Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Growing Stage Kicks Off 33rd Season of Summer Arts Camp

The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, located in the Historic Palace Theatre in Netcong kicks off their 33rd season of Summer Arts Camp.  The camp runs for 6 weekly sessions, July 8th through August 16th.  The program is designed for children who will be attending kindergarten in the fall of 2019 through students who have completed eighth grade in June of 2019. This program is one of exposure and participation in the performing arts, wherein children are encouraged to work together in a creative endeavor toward a common goal.

The theater arts offer a channel for a child’s natural gifts of imagination and role playing. Through theater arts, children sharpen their creativity, improve their communication skills, gain self-confidence, and learn the importance of teamwork. Above all, children enjoy becoming a part of the magic that they create on the stage.

The TGS program is designed to offer children an introduction to many aspects of theater arts through creative games, music, dance, art, and theater. More experienced children are additionally challenged through these same elements of the performing arts. Each of our six sessions has a specific theme and concludes with a 7:00 p.m. Friday evening performance for friends and family. 
Again this summer, our program includes stage movement, dance, music, art, creative games, theater techniques, and writing. Each session has its own theme, and children are encouraged to contribute to the creation of the skits, choreography, sets, props, and design of our culminating activity – our performance for friends and families on the evening of the last day of each camp session. It is an exciting, week-long process of cooperation, creativity, discovery, practice and performance. 
Our camp is under the direction of Lori Lawrence, Director of Educational Programming at The Growing Stage.  Our staff consists of carefully selected, trained professionals in the fields of theater, dance, music, and/or education. Our counselors are high school and college students who are interested in pursuing careers in education, theater, or the fine arts.
For further information or to register for camp, please visit our website at or call us at (973) 347-4946.  The Growing Stage’s programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Dreamcatcher Repertory is announcing its 25th Season

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, in residence at Oakes Center at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit, is announcing its 5th Anniversary season, whose theme is: “Life is too important to be taken seriously.”  This professional company will present three productions, including two world premieres and one New Jersey premiere, in addition to improvisational comedy, cabaret, new play readings, a holiday variety show and many programs for seniors and students.  As always, the Dreamcatcher Resident Acting Company and their guests will tell stories that reflect our shared experience of being human with heart and humor.

Dreamcatcher’s fall mainstage production is the World Premiere of The Lucky Ones by Lia Romeo. In this dramatic comedy, Vanessa and Janie are best friends. Then a devastating diagnosis forces them to consider what that friendship means and how much it matters. An exploration of aging, mortality, and the value and complexity of female friendship. The Lucky Ones will open on September 26 and will play until October 13.

The second mainstage production of the season, opening in February, is the New Jersey Premiere of Be Here Now by Deborah Zoe Laufer. Surrounded by painfully cheerful co-workers, Bari is deeply cynical and woefully underemployed. After an unexpected and unexplainable turn of events, Bari finds herself on an enlightening new path. When she meets Mike, it's her turn to pull another out of the darkness. The Cincinnati Enquirer wrote, “‘Be Here Now' is clever, soul-searching, filled with laughter." Be Here Now runs February 20 through March 8.

Dreamcatcher’s final mainstage production of the season will be the World Premiere of the comedy Ways to be Happy by David Lee White. Darting from a convenience store to a cabin in the woods to a theme park, Maddie and the unusual people she meets are searching for happiness. Does it exist? Or is the world fundamentally rigged? Ways to be Happy runs from April 16 through May 3.

Dreamcatcher’s improv comedy group The Flip Side will bring its own brand of silliness and spontaneity to life for two evenings during the season. The first TFS show will be on Saturday, October 26, 2019 and the second will be Saturday, March 21, 2020.

From Friday, November 15 through Sunday, November 17, Dreamcatcher will present an original musical cabaret performance entitled Broadway: The B Side at MONDO in Downtown Summit. On December 7, Dreamcatcher will present A Very Special (Holiday) Special, a unique and affectionate send-up of traditional television holiday variety shows. This Very Special Special will include holiday songs, comic sketches and improv, and lots of good old-fashioned fun.

In the spring, two “Meet the Artist” new play readings will be held on May 13 and 20, thought-provoking experiences which include the opportunity for audience discussion with the writer, director and actors after the performance.

