Monday, September 25, 2017

Center Players 2017-18 season features four plays

Picnic-Concept-2 (2)

Center Players’ upcoming 2017-18 season to include four main stage productions to be performed from October through August at Center Playhouse, 35 South St, in downtown Freehold, NJ.

William Inge’s classic drama Picnic kicks-off the season, running Oct. 13-Nov 12 and will be directed by Ray Parnese. The winner of the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Picnic takes place on Labor Day weekend in the joint backyards of two middle-aged women. One house belongs to Flo Owens, who lives there with her two young daughters, Madge and Millie, and Rosemary, a boarder who is a spinster school teacher. The other house belongs to Helen Potts, who lives with her elderly invalid mother. Into this all-female environment enters a handsome young man named Hal Carter, whose animal vitality upsets the entire group.

Lovers-Strangers-Concept-Prf2Lovers and Other Strangers, by Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna, will follow, running from Feb. 9-March 11th, and directed by Michael Tota. The play is comprised of four untitled comedic one-acts. The first deals with the lead-up to a seduction, the second with a married couple's quarrel, the third with a groom getting cold feet the night before his wedding and the fourth with a father and mother struggling to help their son be confident about his marriage.

Cuckoos-Nest-Concept-Prf2Next is Dale Wasserman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, running from May 4th – June 3rd, and directed by Dave McGrath. The drama centers around Randle Patrick McMurphy as he is transferred for evaluation from a prison farm to a mental institution. While he assumes it will be a less restrictive environment, he soon discovers Nurse Ratched runs the psychiatric ward with an iron fist, keeping her patients cowed through abuse, medication and sessions of electroconvulsive therapy. The battle of wills between the rebellious McMurphy and the inflexible Ratched soon affects all the ward's patients.

Dinner-Friends-Concept-Prf2 Rounding out the season will be Dinner with Friends, written by Donald Marguiles and directed by Leslie Hochman, running July 27th-August 26th. The Pulitzer Prize-winning play explores the complexities of marriage and friendship, focusing on the relationship between two married couples: food writers Gabe and Karen, whose apparent domestic bliss is demonstrated as they prepare gourmet meals, and artist Beth and hotshot lawyer Tom whose marriage is breaking up due to Tom’s infidelity.

“We are pleased to offer another well-rounded season of award-winning plays, featuring outstanding local actors and directors,” noted Center Players President Sheldon Fallon. “And we look forward to supplementing the season with play readings, workshops and other special events.”

Most performances run Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00pm and Sundays at 2:00pm. Tickets are priced at $25-27 and are available online at or by calling 732-462-9093. Season ticket subscriptions are also available by calling the box office by Nov. 12th.

theatre-inside-800- (1) Celebrating its 17th season at Center Playhouse, Center Players is a respected, award-winning organization, presenting high quality, engaging productions featuring local talent in 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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