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15 World Premiere Plays

originally published: 07/24/2018

15 World Premiere Plays

New Jersey may be a short ride to Broadway, but its home to great theatre as well.  In addition to wonderful revivals and productions of recent Broadway and Off-Broadway hits, the state offers audiences the first chance to see many plays each year.  The 2018-19 season lineups for many theatres have been announced and here are 15 World Premieres taking place in New Jersey that caught our eye.

Fern Hill by Michael Tucker, presented from August 9 - September 9, 2018 at New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch. Three couples in their golden years, thick as thieves, are gathered at Sunny and Jer’s farmhouse to celebrate milestone birthdays that span three decades. The foundation of their long friendship is honesty and support – as well as a commitment to the enjoyment of food, wine and laughter. They’re so close that Sunny suggests that they all move in together—to live and work and assist one another as they grow older. Their companionship is put to the test, however, when a marital betrayal is discovered. The bonds of loyalty and truth are explored in this mature comedy.



The Shuck by Shawn Fisher, presented from September 19 - November 9, 2018 at Cape May Stage. Constance has spent her life on the deck of a workboat. When her troubled son is lost at sea, and her long-lost daughter suddenly decides to visit, she is forced to face the truth about her family and the secrets that broke it apart so many years ago. A world premiere by a Cape May County native.



Brick City by Nicole Pandolfo, presented from September 6-23, 2018 at Premiere Stages at Kean. Jessie, a combative high school senior with a disability, and Darnell, the star player of the basketball team, find themselves together in extended study hall during the most important marking period of their lives. As Darnell inches dangerously close to throwing away a lucrative college scholarship and Jessie a potential career as an artist, both discover that things aren’t always as simple as they may seem.



Pamela’s First Musical by Wendy Wasserstein and Christoper Durang, presented from September 8 - October 7, 2018 at Two River Theater. With a combined total of more than 20 Tony Award nominations and 6 wins, the team behind Pamela’s First Musical is bringing the theatrical event of the season to Two River Theater! It’s Pamela’s birthday and, to celebrate, her eccentric and fabulous Aunt Louise is taking her to the big city to experience her very first Broadway musical! 





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Wolf at the Door by Marisela Treviño Orta, presented from October 18 - November 18, 2018 at New Jersey Repertory Company. In this tale inspired by Latino folk lore and mythology, Isadora finds the strength to stand up to her abusive husband, but there is a price she must pay for her courage.



Liberty Live: Black Tom Island by Martin Casella, presented from October 11-21, 2018 at Premiere Stages at Kean University at the 1882 Carriage House. Based on an actual incident that took place in Jersey City in 1916, Black Tom Island explores the first documented terrorist attack on American soil through the lens of a fictionalized Slovak immigrant and his wife who may or may not be involved in the attack. Liberty Live is a unique new partnership with the Liberty Hall Museum that features a production of a new play that celebrates New Jersey history, tours of the museum, interactive displays, workshops for children and talk-backs with local historians. 



Apples In Winter by Jennifer Fawcett, presented from November 9 - November 18 at Centenary Stage Company. Miriam loves to bake Apple Pies and today she has a special request to make her signature recipe. But this day is going to be different, because Miriam has decided that this will be the last apple pie she ever bakes. Apples in Winter is produced at Centenary Stage Company as a part of a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere. 



Little Girl Blue: The Nina Simone Musical by Laiona Michelle, presented from January 29 - February 24, 2019 at George Street Playhouse.  Following her critically acclaimed performance in American Hero, Laiona Michelle returns to George Street Playhouse to play Nina Simone in a new musical.  This exuberant 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. ​     



My Very Own British Invasion  - Directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell. Book by Rick Elice, presented from January 31 - March 3, 2019 at Paper Mill Playhouse. The 1960s British music scene comes to life in this fable of young love as British Rock explodes around the world loosely based on the experiences of Peter Noone, who was just 15 when he rose to international stardom as the lead singer of Herman’s Hermits—and England became the center of the rock and roll universe. Grab a pint and get a front-row seat to an electrifying moment in music history.