Dreamcatcher Junior, the summer program for students entering grades 5-12, will culminate in its annual production on Friday, July 31, an original family show that always draws on the creativity of its young actors to shape the piece.  Each year, the youth company creates a one-of-a-kind piece that has ranged from fairy tale quest to Shakespeare adaptation to musical revue.

Throughout the year, Dreamcatcher offers internships for high school and college students, classes for teens and adults, and many volunteer opportunities.  In addition, the theatre provides a menu of outreach programs for students and seniors that travel to other venues. All of Dreamcatcher’s activities center on the collaborative nature of theatre and creating a comfortable environment for artists and audiences of all ages to explore and grow together.

The company’s work is supported by grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and several other corporate and individual donors that believe in the power of the arts to bring people together and promote understanding between them.

Season passes may be purchased that provide substantial discounts to all events, and special rates for groups are also available.  The theatre at Oakes Center is wheelchair accessible, and such access services as large print scripts, assistive listening devices, and audio description will be available by prior arrangement throughout the season.

Performances will be held at Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901. For more information and tickets for any of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre’s programs, please call 908-514-9654, and visit

Thursday, June 20, 2019

NJSO Update: The Echo Lake Park concert will be held indoors.

The concert at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside this Friday, June 21, at 7:30 pm, will be held indoors: Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School auditorium, 667 Westfield Rd, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076. While the weather is expected to cooperate on Friday evening, the park grounds are too saturated from the recent heavy rains to hold an outdoor event.


Celebrate the diversity of the Americas with the NJSO this summer! Explore the continents with concert, theater and dance music from Leonard Bernstein, José Pablo Moncayo, Astor Piazzolla, Florence Price, Duke Ellington and George Gershwin. Hear hits from West Side Story and Porgy and Bess, travel to Mexico with Arturo Márquez’s Conga del Fuego Nuevo and experience patriotic favorites along with Copland’s classic “Hoe Down” from Rodeo.

Premiere Stages to Present 2019 Premiere Play Festival Winner The Wake (July 11-28)

UNION, N.J. – Premiere Stages at Kean University will present Tammy Ryan’s The Wake July 11-28 in Kean University’s Bauer Boucher Theatre Center (Vaughn Eames Hall, 1000 Morris Avenue, Union, N.J.). Recently selected from 659 submissions as the winner of the 2019 Premiere Play Festival, The Wake will feature actors James Gushue, Wayne Maugans, Kathy McCafferty and Kelley Rae O’Donnell. John J. Wooten, producing artistic director of Premiere Stages, directs.

In Ms. Ryan’s powerful and affecting new work, Maggie and Rosemary rent a beach house in Florida to scatter their sister’s ashes six months after her death, only to find themselves and their respective partners staring down a hurricane. As the storm begins to rage, strange encounters with wildlife signal something more is going on. Filled with humor and heart, The Wake explores grief, family, and America’s shifting cultural and environmental climates.

A resident of Pittsburgh, Ms. Ryan’s work has appeared locally at Premiere Stages and Luna Stage in West Orange, and regionally at Pittsburgh Playhouse, 29th Street Rep and Florida Stage. She is a former recipient of the American Theatre Critics Association’s Francesca Primus Prize for her play Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods, which was originally developed and produced at Premiere. The Wake marks Ms. Ryan’s fourth collaboration with the theatre, and will be directed by Mr. Wooten, who also helmed the New Jersey Premiere of Ms. Ryan’s acclaimed play, Soldier’s Heart.

“It's always great to come back to Premiere to collaborate with John Wooten and the Premiere Stages team again,” said Ms. Ryan in a statement. “Often a theatre will commit to a production of one of your plays, but it is rarer that a theatre commits to a playwright as their work evolves. This kind of encouragement contributes to a playwright’s trajectory, for which I am so grateful.”  

“I'm also happy to be sharing my work with New Jersey audiences again,” she added. “Even though I'm from Queens, if feels a bit like coming home, and it has always seemed to me that New Jersey audiences have responded to my work. It's great to get that kind of support, too.”

