Friday, August 24, 2018

‘The Color Purple’ cast set at Paper Mill Playhouse



 Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director), recipient of the  Regional Theatre Tony Award in 2016, is proud to announce casting for The Color Purple, directed by Tony Award winner John Doyle. The Color Purple is a Tony Award-winning revival based upon the novel written by Alice Walker and the Warner Bros./Amblin Entertainment motion picture with a book by Marsha Norman and music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray. Cast members from the 2015 Broadway revival lead the Paper Mill Playhouse company, including Adrianna Hicks (Aladdin, Sister Act - Germany) as Celie, Carla R. Stewart (Ghost - National Tour, Rent - Regional) as Shug Avery and Carrie Compere (Holler If You Hear Me, Shrek the Musical - National Tour) as Sofia.

They will be joined by Gavin Gregory (The Color Purple, The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess) as Mister, N'Jameh Camara (X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation) as Nettie, Jay Donnell (Miss Saigon) as Harpo, along with Darnell Abraham, Amar Atkins, Kyle E. Baird, Angela Birchett, Erica Durham, Bianca Horn, Jamal James, Mekhai Lee, Gabrielle Reid, C.E. Smith, Will T. Travis, Nyla Watson, J.D. Webster, Brit West and Nikisha Williams. The Color Purple will run at Paper Mill Playhouse from September 26 through October 21, 2018. Major support for The Color Purple is provided by the PSEG Foundation. Paper Mill Playhouse's 2018-2019 season is proudly sponsored by Investors Bank.

The Color Purple, the Tony Award-winning revival that thrilled Broadway audiences is coming to Paper Mill, where director John Doyle will remount his visionary production. This unforgettable and moving musical based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and Academy Award-nominated film features a soul-raising, Grammy-winning score infused with jazz, gospel, ragtime, and blues. The Color Purple, with a book by Marsha Norman and music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray, is a stirring family chronicle about the power of love and life. This show contains adult themes.

“I'm absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to remount The Color Purple at the renowned Paper Mill Playhouse,” said director John Doyle.  “It's travelled a long journey from London's tiny Menier Chocolate Factory, to its Tony-winning Broadway run, to a successful U.S. national tour. These weeks at the wonderful Paper Mill Playhouse will be the perfect coda to the journey. Now, more than ever, we need to be reminded of Alice Walker's inspirational story."

The Color Purple 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 8:00pmand Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm. Tickets are on sale now starting at $34. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, 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 may receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. Season subscriptions are on sale now and are available by calling 973.379.3717.  Students may order $23-$28 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office on the day of the performance.

N’JAMEH CAMARA (Nettie). Credits: The Color Purple (first national revival tour), X: or, Betty Shabazz vs. The Nation (world premiere/national tour), Julius Caesar (Off Broadway), Up Here (La Jolla Playhouse), OjO (La Jolla Playhouse), Marguerite to Maya (an original one-woman show), Dance of the Holy Ghosts (Ubuntu Theater Project), The Wiz (Theatre at the Center). MFA Acting from UC San Diego.

CARRIE COMPERE (Sofia) played Sofia in The Color Purple on Broadway as well as on the national tour. Also: The Golden Apple (Lovey Mars/The Siren, Encores!), Holler If Ya Hear Me (Broadway), Shrek: The Musical (national tour). Off Broadway: The Lightning Thief (Sally Jackson), Sistas: The Musical, Lord Tom. Regional: Smokey Joe’s Cafe (TUTS). TV: Seven Seconds, NYC 22, Gurland on Gurland, Show Boat: Live from Lincoln Center.

JAY DONNELL (Harpo). Paper Mill debut! Tours: The Color Purple (Harpo), Miss Saigon (Ensemble, John u/s). Select Regional: Ragtime (Coalhouse); Once on This Island (Agwe); Clybourne Park (Albert/Kevin, Laguna Playhouse); Lythgoe Panto’sAladdin and His Winter Wish (Genie); Mamma Mia! (Hollywood Bowl); Kiss Me, Kate (Hortensio/Fred); Memphis (Bobby); Frozen—Live at the Hyperion (Grand Pabbie/Bishop); Side Show (Jake); South Pacific (Hollywood Bowl). Commercials: Honda, Allstate, Dodge, Bud Light. TV/Film: Lost Tapes (Discovery Channel), A Portrait of James Dean (Iconoclastic Features).

GAVIN GREGORY (Mister). I’m honored to perform in this musical about love and redemption. Broadway: The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (Crown standby), The Color Purple. Tours: The Color Purple (Mister), Kinky Boots (Simon Sr.), The Lion King (first national). Regional: Man of La Mancha (Cervantes/Don Quixote), The Whipping Man (Simon), Ragtime (Coalhouse); Violet (Flick); The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Mitch Mahoney).

ADRIANNA HICKS (Celie) is beyond thrilled to be making her Paper Mill Playhouse debut as Celie in The Color Purple! Broadway: The Color Purple (revival, swing), Aladdin (Fortune Teller/Jasmine’s Attendant). National Tour: The Color Purple (Celie). Regional/International: Sister Act (Deloris u/s, Germany), Legally Blonde (Judge/Pilar u/s, Austria), Ragtime (Sarah), Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Marlena), and a backup singer for Michael Bublé’s Call Me Irresponsible Tour in Oklahoma.

CARLA R. STEWART (Shug Avery) is excited to make her Paper Mill debut as Shug Avery after touring the country in the same role and making her Broadway debut in the Tony- and Grammy-winning revival (as Olivia/Church Lady). She is still bubbling with joy telling this great story! Recent/favorite regional credits: first national tour of Ghost: The Musical (Oda Mae Brown), The Wiz (Dorothy), Rent (Joanne), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Nell). AMDA New York graduate.

The creative team for The Color Purple includes Tony Award winner John Doyle (Direction, Scenic Design), Darryl Archibald (Music Direction), Tony Award winner Ann Hould-Ward (Costume Design), Tony Award nominee Jane Cox (Lighting Design),Dan Moses Schreier (Sound Design), Drama Desk winner Charles G. LaPointe (Hair and Wig Design), Melissa Chacón (Production Stage Manager) and Telsey + Company (Casting).

JOHN DOYLE (Direction, Scenic Design). Broadway: Sweeney Todd (Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Director), Company (Tony Award for Best Revival), A Catered Affair (Drama League Award for Distinguished Production of a Musical), The Visit(Tony nomination, best musical), The Color Purple (Tony Award for Best Revival, Drama Desk Award for Best Director). Off Broadway: Wings (Second Stage); Road Show (Public); Where’s Charley?, Irma La Douce (City Center Encores!). Regional: Kiss Me, Kate! (Stratford Festival); The Caucasian Chalk Circle (A.C.T.); Merrily We Roll Along, The Three Sisters (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park); Ten Cents a Dance (Williamstown Theatre Festival); The Exorcist (Geffen Playhouse). In the U.K., John has been artistic director of four regional theaters; numerous credits include The Gondoliers, Mack and Mabel (West End), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Oklahoma!, and Amadeus. Opera includes Lucia di Lammermoor (Sydney), Peter Grimes (Met), The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahogany (Los Angeles). He is artistic director of CSC in New York City, where his productions include Passion, Allegro, Peer Gynt, Dead Poets Society, Pacific Overtures, Fire and Air, and most recently Carmen Jones.

Xian Zhang leads Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony October 5-7

NJSO with Xian Zhang at NJPAC 008 bow - credit Fred Stucker

Music Director Xian Zhang leads Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and the US premiere of Kate Whitley’s Speak Out for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s 2018–19 opening weekend, October 5–7 in Newark and New Brunswick.