Roan @ The Gates by Christina Gorman, presented from January 31 - February 24, 2019 at Luna Stage. How far would you go to do the right thing? Against a backdrop of Cambridge Analytica and fake news, the play is a fictional investigation into cyber-security inspired by the shadowy figure of Edward Snowden’s girlfriend. Roan, an NSA Analyst, isn’t even allowed to tell her wife the location of her next business trip. When her personal life collides with national security, it launches launches a beautiful and high-stakes adventure that illuminates the cost of secrecy.



John Henry on by Elise Forier Edie, presented from February 8-10, 2019 at Growing Stage. Based on the traditional American folk-ballad about the “steel driving man,” John Henry blends music, history and storytelling to tell the tale of the first African American folk-hero. Young Jayjay and his best friend Grace are the children of railroad workers, and live in a camp in the Allegheny Mountains, just after the Civil War. When their fathers’ jobs are threatened by the invention of a steam drill, Jayjay’s dad challenges it, by proposing a race though the mountain, to prove a man can work better and faster than a machine. The race is on, but when John Henry’s conquest ends in sudden tragedy, Jayjay must find a way to honor his father’s legacy, while still being true to himself. Despite setbacks, and with the help of his friends and family, he finds a way to go forward, and to take is place in the burgeoning, industrial world. Laurie Award winner from the 2017 The Growing Stage’s New Play Reading Festival. Recommended Age: 7 years old and up



Psychodrama by Phoebe Farber, presented from February 14 - March 3, 2019 at Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre.  Welcome to the weekly divorce group, held in the basement of the Unitarian church. The members are suddenly left stranded when Mitchell, their leader, leaves halfway through. Luckily, Barb has agreed to be the new group leader. Her unorthodox methods throw them all for a loop, but they eventually find that being off balance just might be the way to break through to a new understanding of their relationships. This seriocomedy has been developed over the past several years in the Lab at Luna and in readings at Writers Theater of NJ and Dreamcatcher.



A Better Place To Be by Stephen L. Fredericks, presented from February 15-17, 2019 at Growing Stage. An original piece commissioned by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s Stage Exchange program, A Better Place To Be brings together the immigration journeys of two young women. First that of The Growing Stage Founder and Executive Director Stephen L. Fredericks great-grandmothers voyage to America in the late 1800’s and that of a young Syrian girl coming today. Weaving poetry, music and folktales from each time and place, the play celebrates our similarities and opens the door for a better appreciation for our differences.  Recommended Age: 12 years old and UP



Theo by Martin Moran, presented from February 23 - March 24, 2019 at Two River Theater. When Margret Flynn’s health begins to fail, her son Theodore returns to their Catskills home after many years away. And so, a family’s reckoning begins. Long unsettled hurts rise up and we bear witness to the enduring power of kinship—the longing to love in the face of unstoppable change. Playwright Martin Moran performed his solo plays The Tricky Part and All the Rage in repertory at Two River Theater in 2014, at which time Theo, his first play for other actors, was commissioned by the Theater. Carolyn Cantor will direct this world-premiere production.



Gary by Bruce Graham, presented from September 19 - October 13, 2019 at Eagle Theatre. First, there was Siri…then came Alexa…Now there’s Gary! Eagle Theatre creates a cybernetic fun-factory as celebrated playwright Bruce Graham invites you to takeoff on a futuristic journey to a world of endless possibility. This cheeky yet reflective parody puts convenience and comfort first as it begs the questions; What happens when communication has become obsolete? When human connection is a dream of the past? When technology takes over? Don’t think… Just ask Gary! WARNING: Highly Irreverent & Contagiously Offensive!

Plus the year includes regional or NJ premieres of String Around My Finger, Native Gardens, Silent Sky, The Assignment, Heartland, and Benny & Joon! Visit NewJerseyStage.com for theatre news!






