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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

“Popularity Lies,” a New Musical, Opens in Madison


Madison, NJ – “Popularity Lies,” an original musical written by elementary and middle school students, will be presented this summer as part of Writers Theatre of New Jersey’s Summer Youth Theatre program, in partnership with the Madison Recreation Department. Performances will be Friday, August 3 at 7:30 and Saturday, August 4th at 2 PM at the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts’ Directing Lab, at Drew University at 36 Madison Avenue in Madison. Reservations and information are available online here or by calling 973-514-1787, extension 31. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and senior citizens. (Senior citizens who are Madison residents can receive free tickets by calling the Senior Center at 973-593-3095). There is a Google map showing the location of the venue on the ticket purchase page to make it easy for patrons to locate the building on campus.

“Popularity Lies” tells the story of twins Rosie and Ronnie as they navigate the social structure of their new town, Siphic City, where popularity is dependent on economic status. Their new classmates, including Laurie, Abigail, and Lynne are dealing with their own insecurities in the image-focused world they inhabit. The students soon sweep up Ronnie and Rosie in a scheme to avoid bullying from the popular kids, Mackenzie and Jason, and maybe even gain their friendship. Lying seems like the only way to be popular in a place where even the principal takes sides. Their plans soon unravel, however, when the truth comes out about Ronnie and Rosie’s lack of money.

Under the direction of professional actor, director, and musician Jane Keitel, eight young theatre artists have devised the musical’s script, lyrics, and music over the past several weeks. Student artist and cast member of the senior show, Loren Donnelly, has also been an indispensable addition to the production as Assistant Director. Other members of the cast/creative team include Camryn Morales, Calvin Peterson, Devon Donnelly, Emma Cipriani, Nathan Beland, Cailyn Kouh, and Katie Varga.

“It has a solution in the end where everything works out and on the way it's very funny,” said Nathan Beland when asked about his favorite part of the show.  Calvin Peterson, who is also a musician, added that he enjoys "The costumes, rehearsal, and I also play cello in the background.”

Writers Theatre of New Jersey would like to thank the Borough of Madison, the Madison Recreation Department, Drew University, and the staff of the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts, without whose support none of this would be possible. For more information on any of Writers Theatre’s programs, please visit www.wtnj.org, or contact Writers Theatre at P.O. Box 1295, Madison, NJ, 07940, 973-514-1787 x20 or info@wtnj.org.


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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