Performances take place on October 5 at 7:30 pm and October 7 at 3 pm at NJPAC in Newark and October 6 at 8 pm at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick.

The pairing of Beethoven’s masterwork with Whitley’s setting of Malala Yousafzai’s speech to the United Nations advocating every girl’s right to an education encapsulates many of the season’s major themes, including diverse musical voices bridging cultures and traditions. The NJSO celebrates the voices of its own communities, through Newark Voices—a community choir based in Newark that will the Montclair State University Chorale, all under the direction of Heather J. Buchanan, for Beethoven’s masterwork with Zhang. Vocal soloists include soprano Mary Elizabeth Williams, mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Bishop, tenor Lorenzo Decaro and baritone Reginald D. Smith Jr.

The New Jersey Youth Choruses, under the direction of Trish Joyce, and Montclair State University Singers sing text from Yousafzai’s speech in Speak Out.

Zhang led the world premiere of Speak Out with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales on International Women’s Day in 2017. The Guardian wrote: “Kate Whitley’s Speak Out honoured Malala [Yousafzai’s] historic call for worldwide access to education; on the podium, Xian Zhang made the music blaze with colour.”

The NJSO hosts an Opening Night Celebration, “Ode to Joy,” on October 5 at NJPAC. Full gala information is available at

The Orchestra presents #ChoraleYou, the first NJSO Accent event of the season, following the October 7 performance. Concertgoers can join members of the massed choirs to sing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” conducted by Buchanan. More information is available at

Concert tickets start at $20 and are available for purchase at or 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476).

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Multimedia Play on the Life & Philosophy of Simone Weil Premiers in Jersey City


“Art should plant the seed of mystery for the soul to be awaken back to life.” – Simone Weil

Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) presents Prologue – a new multimedia, international production about the life and philosophy of Simone Weil – for a 10-show run, beginning September 13 at Merseles Studios in Jersey City.

A French philosopher, political activist and mystic, Simone Weil (1909 - 1943)  was a uniquely pivotal 20th century figure. An influential scholar and writer, her life and work spanned the diverse worlds of Marxism, social activism and spirituality. She maintained an often volatile correspondence with Leon Trotsky, served in the  Durruti Column, a contingent of “anarchists” that fought in the Spanish Civil War, then after writing extensively about politics and the oppression of the working class, she produced seminal studies on Mysticism before dying from tuberculosis on her way to join the French Resistance to fight Nazi occupation.

Her life and writings – most of which was published posthumously –  remain widely popular among academic, intellectual and political circles throughout the world. Albert Camus described this groundbreaking activist and original thinker as “the only great spirit of our times.”

Written and directed by Maria Litvan, an award-winning playwright acclaimed both here and in her native Spain, Prologue features an international cast & crew, breaks down gender preconceptions and explores issues of otherness, class and societal relationships through a unique play-within-a-play structure. Actually, Prologue has a play-preparation-within-a-play structure: As an actor gets ready to play Simone Weil, he begins a dialogue with her, reflecting on the mystical and artistic processes, and how connecting with the "the other" brings depth and meaning to our own life experiences.

The interaction between the character of Weil and the actor about to portray her is augmented by dance, video projections, animation and original music. The result is an immersive, nonlinear composition of moments – multimedia snapshots into the life and thought of Simone Weil .

By taking place in a theatre setting, Prologue subtly underscores the social and political themes uniting Weil’s best known writing. “The craft of acting is learning is how to pay attention,” said Litvan. “The life and work of Simone is about the art of being attentive. She always had the same approach with whatever she was writing, whether it was political or religious, which was a search for truth and the importance of knowing the other.”

Why did she decide to cast a male actor as the actor preparing to play a woman? “I wanted to move beyond gender and talk about something more essential,” she said. “When you read Simone, you realize that gender is not important.”

Prologue was first workshopped in 2013 at the Center for Performance Research in Brooklyn, although at that time only the first half of the play had been written. In addition to becoming a mother, Litvan spent the ensuing years writing and revising the play. The development of the production opening on September 13th  at Merseles Studios was completed under the JCTC Theatre Residency Program, enabling the full play to premier on the 75th anniversary of Weil’s death.

“JCTC is committed to creating partnerships with international productions and bringing artists from around the world to Jersey City audiences,” said Olga Levina, Artistic Director. “We are proud that the JCTC Theatre Residency Program was part of the development of Prologue. Simone Weil is an incredibly important world figure whose life and work raises issues about society and the human condition that are still relevant to the times we are living through now.”

"JCTC’s commitment to social and political thought through the arts, and its appreciation and support for experimental theater, makes them the perfect venue for a piece about Simone Weil,” said Litvan. “Also, a few of us in the team are now Jersey City locals, and it is very exciting to be able to share our work with our neighbors!"


Thursday 9/13
Friday 9/14
Saturday 9/15
Sunday 9/16*
Thursday 9/20
Sunday 9/23*
Thursday 9/27
Friday 9/28
Saturday 9/29
Sunday 9/30 * 

Doors: 7:30/ Show: 8:00

*Sunday Shows Only: Doors: 3:30/ Show: 4:00

Tickets: $20
($15/ Student and Senior Discount – must show valid ID)

To purchase tickets visit:

Jersey City Theater Center
Merseles Studios
339 Newark Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 795-5386

Auditions: "A Seussified Christmas Carol" at Somerset Valley Playhouse


WHAT:  Auditions for "A Seussified Christmas Carol" a retelling of the classic story of Scrooge as imagined by Dr. Seuss.

WHEN:  Monday, September 17, and Wednesday, September 19, at  p.m.

WHERE:  Somerset Valley Playhouse, 689 Amwell Road, Hillsborough, NJ 08844

SHOW DATES:  November 30 - December 16

NEEDED: Director Emily Windus needs:

MALES: 6-12 (All Ages)

FEMALES: 5-12 (All Ages)

BOYS: 6-10 (Ages 8-17)

GIRLS: 6-10 (Ages 8-17)

Complete character breakdown can be found on the Audition page of the SVP website,

SPECIAL NOTES FOR AUDITIONERS: No preparation for auditions is required. Readings will be from the script. Wear comfortable clothing.

You only need to attend one evening of auditions. Please bring a headshot or recent photograph if possible, and your acting resume if you have one. Please bring your potential rehearsal conflict dates to auditions. The rehearsal schedule will be available at auditions.

Rehearsals will be Mondays, Tuesday, and Wednesdays beginning the week of Sept 24th. Not all actors will be called to all rehearsals in the beginning. Starting in November, all actors will need to attend all rehearsals.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Paula Poundstone at Centenary Stage Company September 15


The Centenary Stage Company’s 2018 – 19 season kicks off with a gala “Curtain Up!” event featuring  comedian Paula Poundstone on Saturday, September 15 at 8PM in the Lackland Performing Arts Center.

Paula Poundstone is one of our country’s preeminent comedians, known for her smart, observational humor and spontaneous wit that has become the stuff of legend. Paula won an American Comedy Award for Best Female Standup Comic and is recognized in innumerable lists, documentaries, and literary compendiums noting influential standup comedians of our time. Paula is also an Author. Her second book, The Totally Unscientific Study Of The Search For Human Happiness (Algonquin Books) debuted at #1 on Amazon best sellers lists in Humor in Hardcover, Audible, Kindle and CD. The audio book, read by Paula, was one of five finalists for the 2018 Audio Book of the Year. Paula is a popular panelist on NPR’s #1 show, the weekly comedy news quiz, Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell me! Her new weekly podcast for Maximum Fun, Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone, is a comedy field guide to life. Each week Paula and her co-host, Adam Felber, bring on leading expert guests and use their unique comedic sensibility to help us navigate life in the 21st century.

