35 South Street. The space was custom renovated with interior design by New York City designer Nelson Kuperberg into an intimate, 49-seat theatre, which opened in March, 2001 with a production of Crossing Delancey.

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