Douglas Taurel To Perform "An American Soldier's Journey Home" On Veteran's Day
(HOBOKEN, NJ) -- On November 11, 2018 (Veterans Day), Douglas Taurel, actor and creator of the acclaimed solo show The American Soldier, will perform his new play An American Soldier’s Journey Home at the Hoboken Museum in Hoboken, NJ at 4:00pm. The play was commissioned by the Library of Congress Veteran History Project. It was invited to performed at the Library of Congress both on Veterans Day and Memorial Day of 2017. The play will commemorate 100 years when the Great War ended and the last shot was fired.
Fair Moon Stages Presents "Wishes & Dreams: A Celebration of the Music that Animates our Lives"
(RAHWAY, NJ) -- Fair Moon Stages presents “Wishes & Dreams: A Celebration of the Music that Animates our Lives” on Sunday, November 4th at 3:00pm, at The Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway, NJ. A 30-piece orchestra and 20 vocalists performing delightfully familiar songs from animated movies highlight the concert. The event is a benefit for the company, whose mission is to present accessible and professional theater at affordable prices. Their well-received inaugural season included Disney’s High School Musical, Legally Blonde and the NJ premier of Mamma Mia.  
Menopause The Musical Comes To State Theatre
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) --  GFour Productions, winner of 44 Tony Awards and 54 Drama Desk Awards,  brings the international hit show Menopause The Musical® to State Theatre in New Brunswick for two performances on Saturday, November 10 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm. This a groundbreaking celebration of women who are on the brink of, in the middle of, or have survived “The Change.” 
4th Wall To Open Season With "Sondheim On Sondheim"
(BLOOMFIELD, NJ) -- 4TH WALL THEATRE opens its 22nd season with a limited run production that celebrates the work of Broadway luminary Stephen Sondheim with Sondheim on Sondheim.  The show will be presented November 30, December 1 and December 2 at the Burgdoff Center for the Performing Arts in Maplewood, NJ.  The show is directed by 4th Wall Artistic Director Kate Swan and Gonzalo Valencia serves as the Musical Director.
8th Annual Tri-State Theatre Festival
(SPRING LAKE, NJ) -- The 8th Annual Tri-State Theatre Festival takes place October 19-21 at Wesley Hall in Spring Lake. The festival showcases the best new short plays written by local writers from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The festival typically receives about 300 entries annually and features a unique collection of short comedies and dramas designed to entertain and engage audiences. And, after every performance, attendees have the option to stick around and “meet the artists” – a live Q&A with playwrights, actors and directors.


Plant Yourself at Exit 82 Theatre Company’s Little Shop of Horrors!
Little Shop of Horrors is a smash Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi musical that has devoured the hearts of theatergoers for over 30 years. Now, Toms River, NJ’s Exit 82 Theatre Company has developed a unique rendition of the show created by Howard Ashman and Alan Menkin, which is currently running at their new Exit 82 Studio Theatre located on Main Street in downtown Toms River.
Playwright Walter Anderson Talks About "The Trial Of Donna Caine"
​​​​​​​The political climate in the United States—with its right and left, red and blue, conservative and liberal—prompts this question: Is reconciliation possible?
Assisted Living: The Musical LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
The crowd is making it’s way inside Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts on this beautiful Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018 afternoon for the first of two sold-out performances of Assisted Living: The Musical!
Bram Stoker's Dracula
Long before we had Twilight and True Blood, one vampire ruled them all - Dracula.  Bram Stoker’s classic horror novel brought Count Dracula from Transylvania to Victorian London.  In this blood thirsty tale of terror, the city seems helpless against his power, and only one man, Dr. Van Helsing, can stop the carnage.  But to do this, he must uncover the vampire’s lair and pierce his heart with a wooden stake.  
House On Haunted Hill
House On Haunted Hill is a classic B-movie by William Castle that came out in 1959.  It starred Vincent Price as a millionaire who offers $10,000 to five people who agree to spend the night locked in a house he’s rented on Haunted Hill.