Tickets for Paula Poundstone on Saturday, September 15 at 8pm in the Lackland Performing Arts Center are $40.00 for the orchestra and $35.00 for the balcony in advance.  Ticket prices increase $5.00 the day of the performance. 

New Bickford Film Series – Inside Cinema- Get a behind the scenes look at Film Noir with Professor David Landau


Morristown, NJ) – The Morris Museum will launch its new Inside Cinema Film Series on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 at 10:00AM in the Bickford Theatre. During this season, this film series will focus on film Noir, and will be hosted monthly by David Landau, a professor of film at Fairleigh Dickinson University.  For each screening there will be a discussion with David before the film to provide further insights.

“Our film programming at the Morris Museum endeavors to track down hard-to-find content that, we feel, deserves to be known and seen.  Today, our media world is so multi-layered and over saturated, and our lives are so busy, that a frightening amount of great work falls through the cracks every year.  As a museum, we have a responsibility to sort through the past and bring back the very best for our audiences. We will bring a curatorial voice into the experience, so the audience comes away informed and inspired by what they've seen.  We also hope that our film-goers rediscover the joy of watching great film as a shared, community experience.” states Cleveland Johnson, Executive Director of the Morris Museum.

David Landau - Inside Cinema Behind the CameraDavid Landau is an award winning mystery playwright with seven works published by Samuel French including his internationally produced play Murder at Café Noir, a comedy tribute to the film noir movies of the 1940s, which would be performed in theaters across the United States and Canada for the following six years. His noir play Deep Six Holiday, inspired by the work of James Cain, has won several theater awards, and his noir short film Joker’s Wild, (written and photographed by David) was featured on A&E Short Subjects, Cinemax, and won several film festival awards. David holds a Masters of Fine Arts in screenwriting from Goddard College, has published a dozen articles on screenwriting in such magazines as Screenwriter’s Monthly and Script Magazine, has won several screenwriting awards and has had several scripts optioned. As a full professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, he teaches film, cinematography, screenwriting and film noir. He is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the Dramatists Guild, the University Film & Video Association and IATSE local 52 as a gaffer.
“I wanted to create a list of films that would encompass not just the classics that set the standard and were the inspiration for Nino Frank's first use of the term film Noir, but also show how Noir has transitioned and changed over the years and how it's still very much alive today” says David Landau.  “Like the Western film, Noir is an entirely American genre. Film noir typifies the American psyche - the idea of the loaner fighting against all odds who has their own code of ethics and will not be swayed from doing the honorable and right thing. And, by the end of the film, those that don't adhere to those values usually end up dying or in prison.”

This film series is made possible thanks to the generous support of Dillard and Adrienne Kirby.

All screenings are at 10:00AM in the Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum.

Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018 – The Maltese Falcon (1941)

One of the most popular and best classic detective mysteries ever made.  Starring Humphrey Bogart as detective Sam Spade along with Mary Astor as the innocent-looking, stunning brunette beauty, Ruth Wonderly.  This film is the directorial debut for John Huston.

Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018 – Murder My Sweet (1944)

Raymond Chandler's 1940 hard-boiled novel - a superb, complex, shadowy, twisting film noir of murder, corruption, blackmail, double-cross and double identity, starring Dick Powell, Claire Trevor and Anne Shirley.

Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018 – This Gun for Hire (1942)

The film that shot Alan Ladd to stardom. Assassin Philip Raven kills a blackmailer and his beautiful female companion.  He is paid off in marked bills by his treasonous employer who is working with foreign spies. Also stars Veronica Lake, Robert Preston and Laird Crigar.

Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 – The Big Sleep (1946)

Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.  Starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and John Ridgely.

Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019 – Macao (1952)

Nick Cochran, an American in exile in Macao, has a chance to restore his name by helping capture an international crime lord. Undercover, can he mislead the bad guys and still pursue the beautiful singer/petty crook, Julie Benson?  Starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell and William Bendix.

Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019 – The Big Combo (1955)

A police lieutenant is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.  Starring Cornel Wilde, Richard Conte, Jean Wallace and Brian Donlevy. Considered by many critics to be one of cinematographer John Alton's finest achievements.

Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2019 – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

A petty thief posing as an actor is brought to Los Angeles for an unlikely audition and finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation along with his high school dream girl and a detective who's been training him for his upcoming role. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Michelle Monaghan and Val Kilmer.

Wednesday, Apr. 3, 2019 – House of Games (1987)

A psychiatrist comes to the aid of a compulsive gambler and is led by a smooth-talking swindler into the shadowy but compelling world of stings, scams, and con men.  Written and directed by David Mamet, stars Joe Mantegna and Lindsay Crouse.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 – Phantom Lady (1944)

Determined to save her boss from death row by finding his only alibi to his wife's murder, a woman in a peculiar hat who nobody seems to remember, Carol Richman, solicits the help of Inspector Burgess to investigate the whereabouts of the woman and the real killer.  Starring Ella Raines, Thomas Gomez, Alan Curtis and Franchot Tone.


Museum Members: FREE with advance registration.

Non-Members: $15 

Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 973.971.3706.

To become a Member, and attend this film series for Free, visit, email, or call 973.971.3721. 

The Morris Museum will host several other curated film series this season including Reel to Real, the Black Maria Film Festival, and Exhibition on Screen.  Visit to get further details on all film offerings.

Verismo Opera's Bring the Family Opens Season With Discounts for Norma


(Bergen County, New Jersey; August 21, 2018) – The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera, the house opera company of the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), opens in September the Bring the Family to the Opera. This well-received program introduces children and the extended family to live, fully staged performances of grand opera, as the composer intended.

On September 13, 14, and 15, the program's 40% off special ticket rate on $55 and $45 tickets with promotion code (NORMA) goes on sale to see Vincenzo Bellini's Norma. The grand opera company performs Norma only on October 28, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. at bergenPAC, located at 30 North Van Brunt Street, in Englewood, New Jersey. Traditional staging is featured with magnificent Italian designed sets and a full orchestra. The opera is sung in Italian with English supertitles projected.

“Verismo Opera's highly successful Bring the Family to the Opera allows extended families and their children to see and enjoy traditional opera, as the composer intended. Youngsters are taken to ancient Rome to the time of the druids and see the cast perform in period costumes on the stage accompanied by a live orchestra and a full chorus. We want children and their families to experience quality, affordable operatic performances. After all, children are the future life blood of the arts,” said opera legend Lucine Amara, Artistic Director of the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera.

Special Ticket Rates

From September 13 through October 28, 2018, special ticket rate offers for senior citizens and children will be on sale exclusively to see Norma. Senior citizens purchasing regular-priced tickets are entitled to a 10 percent discount. The company is offering a reduced rate of $10 on all tickets for children, ages 12 and under. The special rates may not be combined with other offers.

These offers may be purchased only at bergenPAC’s box office, located at 30 North Van Brunt Street, Englewood, New Jersey, and by calling (201) 227-1030 or toll-free at 1-888-PACSHOW. Special ticket rates are not available online. All special ticket offers must be requested before the purchase.