Mr. Wooten has directed numerous critically acclaimed productions of new plays at Premiere, many of which were subsequently published, including Ms. Ryan’s Dark Part of the Forest, Any Other Name, ODD, The Beautiful Dark and The Good Counselor. The latter two productions were also honored by the American Theatre Critics Association, along with the sold-out run of Follow Me to Nellie’s, Dominique Morisseau’s first play. New Jersey Premieres he has directed, at Premiere Stages and elsewhere, includeRabbit Hole, Snakebit, Boy Gets Girl,Soldier’s HeartShmulnik’s Waltz and last season’s celebrated production of Linger.

The accomplished Actors’ Equity Association cast includes James Gushue, previously seen on television’s “Guiding Light” and “Law and Order: SUV”; Wayne Maugans, whose distinguished regional credits include The Glass Menagerie at Yale Rep and True West at Two River Theater in Red Bank; Kathy McCafferty, recently seen in the Broadway Tour of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and the American Premiere of John Cleese's Bang Bang!; and Kelley Rae O’Donnell, who recently appeared in Occupied Territories at 59E59 and the 10x10 New Play Festival at Barrington Stage Company.

Audience members are invited to engage more deeply with Ms. Ryan’s thought-provoking play in Premiere’s free talkbacks following select matinee performances. Patrons can learn more about the creative process at designated Artist Talks, or dive into the issues and themes of the show with community leaders and local experts at Community Connections. Please call 908-737-4077 for an updated schedule of post-show events and speakers. Premiere will also offer a series of informal pre-show talks every Saturday evening 30 minutes prior to performance in the lobby of the theatre.

The Wake runs July 11-28 in the Bauer Boucher Theatre Center on the Kean University main campus in Union, N.J. Performances take place Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 3:00 pm.  Tickets are $30 standard, $20 for senior citizens and Kean alumni and staff, and $15 for students and patrons with disabilities. Significant discounts for groups of eight or more apply. To make reservations or to order a season brochure, please call the box office at 908-737-7469 or visit Premiere Stages online at

Premiere Stages offers affordable prices, air-conditioned facilities and free parking close to the theatre. Premiere Stages also provides free or discounted tickets to patrons with disabilities. All Premiere Stages facilities are fully accessible spaces, and companion seating is available for patrons with disabilities. Assistive listening devices and large print programs are available at all times; publications in alternate formats are available with advance notice. Sign-interpreted, audio-described and open-captioned performances are available upon request; please call 908-737-4077 at least two weeks prior to your desired performance. For more information, please visit Premiere Stages online at

Premiere Stages is made possible in part through funding from W. John Bauer and Nancy Boucher, The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Northfield Bank Foundation, The Hyde and Watson Foundation, The Union Foundation, E.J. Grassmann Trust, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance, Investors Foundation, The Union County HEART Grant, Actors’ Equity Foundation, and through the generous support of individual patrons and local organizations. Discover Jersey Arts is our marketing partner. Visit for more information about other arts programming happening around the Garden State. 

The Golden Gays musical game show!

June 23, 2019.   At the Hackensack Performing Arts Center.   102 State Street, Hackensack, NJ.  Limited General Seating - so get yours here now:

Bullet Theatre Collaborative and The Theater Project will present musical comedy Little Shop of Horrors, July 12 – 28 at the YMCA in Union, NJ.
One of the most beloved and popular Off-Broadway shows of all time, this affectionate spoof on 1950’s sci-fi films has become a household name, thanks to a highly successful film adaptation and a book and score by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, the superstar team behind the music of Disney’s The Little MermaidAladdin, and Beauty and the Beast. Charming, tuneful and hilarious, Little Shop of Horrors never ceases to entertain.
Produced by the award-winning creative team that brought Forgive Durden’s cult-classic rock album Razia’s Shadow to life on stage at Playhouse 22, the show is directed by Bullet Theatre Collaborative veteran Tony Mowatt and features a powerhouse cast of professional NY and NJ talent, including Rachel Saint Francis (Audrey), Will Downing (Seymour), Ralph Saro (The Plant), Richard Urquiza (Orin), Nathan Olmeda (Mushnik), Brittany Lindsey (Ronnette), Brianna Javis (Crystal), and Lena Noel (Chiffon).
Performances will take place on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 PM, and Sundays at 2:00 PM at 1000 Galloping Hill Rd, Union, NJ, 07083. Tickets and more information are available at For questions, please contact Greg Scalera (Artistic Director, Bullet Theatre Collaborative) at Please note that Little Shop of Horrors is rated PG-13 for some language and sexual innuendo.