From Our Magazine

Bram Stoker's Dracula

Bram Stoker's Dracula

Long before we had Twilight and True Blood, one vampire ruled them all - Dracula.  Bram Stoker’s classic horror novel brought Count Dracula from Transylvania to Victorian London.  In this blood thirsty tale of terror, the city seems helpless against his power, and only one man, Dr. Van Helsing, can stop the carnage.  But to do this, he must uncover the vampire’s lair and pierce his heart with a wooden stake.  


An interview with Shawn Fisher

An interview with Shawn Fisher

Cape May Stage presents the World Premiere of The Shuck by Shawn Fisher from September 19 through November 9th. Fisher grew up in Vineland, NJ and remains very connected to South Jersey despite being the Head of the MFA Program in Theatre at Utah State University.  He started the National Playwrights Symposium along with Roy Steinberg at Cape May Stage in 2013 and returns each year to be part of it. In addition to being a playwright, he’s also a set designer who has created sets for many theatres throughout New Jersey.


Deconstructing The Myths Of Bruce Springsteen

Deconstructing The Myths Of Bruce Springsteen

When Bruce Springsteen was about to release his debut album, the record company wanted him to say he was from New York City, but he refused.  It’s somewhat ironic that over 40 years later, he has turned a legendary Broadway theatre into his home five nights a week with Springsteen on Broadway - a show that has performed in front of over 150,000 people and grossed more than $75 million since making its debut on October 12, 2017 after several preview performances. 


15 World Premiere Plays

15 World Premiere Plays

New Jersey may be a short ride to Broadway, but its home to great theatre as well.  In addition to wonderful revivals and productions of recent Broadway and Off-Broadway hits, the state offers audiences the first chance to see many plays each year.  The 2018-19 season lineups for many theatres have been announced and here are 15 World Premieres taking place in New Jersey that caught our eye.








Event calendar
Friday, Oct 19, 2018


MUSIC

COVEY @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

PIMPS OF JOYTIME WITH WAITING ON MONGO @ The Wonder Bar, Asbury Park - 8:00pm

THE DAMNED WITH RADKEY AND THE DARTS @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

The Early November @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

Kid Rock @ Hard Rock Live Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 8:00pm

Real Diamond- Tribute to Neil Diamond @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 8:00pm

Abbie Gardner at the Minstrel @ Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, Morristown - 7:30pm

SHA NA NA @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 8:00pm

DALA @ Broadway Theatre of Pitman, Pitman - 8:00pm

The Psychedelic Furs @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm







THEATRE

The Shuck @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 7:30pm

CDC Theatre presents A Few Good Men @ CDC Theatre, Cranford - 8:00pm

Wait Until Dark @ Somerset Valley Playhouse, Hillsborough - 8:00pm

Rocky Horror Picture Show @ Bow Tie Cinemas (Hoboken), Hoboken - 11:30pm

Roxey Ballet's Dracula @ Roxey Ballet Canal Studio Theater, Lambertville - 7:00pm

World Premier of, HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, A Horror of a Play @ Forum Theatre (Metuchen), Metuchen - 8:00pm

The Color Purple @ Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn - 8:00pm

Dracula @ The Baird Theatre on Three, South Orange - 7:30pm

Almost, Maine @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 7:30pm

Black Tom Island @ The 1882 Carriage House, Liberty Hall Museum, Union - 8:00pm

*Uncle Vanya, Scenes from a Jersey Life in Four Acts @ Hudson Theatre Works, Weehawken - 8:00pm


DANCE

Coppélia @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm


FILM

New Jersey Film Festival @ Voorhees Hall #105, New Brunswick - 7:00pm


POETRY

The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival @ Victoria Theater @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 9:00am


MISC

THE PRICE IS RIGHT LIVE! @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 8:00pm

View all events










 
















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