Bergen County Players open season with ‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood’

Drood 02B

(l-r) Rupert Holmes & Nancy Feldman (Drood) (photos by Barbara & Steve Mintz)

Bergen County Players (BCP), one of America’s longest-running little theater companies, is proud to open its 86th season with the Tony Award-winning musical, The Mystery of Edwin Drood.  With Book, Music and Lyrics written by Rupert Holmes, The Mystery of Edwin Drood is based on an unfinished novel by Charles Dickens. Under the direction of Steve Bell, The Mystery of Edwin Drood will be performed at the Little Firehouse Theatre in Oradell from September 8th through October 6th, 2018.  Shows will be on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm.  Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling 201-261-4200 or by visiting the box office at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during regular box office hours.

Winner of five Tony Awards in 1986, including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score, The Mystery of Edwin Drood is a musical comedy about a theatre company attempting to stage a musical comedy of the story Charles Dickens was writing when he died. Because the story was never finished, the mystery of who killed Edwin Drood is left to the audience to solve. Depending on the audience’s votes, the last half-hour of the show changes at every performance. There are literally hundreds of possible endings.

Rupert Holmes, a former Bergen County resident and an ardent supporter of the Bergen County Players, is perhaps best known as author-composer of the Tony award-winning Broadway musical The Mystery of Edwin Droodand the Edgar award-winning Broadway comedy-thriller Accomplice.  He was the first person in theatrical history to be the sole winner of Tony Awards for Best Book, Best Music and Best Lyrics for Drood, which also won the Tony and Drama Desk Award for Best Broadway Musical. His comedy-drama about the life of comedian George Burns, Say Goodnight, Gracie, earned him a Tony nomination for Best Play.  His stage comedy-thrillers Accomplice and Solitary Confinement broke box office records, with both shows enjoying runs on Broadway, while the musical comedy Curtains won Holmes the Drama Desk award for Best Book of a Musical, as well as two further Tony nominations. In a unique collaboration, Holmes wrote the original comedy thriller Thumbs! expressly for BCP, which had its world premiere at the Little Firehouse Theatre in 2001.

A Life Member, Past-President, and Board of Governor, director Steven Bell of Hackensack has been active with the Players for over thirty years. He has directed numerous BCP productions, including The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, The Drowsy Chaperone, Ruthless! The Musical, Urinetown, Modern Orthodox, Curtains, and The King & I, to name a few.  Steven also served as musical director for various shows, including Cabaret, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Aladdin, Man of La Mancha, Beehive, The Music Man, and Company. As a performer, he appeared in such shows as Guys and Dolls, Follies, Anything Goes, City of Angels, Into the Woods and Forum. Steven teaches vocal music at Teaneck High School, and is the Artistic Director of the Teaneck Community Chorus.

The talented cast of The Mystery of Edwin Drood includes Larry Brustofski as The Chairman (of Oakland), Jessica Gundlach as The Stage Manager (of Woodland Park), Eric Schrager as John Jasper (of Paramus), Nancy Feldman as Edwin Drood (of New City, NY), Taylor Rose Rizzotti as Rosa Bud (of West Nyack, NY), Elaine Thoman as Helena Landless (of Ridgewood), Steve Munoz as Neville Landless (of Caldwell), Bryan John Morris as Rev. Crisparkle (of New Milford), Janica Carpenter as Princess Puffer (of Old Tappan), Jim Kelly as Durdles (of Park Ridge), Louie X. Aiello as Cricker, Jr./ Deputy (of Hillsdale), Debbie Zika as Florence Gill (of Hillsdale), Dan Loverro as Horace (of Parsippany), Bill Kaufman as Bazzard (of Paterson).  The cast is rounded out with ensemble performances by Ariel Sanchez of Bergenfield, Rafaelle Danta of Newark, Elisabeth Erdmann of Nutley, Amanda Jean ofTeaneck, Alexis O’Neil of Astoria, NY and Joanna Sigurdsson of Bergenfield.

The production team is comprised of Steve Bell (Director), Michele Roth (Producer), David Luke (Producer), Jalm Vanamo (Music Director), Diana Baer (Choreographer), Mark Rinis (Asst. To The Dir.), Kathy Ruland (Stage Manager), Michele Roth (Stage Manager), Staci Block (Improv Coach), Gerard Bourcier (Set Design), Marci Weinstein (Décor), Ron Siclari (Member At Large), Allan Seward (Lighting Designer), Joe Halajian (Sound Designer), Bunny Mateosian (Costumes), Ruth Morley (Costumes), Larry Landsman (Publicity), Jennifer Cottone (Publicity), Peter Simpson (Lighting Operation), John Gregory (Lighting Operation), Terry Noel (Sound Operation), Steven Mintz (Photography), Barbara Mintz (Photography), Joanne Lamneck (Makeup), Iris Weinhouse (Makeup), Christine Francois (Props), Annette Jacobs (Props), Larry Kaiser (Dialogue Coach) and Marci Weinstein (Program Notes).


firehouse_75a_small· All performances take place at The Little Firehouse Theatre at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell, home to the Bergen County Players since 1949.  Performance times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm.

· Tickets for The Mystery of Edwin Drood are $24 for all performances, and can be purchased online at, by calling 201-261-4200 or by visiting the box office at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during regular box office hours.  Visa, Master Card, and American Express are accepted.

· BCP's popular Questions & Artists talkback session will be held following the performance on Friday, September 14, 2018.

· Those interested in Group Sales or benefit theater parties can call (201) 261-4200 (mailbox #6)

· BCP offers seating to accommodate patrons who are mobility impaired. These seats can be purchased by calling the box office at 201-261-4200 and will be released for public sale two weeks prior to performance.

· Advance discount tickets for students age 25 and under with proper ID are available for $14 by phone or walk-up only, and student rush seats can be purchased for $5 (cash only) starting 30 minutes before curtain at every performance, pending seat availability. There is a limit of one rush ticket per student.

· A new program is now available fo

r qualified non-profit organizations to use one performance of each production as a fundraising event.  The group will book all 200 seats at a deeply discounted price and then resell the tickets at a price of their choosing, with the difference in price kept by the group. The available date is the Thursday of each show’s final weekend.  Interested groups can email for more information.

· Parking is free for our patrons at the Park Avenue municipal lot, across the street, one-half block north of the theater, as well as street parking on Kinderkamack Road and various side streets, all within easy walking distance.

Further information can be found at

The Bergen County Players, Inc. is a non-Equity, non-profit community theater company dedicated to presenting quality productions for the enrichment of the community.

2018-19 5-play season at George Street Playhouse


George Street Playhouse, temporarily located at 103 College Farm Road in New Brunswick, will open its 2018-19 5-play season on October 16th with the world premiere of a riveting courtroom drama. The season also features a world premiere musical about the legendary Nina Simone, written by and starring Laiona Michelle who gave a searing performance in last season’s American Hero.

In addition, the season offers a recent Broadway hit comedy with a twist; and two extraordinary and heartwarming plays about family and devotion — including this year’s recipient of the esteemed Laurents/Hatcher Award, Too Heavy for Your Pocket.

At the close of the 2018-19 season, the Playhouse will take residence in the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center now under construction in downtown New Brunswick. Featuring two state-of-the-art theaters, the move back to Livingston Avenue will mark a new era in George Street Playhouse’s esteemed history.

Season subscriptions are now on sale. Subscribers to the 2018-19 season receive up to 20% off regular prices, and priority access to seating in the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center when it opens in October of 2019. For information, visit or call 732-246-7717.

The season begins with the world premiere of The Trial of Donna Caine by Walter Anderson, former editor of Parade Magazine and Chairman and CEO of Parade Publications.