WIPA has new Executive Director

The Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (WIPA) Board of Directors has announced the appointment of Peter H. Gistelinck as its new Executive Director, effective July 1, 2019. Gistelinck was unanimously approved by the WIPA Board of Directors following a six-month nationwide candidate search.

“WIPA is fortunate to be welcoming such a seasoned and accomplished arts executive in Peter Gistelinck to lead us in carrying forward our commitment to musical excellence for students in our communities. Peter’s passion for music education combined with his strong track record in guiding organizations will serve to take our already excellent programs to even higher levels of positive impact for all,” said Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts Board President Bob Hamburger.

Gistelinck joins WIPA from Kalamazoo where he was President and CEO of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra from 2014 through 2019. Prior to that, from 2006 through 2014, he was Executive Director of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. Before immigrating to the United States in 2006, Gistelinck was Director of Sales and Marketing and Co-Artistic Director for the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra in Belgium and General Manager of Business Affairs at one of France’s leading Baroque orchestras, Le Concert Spirituel in Paris.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Maurer Productions OnStage presents “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee"

Final Weekend June 14,15,16

About the Show

An eclectic group of students are set to compete in the
spelling bee of their young lives. Maurer Productions
OnStage presents the comical and endearing
“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,”
 complete with audience participation, at Mercer County Community College’s Kelsey Theatre.

Fridays, June 7 & 14, 2019 at 8pm
Saturdays, June 8 & 15 at 8pm
Sundays, June 9 & 16 at 2pm
A reception with the cast and crew
follows the opening night performance on June 7th.
Six spellers bravely enter the competition with hopes of winning the ultimate prize – a trip to the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. Intent on avoiding the soul-crushing “ding” of the bell signaling a spelling mistake, they pour out their hearts, revealing touching and hilarious stories from their tween vantage point. It’s a show that anyone who’s ever been a kid can relate to – where even the losers get a juice box!
The cast features Quinton Barker of Columbus as Leaf Coneybear; Dana Joy Carducci of Newtown, Pa., as Olive Ostrovsky; Jack Cavanaugh-Gialloreto of Robbinsville as William Barfee; Cindy Sherbin Chait of West Windsor as Rona Lisa Peretti; Julie Freeman of East Windsor as Logan Schwartzandgrubenierre; Arielle Rabano of Plainsboro as Marcy Park; Tim ReRucha of Hamilton as Vice Principal Douglas Panch; Rob Veith of Philadelphia, Pa., as Chip Tolentino; and Shan Williams of Trenton as Mitch Mahoney.
The show is co-produced and co-directed by Diana Gilman Maurer and John M. Maurer. Other members of the production team are Musical Director Peter de Mets, Choreographer Jane Coult, Master Carpenter Jeff Cantor, Lighting Designer Judi Parrish, Sound Engineer Evan Paine, Costume Designer Anthony Remer, and Stage Manager Melissa Gaynor.
Tickets are

$20 for adults
$18 for seniors
$16 for students/children/vets & alumni.
They may be purchased online at

or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at
Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible
with free parking next to the theater.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