When Marine Staff Sergeant Donna Caine is accused of a serious crime, highly respected attorney Emily Zola Ginsberg is convinced to take the case. Fighting for her client’s future, Ginsberg finds herself taking on the military establishment in order to expose the truth. Inspired by actual events, this riveting courtroom drama is filled with intrigue that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats.

The Trial of Donna Caine is directed by Playhouse Artistic Director David Saint and will begin on October 16th and continue through November 11th.

Next is the recent Broadway hit A Doll’s House, Part 2 by Lucas Hnath and directed by Betsy Aidem. A Doll’s House, Part 2 will run from November 27th through December 23rd.

When we last saw Nora Helmer, she was slamming the door on life as she knew it -- embarking on a brave, bold and shocking new life as a woman on her own. Fifteen years later, she's returned to that door, with a high-stakes game of unfinished business on her mind. Featuring characters from Ibsen’s groundbreaking masterpiece, The New York Times called this Tony Award-nominated play “A smart, funny and utterly engrossing play,” and Time Out New York called it “modern in its language…and suspenseful in its plotting.”

The new year will begin with a world premiere musical – Little Girl Blue: The Nina Simone Musical -- written by and starring Laiona Michelle who gave a critically acclaimed performance in last season’s drama American Hero. This exuberant world premiere musical reveals a life in-between the black and white keys -- a passionate journey from classical piano child prodigy to the High Priestess of Soul, told through the words and music of American icon Nina Simone. This new musical will begin on January 29th and continue through February 24th.

Next is the critically acclaimed play The Immigrant written by Mark Harelik and directed by Jim Jack. When Russian-Jewish emigrant Haskell Harelik arrives at the port of Galveston, Texas in 1909 seeking refuge from his homeland and with only his banana cart in tow, he finds compassion and friendship from an unlikely couple, and creates a pastoral life for his family. Broadway World said The Immigrant is “Timely and touching...don't miss this extraordinary look at a family's journey toward living the American dream.”  The Immigrant will run from March 12th to April 7th.

The 2018-19 season will finish with a new play – Too Heavy For Your Pocket by Jiréh Breon Holder and directed by LA Williams. Tennessee-born Holder takes us back to Nashville, in the summer of 1961 as the Freedom Riders embark on a courageous journey into the Deep South. When 20-year-old Bowzie Brandon gives up a life-changing college scholarship to join the movement, he’ll have to convince his loved ones – and himself – that shaping his country’s future might be worth jeopardizing his own. Recipient of the 2017 Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award, The New York Times called the play “illuminating and moving.” Too Heavy For Your Pocket will begin performances on April 23 and continue through May 19th.

For more information about the 2018-19 season visit or call 732-246-7717.

Teen acting classes at Center Players Dessert Theater


Center Players Dessert Theater has partnered with respected local theater instructor Darrell Willis, Sr. to offer teen acting classes this fall, to be held at Center Playhouse, 35 South St, in downtown Freehold, NJ.

The “Acting 101” class is open to young adults ages 12-17 and will include scene study, improvisation and basic acting techniques. Students will develop scenes from Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible.” Classes will be held 10am-12pm on ten Saturdays from October 13th through December 15th. The fee is $200 per student, with a maximum class size of 20. Students can download a registration form online at: For additional information, please text 908-216-5168.

A producer, director, and actor, Darrell Willis, Sr., is a retired instructor of Theatre Arts, having taught at three New Jersey community colleges. Mr. Willis holds a B.A. in Communications and Theatre Arts from Susquehanna University (Selinsgrove, PA), and an M.A. in Theatre Studies from Montclair State University (Upper Montclair, NJ).

Celebrating its 18th 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.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Maplewood Strollers to present two fundraiser events in September

The Maplewood Strollers have announced that this year’s fundraiser will consist of two Saturday evening events: a classic Bingo Night scheduled for Saturday, September 15, and a back-to-the-honky-tonk evening of Western line dancing set for the following Saturday, September 22.

The two fundraisers are actually more similar than one might think, explained Strollers president Judi Gajary. “Both bingo and line dancing have experienced a resurgence over the past few years. Their popularity with all ages and with families as well as singles is undeniable, and we think both are great fits for our membership and supporters.”

First up is Bingo Night on Saturday, September 15 from 7–9 p.m. Admission is $5. Additional cards may be purchased at the event for between $1 and $5, depending on the round. Part of the proceeds will be donated to The Montclair Studio Players to help with their flood recovery efforts. Fabulous prizes range from donations from members and local businesses to a share of the pot.

An Evening of Western Line Dancing will follow on Saturday, September 22 from 7–9 p.m. Admission is $10 per person. A professional instructor will be on hand to demonstrate moves.

Both events will be held in the community room of the Burgdorff Center, 10 Durand Road in Maplewood. Tickets will be available at the door. Refreshments will also be available for a donation.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Auditions: 'You Can't Take It With You' at Holmdel

You Can't Take It with You
by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman
Directed by Jake Oliver

Audition Dates:
Wednesday September 5 & Thursday September 6, 2018
7-9:30 PM
Callbacks (if necessary) Friday September 7

Duncan Smith Theatre

36 Crawfords Corner Rd.
Holmdel, NJ 07733

Production Dates:
October 26, 27, 28  November 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11
Cast members must keep rehearsal scheduling conflicts to a minimum. 

Needed are a range of performers, both female and male, all ages and ethnicities welcome. No pre-registration is required. Audition sides from the script will be provided at auditions.

All Roles Are Open. 

"Sweet-natured Alice Sycamore falls for banker's son Tony Kirby. But when she invites her snooty prospective in-laws to dinner to give their blessing to the marriage, Alice's peculiar extended family -- including philosophical grandfather Martin Vanderhof, hapless fledgling ballerina sister Essie and fireworks enthusiast father, Paul -- might be too eccentric for the staid Kirbys."


Penelope Sycamore: Female, 40s/50s
The daughter of Martin Vanderhof, mother of Essie and Alice, and wife of Paul, Penelope is the fluttery, gentle lady of the house. She decided to become a playwright when a typewriter was delivered to their house by mistake. She writes plays and paints as hobbies because it makes her happy, but is terrible at both. Penny is a loving mother and wife who is constantly concerned with the welfare of her family. Her main goal is to make sure everyone is happy, particularly her daughter Alice.

Essie: Female, Mid-late 20’s 
The daughter of Penelope and Paul, granddaughter of Martin Vanderhof, and wife of Ed, Essie is a child-like pixie in toeshoes. She wants to be a dancer in the worst way--and, according to any unbiased observer, that is exactly what she is... a dancer in the WORST way. The eternal student, she takes lessons from Boris Kolenkhov and is constantly dancing across the living room.

Rheba: Female, N/A
The maid in the Vanderhof household, she probably understands this unusual family better than anyone.

Paul Sycamore: Male, 40s/50s 
The husband of Penelope and loving father of Essie. Despite his age, Paul Sycamore has youthful air. His quiet charm and mild manner are distinctly engaging. However, under that unassuming exterior lies a man who lives for his fireworks--the ones he manufactures in the cellar with assistant Mr. De Pinna.

Mr. De Pinna: Male, 30s/40s
Years ago Mr. De Pinna was delivering ice to the Vanderhof home--and just decided to stay. Now the mad genius of pyrotechnics helps out Paul in the cellar. He also moonlights as a model in Mrs. Sycamore's paintings.

Ed: Male, 30s
The husband of Essie, Ed is an enigmatic, agreeable young man, who fits right in to this eccentric family. He is a xylophone player, and distributes Essie's candies. Ed is also an amateur printer who prints anything that sounds good to him. He prints up dinner menus for his family and little quotes that he places in the boxes of Essie's candy. He also likes to make masks.

Donald: Male, N/A
Rheba’s boyfriend, Donald spends a lot of comfortable time at the Vanderhof home and sometimes volunteers as their handyman and valet.

Martin Vanderhof: Male, 60s/70s 
The patriarchal head of the family, Grandpa Martin Vanderhof is an eccentric happy old man who lives his life by the philosophy 'don't do anything that you're not going to enjoy doing'. He has never paid his income tax because he doesn't believe in it, as he feels that the government wouldn't know what to do with the money if he paid it. Once a very successful businessman, he left his job 35 years prior for no reason other than to just relax. He goes to circuses, commencements, throws darts, and collects stamps. He is a man who made his peace with the world long, long ago, and his whole attitude and manner are quietly persuasive of this.

Alice: Female, 18-25 
The daughter of Penelope and Paul and sister of Essie, Alice is a lovely, fresh young girl. Because she is a secretary in a Wall Street office, she is in daily contact with the world and seems to have escaped the tinge of mild insanity that pervades the rest of the family; however, her familial devotion and love are readily apparent. In the course of the play she is engaged to marry Tony Kirby, her boss’s son.

Wilbur C. Henderson: Male, Any Age 
An employee of the IRS. He comes to collect the tax money owed by Grandpa, and can't understand why the latter won't pay income tax

Tony Kirby: Male, 20-25 
The boyfriend and later fiancé of Alice, Tony Kirby is a personable young man not long out of Yale and Cambridge. Although he fits all the physical requirements of a boss’s son, his face (and his spirit) has something of the idealist in it, invoking in him a certain fondness for the Vanderhofs’ quirkiness.

Boris Kolenkhov: Male, N/A
Essie's blustery dance teacher, Boris Kolenkhov is a hearty, explosive, Russian ballet-master, who escaped to America shortly before the Russian Revolution. He is very concerned with world politics, and the deterioration of Russia. He is aware that Essie is untalented at dancing, but knows that she enjoys dancing so he keeps working with her. 

Gay Wellington: Female, 30s-50s
An actress whom Penny meets on a bus and invites home to read one of her plays. Gay is an alcoholic, gets very drunk and passes out shortly after arriving at the Sycamore's home and has a VERY difficult time trying to get upstairs.

Anthony Kirby: Male, 40s/50s
Tony's father and Alice’s boss in the Wall Street office, Mr. Kirby is a successful businessman who wants his son to follow in his footsteps. He is a member of the Harvard Society, the Union Club, the National Geographic Society, and the Racquet Club. He is a very proper man who secretly despises his job. His hobby is raising expensive orchids.

Miriam Kirby: Female, 40s/50s
Tony's mother, Mrs. Kirby is of the same mind and temperament as her husband. She is an extremely prim and proper woman and is horrified by the goings-on in the Sycamore household. Her hobby is spiritualism.

G-Man 1 (The Man), G-Man 2 (Jim), G-Man 3 (Mac) 
Various agents of any age who come to investigate Ed because of the communist quotes he prints up and places in Essie's candy boxes, such as "God is the State – the State is God".

The Grand Duchess Olga Katrina: Female, 30s-50s 
She was one of the Grand Duchesses of Russia before the Revolution, another being her sister, the Grand Duchess Natasha. Since then she has been forced to flee to America where she has found work as a waitress in Childs Restaurant. The rest of her family has had a similar fate, such as her Uncle Sergei, the Grand Duke, who is now an elevator man.


‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’ at Mile Square

 Vanya-8-15 poster no bleed

Mile Square Theatre, Hudson County’s leading professional theatre, continues its 2018 season with Christopher Durang’s hilarious comedy about love, life and family, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Durang drops a mixed bag of Chekhovian characters in contemporary Bucks County in this comic tour-de-force. Relentlessly silly and smart, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike deservedly won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play.

“We resume our 2018 season with Durang’s hugely entertaining play.” says MST Artistic Director Chris O’Connor. “I’m thrilled with this cast, led by MST Associate Artistic Director Mark Cirnigliaro. We are delighted to have Barbara Pitts join us, who is well- known for her work with Tectonic Theatre. She’s done a couple of 7 th Inning Stretch plays with us, and she’s now playing Sonia in this remarkable play. Also in the cast are several usual suspects at MST; Annette Hammond (Circle Mirror Transformation) and
Annie McAdams (Core Values and God of Carnage). And, as Vanya, this marks my first time on the MST main stage since Scapin in 2004!”
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike begins performances on September 12 and runs till October 7. Opening night is September 14.

The creative team, led by director Mark Cirnigliaro (The Net Will Appear), includes MST resident scenic designer Matthew J. Fick (The Net Will Appear, Driving Miss Daisy), MST resident costume designer Peter Fogel (Betrayal, 39 Steps), and lighting designer Elaine Wong (Circle Mirror Transformation).

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, presented by Mile Square Theatre 1400 Clinton Street, Hoboken September 12 through October 7. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays @
8pm, and Sundays @ 3pm
Tickets available at, or by calling 201-683-7014.Tickets are $30-40 • $18 students and seniors. $15 previews on 9/12 and 9/13. Discount Parking available at The Harlow at 1330 Willow Avenue and at Little Man Parking at 1300 Jefferson Street.

For more information on Mile Square Theatre, please visit

MST Season Sponsorship: Advance Realty, Bijou Properties, Halstead Property, Ironstate,, Kearny Bank, Little City Books, The Rockefeller Group Mile Square Theatre is supported by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, administered by the Hudson
County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Thomas A. Degise, County Executive, and the Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Mile Square Theatre is a member of The New Jersey Theatre Alliance.



Wayne, NJ, August 19, 2018 Aspire Performing Arts Company (PAC) is pleased to announce that it recently received nine awards and an additional 28 nominations from National Youth Arts (NYA).

NYA, now in its 18th year, celebrates the best of youth arts throughout the country. Aspire PAC joined NYA as a member theater in 2016 and this was the company’s second year of eligibility for award consideration.

Aspire PAC received awards and nominations for five of its 2017-18 productions: Grease, Madagascar – A Musical Adventure JR., Heathers the Musical (High School Edition), and two pilot productions: Newsies JR. and Frozen JR.

This year, more than 600 productions were considered for the awards, including shows from more 220 different members spanning 17 states and the UK. Award ceremonies are currently being held in different regions of the country including Arizona, California, Colorado, Virginia, and New York.

On Sunday, August 19, nine Aspire PAC members attended the Eastern Regional Ceremony, held at the Riverdale YM-YWHA in the Bronx. Allison Paterno opened the show by stepping back into her role as Katherine Plumber from Newsies JR. and performing “Watch What Happens.” Olivia Kozlevcar also reprised her role of Heather McNamara from Heathers the Musical (High School Edition), performing the song “Lifeboat” before accepting her Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Musical award.

Awards were received in the following categories:

· Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical:

o Courtney Bulger as Veronica in Heathers the Musical (High School Edition)

o Julia DiGirolamo as Veronica in Heathers the Musical (High School Edition)

· Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical (Junior Division):

o James Ignacio as Jack Kelly in Newsies JR.

o Lillian Kopacz as Marty in Madagascar – A Musical Adventure JR.

o Allison Paterno as Katherine Plumber in Newsies JR.

· Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Musical:

o Leighann Albanese as Marty in Grease

o Olivia Kozlevcar as Heather McNamara in Heathers the Musical (High School Edition)

o Gianna Trivisani as Heather Chandler in Heathers the Musical (High School Edition)

· Outstanding Ensemble: Grease

Aspire PAC Artistic Director Lisa Beth Vettos (right) said “I am blown away by the recognition Aspire has received from National Youth Arts. I am incredibly proud of the productions we put up over the past year, and these awards and nominations celebrate the hard work of our entire team – from cast and crew to the parents and families. The numerous nominations for Outstanding Ensemble exemplify how all of these pieces come together to create something beautiful and inspiring. Thank you to Rob Hopper and all of NYA for continuing to support youth and the arts year after year.”

NYA is known for recognizing standout talent across the country. Award-winning alumni include Tony Nominee Emily Skeggs (Broadway: Fun Home), Ariana Afsar (Broadway: Hamilton), Veronica Dunne (Broadway: Chicago), and Grammy Nominee Ariana Grande.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Premiere Stages to Present Full Production of NJPAC Stage Exchange Commission Brick City (September 6-23)


UNION, N.J. – Premiere Stages at Kean University will present Nicole Pandolfo’s Brick City September 6-23 in Kean University’s Bauer Boucher Theatre Center (Vaughn Eames Hall, 1000 Morris Avenue, Union, N.J.). Originally commissioned over a two-year cycle through the NJPAC Stage Exchange and now receiving its first professional production, Brick City will feature actors Rafael Benoit, Jacqueline Correa, Madison Ferris and Chris Grant. Jessi D. Hill, who helmed this season’s workshop of Deneen Reynold-Knott’s Baton, directs.

Now in its fourth year, the NJPAC Stage Exchange pairs cutting-edge play development with insightful community dialogue. An innovative partnership between the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, and three professional producing theatres, the program annually commissions three new plays by three Garden State playwrights, presents free readings of the plays with public commentary at NJPAC in Newark, and ultimately results in three full productions of the plays at the collaborating theatres the following season.

‘Bat Boy’ the musical next at Old Library Theatre

bat boyOld Library Theatre, Fair Lawn Recreation Department's resident theater company and NJACT's 2017 Community Theater of the Year, proudly presents "Bat Boy."
Old Library Theatre
10-10 20th St Fair Lawn NJ
George Frey Arts & Recreation Building
Four performances only !
Friday September 14 and Saturday 15 at 8:00pm
Saturday September 15 and Sunday September 16 at 2:00pm
Tickets $20 for adults, $18 for seniors (60+), and $12 for children 12 and under.
Available online at or by phone at (973) OLT-4420
Book by Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming.
Music and Lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe.
Directed by Matt Haines
Music Directed by Evan Tintle Charpentier
Choreography by Campbell Tosney
Produced by Linda Wielkotz and Al LoMartire
When a half boy/half bat creature is discovered in a cave near Hope Falls, West Virginia, the local sheriff brings himto the home of the town veterinarian. Though he’s eventually accepted as a member of the family, when he naively tries to fit in with the narrow-minded townspeople, they turn on him.
Starring: Joe Tible, Cassandra Lindeblad, Matthew Douglas, Megan Schmiedhauser, Brandon Conti, Frank Riccobono, Hank Machuga, Sarah Lepre, Kax Petkovich, Matt Cavallo, Pedro Jimenez Jr., Jesse Bush, Maureen McNulty, Corrine Walker, Fia Fusco, Miriam Messer, Justin Roth, Samantha Szentmiklosy, and David Zarusinski.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Time to Lend a Hand to a Theatre in Need


Dear theater lovers,

As you may have seen already, Studio Players in Upper Montclair suffered massive damage to their facility in the flash floods that hit our area last weekend. In particular, their scene shop and furniture and prop collections were decimated. The mess left behind is staggering.

They have appealed to other theaters in the area to send out a call for helpers, which The Strollers is happy to do. If you can lend a hand, please do. No special skills needed. Wear old clothes, work gloves, and closed toed shoes for safety.

THEY MUST CLEAR THE DOWNSTAIRS AREA BY SUNDAY so the professional cleaning / flood restoration crew can access the space and start their work.

Work sessions:

Thursday (today): 3:00 pm until it gets dark

Friday: TBA (check their website,

Saturday: 12:00 noon - 5:00 or 6:00 pm

Sunday: TBA

Studio Playhouse:

14 Alvin Place

Upper Montclair, NJ 07043

(right next to the Acme on Valley Road)

If you would like to donate to the group, there is a link on their website.

Thank you for supporting our community theater players-in-arms in their time of need.   The Stollers of Maplewood

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Auditions: Staged Reading at Circle Players-“Mr. Burns: a Post-Electric Play”


Circle Players and director Roxanne Guarino are pleased to announce auditions for a staged reading  that will serve as a special fundraiser during their 2018-2019 season, “Mr. Burns: a Post-Electric Play”, by Anne Washburn.


Anne Washburn’s imaginative dark comedy propels us forward nearly a century, following a new civilization stumbling into its future.

After the collapse of civilization, a group of survivors share a campfire and begin to piece together the plot of "The Simpsons" episode "Cape Feare" entirely from memory. Seven years later, this and other snippets of pop culture (sitcom plots, commercials, jingles, and pop songs) have become the live entertainment of a post-apocalyptic society, sincerely trying to hold onto its past. 75 years later, these are the myths and legends from which new forms of performance are created.

A paean to live theater, and the resilience of Bart Simpson through the ages, Mr. Burns is an animated exploration of how the pop culture of one era might evolve into the mythology of another.

We are looking for an ethnically diverse cast of 7 people (5 women, 2 men), ages 21-40, who like to experiment and have fun while acting and feel comfortable singing in front of an audience.

Please note that while the play talks about “The Simpsons” extensively, you DO NOT need to be familiar with the program.  In act 2, scenes from an episode are briefly acted out, but the actors should not imitate the characters, just present an idea of them- ie, Homer is a foolish character, Lisa is a little girl, etc. Act 3 takes place 70 years after the collapse of current civilization, and the characters would not be familiar with the show, only with archetypes like the young hero or demonic villain.

However, familiarity with Washburn’s play is advisable, so do your research. Participants do not have to be professional-level singers, although there will be some singing in the play.

The production will take place on Saturday, October 27, 2018.

Auditions will take place on:

Tuesday, August 28 at 7p.m. at the Senior Citizens Center in Metuchen

Wednesday, August 29 at 7 p.m. at Circle Players in Piscataway

If you have any questions please feel free to shoot us an e-mail at

The Senior Center is located at 15 Center St, Metuchen, NJ 08840

Circle Players is located at 16 Victoria Ave, Piscataway Township, NJ, 08854.

Character Breakdown
MATT - Homer/Scratchy

Act 1: Matt is a “Simpsons” fan and loves to tell a good story. He’s hiding a serious loss behind his exterior.

Act 2: Is the actor who plays Homer in the rep company of “Simpsons” episodes.

Act 3 Plays Scratchy, demonic cat-henchman of Mr. Burns and functions as part of the Greek-style chorus.

MARIA - Marge/Marge

Act 1 Maria is a serious-minded person who’s not terribly familiar with ‘The Simpsons.” She’s had some harrowing experiences in the apocalypse and wants to fit in with the group.

Act 2 Plays Marge in the rep company and feels their dramas should be more meaningful and realistic.

Act 3 Plays Marge and functions as part of the Greek-style chorus.
JENNY -Lisa & Second FBI Agent/Itchy

Act 1 Jenny is an inquisitive “Simpsons” fan who tries to adapt to whatever situation she finds herself in.

Act 2 Acts as Lisa and the second FBI agent. She’s not afraid to stand up for her opinions even if they are unpopular.