NJSO 2019 Summer Park Concerts


2019 Summer Park Concerts | June 21–30
Red Line
Upcoming: Join us in Mountainside and Madison.
Celebrate the diversity of the Americas with the NJSO this summer! Explore the continents with concert, theater and dance music from Leonard Bernstein, José Pablo Moncayo, Astor Piazzolla, Florence Price, Duke Ellington and George Gershwin. Hear hits from West Side Story and Porgy and Bess, travel to Mexico with Arturo Márquez’s Conga del Fuego Nuevo and experience patriotic favorites along with Copland’s classic “Hoe-Down” from Rodeo.
More Info & Updates
June 21 | 7:30 pm | NJSO At Echo Lake Park | Mountainside
June 24 | 7:30 pm | NJSO at Maxwell Place Park | Hoboken
June 25 | 8 pm | NJSO at Ocean County College | Toms River
June 28 | 7:30 pm | NJSO at Branch Brook Park | Newark
June 30 | 8 pm | NJSO at Marine Park | Red Bank
TICKETED CONCERT:June 23 | 6 pm | NJSO at Giralda 2019 Music and Arts Festival | Giralda Farms in Madison
The June 21 concert at Echo Lake Park is sponsored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Westfield Foundation and the Blanche M. and George L. Watts Mountainside Community Foundation | The June 23 concert at Giralda Farms is presented by Morris Arts | The June 24 concert at Maxwell Place Park is presented by the City of Hoboken | The June 25 concert at Ocean County College is sponsored by JCP&L/FirstEnergy Foundation and PNC Bank, in partnership with Ocean County College. | The June 28 concert at Branch Brook Park is sponsored by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and the County of Essex; part of the 2019 Essex County Free Summer Music Series | The June 30 concert at Marine Park is presented by Red Bank River Center.

Discover dynamic new works by the NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute composers and Institute Director Steven Mackey on July 20 in Princeton.
Info & Tickets



 Centenary Stage Company’s Summer Musical Theatre Series kicks off with Dan Goggin’s hilarious musical comedy Nunsense July 11 through July 21 in the Lackland Performing Arts Center. Individual performances run Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm. Tickets range from $18.00 to $30.00 with discounts available for students and children under 12. Tickets are available on line at or by phone at (908) 979 – 0900.

With book, music and lyrics by Dan Goggin, Nunsense begins when the Little Sisters of Hoboken discover that their cook, Sister Julia, Child of God, has accidentally poisoned 52 of the sisters forcing the surviving sisters to raise funds for the burials. The sisters decide that the best way to raise the money is to put on a variety show and take over the school auditorium, which is currently set up for the eighth grade production of “Grease”.  Here we meet Reverend Mother Regina, a former circus performer; Sister Mary Hubert, the Mistress of Novices; a streetwise nun from Brooklyn named Sister Robert Anne; Sister Mary Leo, a novice who is a wannabe ballerina; and the delightfully wacky Sister Mary Amnesia, the nun who lost her memory when a crucifix fell on her head. Featuring star turns, tap and ballet dancing, an audience quiz and comic surprises at every turn, Nunsense has become an international phenomenon with more than 5000 productions worldwide and translated into 21 languages.

Nunsense marks the second year of Centenary Stage Company Summer Musical Theatre Series. After last season’s successful presentation of HAIR Centenary Stage Company has expanded the Summer Musical Theatre Series to include two musicals, Nunsense running July 11 through July 21 and Jesus Christ Superstar running August 1 through August 11. The Summer Musical Theatre Series is produced by Centenary Stage Company’s NEXTstage Repertory and features early career performers including current students and alumni of Centenary University and local talent. Nunsense is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

Performances for Nunsense run July 11 through July 21 with specific performances Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm. All performances are held in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center located on the campus of Centenary University at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ. Tickets for Nunsense range from $18.00 to $30.00 and vary by performance date. Tickets for Thursday performances are $25.50 for ALL SEATS with a buy one / get one rush ticket special when purchased in person at the Centenary Stage Company box office beginning at 5:30 pm on the evening of the performance. Thursday Buy One / Get One Rush Ticket Special is not available for advance ticket sales. Friday evening tickets are $25.50 for adults and $18.00 for students and children under 12. Saturday evening tickets are $30.00 for adults and $18.00 for students and children under 12. Sunday afternoon tickets are $25.50 for adults and $18.00 for students and children under 12.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit or call the Centenary Stage Company box office at (908) 979 – 0900. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 1:00 – 5:00 pm and two hours prior to every performance. The Centenary Stage Company box office is located in the Lackland Performing Arts Center on the campus of Centenary University at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ. Centenary Stage Company can also be found across social media platforms; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Like and follow to receive the latest in Centenary Stage Company news and special offers.

The 2018-2019 season of performing arts events at the Centenary Stage Company is made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Shubert Foundation, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the Sandra Kupperman Foundation, and CSC corporate sponsors, including Premier Season Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community, The House of the Good Shepherd, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Medical Center, Home Instead Senior Care (Washington), Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.