Act 3 Plays Itchy, Mr. Burns’ demonic mouse-henchman and functions as part of the Greek-style chorus.

COLLEEN - First FBI Agent/Lisa

Act 1: N/A

Act 2: Colleen is the director of the rep company and their “Simpsons” play and commercials in Act 2. She is decisive and understands the importance of the audience, and the company’s valuable time and resources. Combative when threatened.

Act 3: Plays Lisa and functions as part of the Greek-style chorus.
GIBSON -Loving Husband & Sideshow Bob/Homer

Act 1: A prepared, but inexperienced survivalist and an amateur actor, he quickly makes friends with the group. He has some oddly specific areas of knowledge.

Act 2: Plays the Husband and Sideshow Bob. He is less willing to keep up the pretense of ‘normalcy’ after the apocalypse and is struggling with anxieties.

Act 3: Plays Homer, an archetypal father, in act 3 and functions as part of the Greek-style chorus.

QUINCY - Businesswoman/Bart  

Act 1: N/A

Act 2: Plays the Businesswoman in the rep company. She takes her craft, to act out a bygone era, very seriously, but feels the entertainment should be uplifting. Tends to lecture others.

Act 3: Is Bart, the young hero of the epic play in Act 3. Is only occasionally part of the chorus.

NEDRA – Plays Edna Krabappel, who leads the chorus (which may be in blank verse) in Act 3. She is the mistress of this very epic ceremony.

Sides will be posted at

Auditions: ‘Urinetown’ at Barn Theatre


The Barn Theatre in Montville, New Jersey continues its 91sr Season by holding open auditions for its upcoming production of  “Urinetown: The Musical”, book by Greg Kotis, music by Mark Hollmann, and lyrics by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis.

Auditions will be held on Sunday, September 9, 2018 from 6:00 to 10:00 pm and Tuesday, September 11, 2018 from 7:30 to 10:30 pm. "Urinetown: The Musical" will be directed by Alan Van Antwerp, musical directed by Jack Bender, and choreographed by Megan Ferentinos.


Please prepare a short song,  and bring sheet music in the appropriate key. An accompanist will be provided.  Director and musical director may not need to hear the entire song.   Please come prepared to learn a short dance routine.

Headshots and resumes are not required but gladly received. 

Actors are asked to arrive to sign in within the first hour of the audition start time. All roles are available. Casting is open, and newcomers are especially welcomed. Crew and other volunteers are also needed for the event. If interested, please contact

The Barn does not charge a participation fee.

***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.

The Barn is an all-volunteer organization, we are unable to provide housing or offer remuneration.


Set in the not-so-distant future, a terrible water shortage and 20-year drought has led to a government ban on private toilets and a proliferation of paid public toilets (owned and operated by a single megalomaniac company). The poor stage a revolt, led by a brave young hero, fighting tooth and nail for the freedom they all pray for. A brilliant musical satire modeled off the plays of Weill and Brecht, Urinetown is a wickedly funny, fast-paced, and surprisingly intelligent comedic romp.

Presented by special arrangement with Music Theatre International

Friday, November 9, 2018 at 8pm
Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 2pm
Sunday, November 11, 2018 at 2pm

Thursday, November 15, 2018 at 8 pm (Potential Benefit Performance)
Friday, November 16, 2018 at 8pm (Potential Benefit Performance)
Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 8pm
Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 2pm
Friday, November 23, 2018 at 8pm
Saturday, November 24, 2018 at 8pm
Sunday, November 25, 2018 at 2pm
Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 8pm (Potential Benefit Performance)
Friday, November 30, 2018 at 8pm
Saturday, December 1, 2018 at 8pm

Officer Lockstock

The tongue-in-cheek narrator of our story, he is a corrupt policeman who secretly kills off the guilty offenders. Bold, brash, and larger than life in many ways.

Gender: Male

Age: 35 to 55

Vocal range top: A4

Vocal range bottom: A2

Penelope Pennywise

The tough, jaded warden of the poorest, filthiest town urinal. She is Cladwell's one-time lover and mother to Hope who eventually softens her temper.

Gender: Female

Age: 30 to 45

Vocal range top: C6

Vocal range bottom: A3

Bobby Strong

The dashing, rebellious everyman who works for Miss Pennywise at the poorest, filthiest town urinal. He becomes an unsuspecting protagonist and romantic hero when he starts a revolution and falls in love with Hope Cladwell.

Gender: Male

Age: 20 to 35

Vocal range top: C5

Vocal range bottom: A2

Little Sally

A precocious and irreverent street urchin. She serves as a quasi-narrator who often questions Lockstock and the play's logic.

Gender: Female

Age: 20 to 30

Vocal range top: E5

Vocal range bottom: A3

Dr. Billeaux

Head of Research and Development at UGC. Optional Doubling as TINY TOM.

Gender: Male

Age: 20 to 50

Vocal range top: A3

Vocal range bottom: E3

Mr. Mcqueen

Cladwell's sycophantic lackey. A servile assistant.

Gender: Male

Age: 20 to 45

Vocal range top: E4

Vocal range bottom: B2

Senator Fipp

A greedy politician in Cladwell's pocket. A bumbling coward.

Gender: Male

Age: 40 to 55

Vocal range top: F4

Vocal range bottom: C#3

Officer Barrel

Lockstock's patrol partner. A thuggish and aggressive policeman.

Gender: Male

Age: 30 to 50

Vocal range top: F4

Vocal range bottom: G2

Hope Cladwell

Cladwell's ravishingly beautiful daughter, torn between her father and her new love for Bobby. She begins as an innocent, naive angel but becomes vengeful and determined after being exposed to her father's evil.

Gender: Female

Age: 20 to 30

Vocal range top: A5

Vocal range bottom: A3

Joseph "old Man" Strong

Bobby's rebellious father. His refusal to pay the fee sends him to Urinetown, ultimately launching the revolution. Optional Doubling as HOT BLADES HARRY.

Gender: Male

Age: 40 to 65

Tiny Tom

One of the Poor, he is an idiotic man-child. Optional Doubling as DR. BILLEAUX.

Gender: Male

Age: 30 to 50

Vocal range top: A3

Vocal range bottom: D3

Soupy Sue

One of the Poor, she is excitable and easily panicked. Optional Doubling as CALDWELL'S SECRETARY.

Gender: Female

Age: 25 to 40

Vocal range top: B4

Vocal range bottom: Bb3

Little Becky Two-shoes

One of the Poor. She is foul-mouthed, impulsive, and accusatory. Optional Doubling as MRS. MILLENIUM.

Gender: Female

Age: 20 to 40

Vocal range top: F5

Vocal range bottom: Bb3

Caldwell B. Cladwell

The evil president and owner of the Urine Good Company. He is a miserly money-grubber who gleefully exploits the poor.

Gender: Male

Age: 50 to 65

Vocal range top: G4

Vocal range bottom: A2

Josephine "ma" Strong

Bobby's mother and Joseph's wife. A strong-willed woman with a bite, able to withstand the hard hand life has dealt her. Optional Doubling as OLD WOMAN.

Gender: Female

Age: 55 to 65

Vocal range top: D5

Vocal range bottom: Bb3

Hot Blades Harry

One of the Poor, he is a psychopathic and can become a violent loose cannon. Optional Doubling as JOSEPH "OLD MAN" STRONG.

Gender: Male

Age: 45 to 60

Vocal range top: F4

Vocal range bottom: A2

The Barn Theatre is located at the end of Skyline Drive in Montville, NJ.  For directions to the theatre, please see