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New Jersey Theatre Alliance's Stages Festival Continues Throughout May

New Jersey Theatre Alliance

For 24 years, New Jersey Theatre Alliance (“the Alliance”) has offered a spring festival of performances, workshops, and readings throughout the state. This year’s festival has been held primarily online, due to the ongoing pandemic. The 2021 festival included over 60 events, made available at no cost or at deeply discounted ticket prices throughout the spring of 2021. Performances continue through the end of May.

This year's Stages Festival was made possible by spotlight sponsors The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Bank of America, and The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. Additional supporters include OceanFirst Foundation, the George A. Ohl, Jr Trust, New Jersey Historical Commission, and Fund for the New Jersey Blind.

“Bank of America is proud to have been a lead sponsor once again for the Theatre Alliance’s Stages Festival,” said Alberto Garofalo, president Bank of America New Jersey. “Through our partnership, thousands of residents were able to experience the joy of live theatre, regardless of economic constraints, cultural differences, or disability – helping to create a more vibrant, robust, equitable, and just society.”

“This year’s Stages Festival showcases the incredible innovation and creativity our member theatres have brought to digital programming, as well as their careful and rigorous planning for safe outdoor events,” said John McEwen, Executive Director of the Alliance. “We are extremely grateful to our generous and dedicated sponsors whose investment in this program has made it possible to offer a source of connection and joy through theatre.” 

The following are some highlights of the remaining 2021 Stages Festival offerings. Most events are free but require registration. For a full listing of events, program details, and registration information visit www.njtheatrealliance.org/stages



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Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre in Summit will offer weekly “Meet the Artist” readings and discussions with playwrights on Wednesdays between May 5 and May 26. 


Jersey City Theatre Center will host weekly readings of new plays by emerging writers on Thursdays between May 6 and May 27, all with a theme of Healing. 


Passage Theatre Company  in Trenton will stream performances of A Twist of Water on May 15 and 16. This poignant play about adoption and identity explores the definition of family and the love we find when we allow ourselves to heal.


McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton will offer weekly Fireside Chats during the month of May.  Keeping social distance, Artistic Director Sarah Rasmussen invites guests from the McCarter community to join her on the front lawn for discussion about meeting this moment.


Epic Actors Workshop in Old Bridge will produce The Waiting Room, presented on May 22, a new play that explores the idea of waiting rooms as temporary spaces, both internal and external.


Yendor Theatre Company in Newark presents their first ever Young Artist Showcase on May 27, the culmination of a new initiative, 'NextGen', to develop and spotlight the best and brightest youth artists in, and around, Newark.


The Eagle Theatre in Hammonton will present a new work written by local playwright, Iraisa Ann Reilly, One Day Old, on May 27, which tells a true story of the 1960’s ‘Operacion Pedro Pan’ through the lens of a dream. Donations will be collected after the performance to raise funds towards benefiting migrant families in our community.


Atlantic City Theatre Company will pair theatre professionals with Stockton University students to create Project Bifrost, an evening of singing, dancing and acting to raise awareness and funds for social causes on May 29.


Paterson Performing Arts Development Council will offer a reading and discussion of For Colored Boyz On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown/When Freedom Ain’t Enuf, a choreopoem inspired by the work of Ntozake Shange, on May 31. 


New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch will offer a powerful and uplifting autobiographical play, My Dead Wife, on May 31, about the road to healing and  how one recommits to life, and even finds joy, after what may at first seem insurmountable pain.


Luna Stage in West Orange continues to offer a “play via text message” delivered directly to audience members phones. #Rift: A Play Over text Message explores the ideological divide in America through a story of two brothers. 


Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken created their first Podcast play – The Playbill Gallery (a love story) – written and performed by playwright-in-residence Joseph Gallo, and featuring a sound score by resident designer Michael Blaskewicz. Available for listening through the end of May, this bittersweet homage to a lifetime of theatre-going taps into the current longing that every theatre-goer and every theatre-maker is experiencing.

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Paper Mill Playhouse’s annual Rising Star Awards, a celebration of excellence in high school musical theatre, will close out the Stages Festival on June 7. 


In keeping with its commitment to making theatre accessible, the Alliance strives to make Stages events accessible to all people with disabilities. If you require a specific accommodation for a Stages Festival event, including ASL interpretation, open captioning, and audio description please contact Deonté Griffin-Quick at (973) 250-6661 ext. 3 or dgiffin-quick@njtheatrealliance.org at least two weeks before the event. 


For more information and a current listing of Stages Festival events, please visit www.njtheatrealliance.org/stages


Founded in 1981, New Jersey Theatre Alliance was the first statewide service organization for professional, not-for-profit theatre companies in the United States, and is a leader in developing model programs that unite, promote, strengthen, and cultivate professional theatre in New Jersey. Funding for the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, a not-for-profit organization, is provided in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism, and contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations including Amazon, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Grunin Foundation, The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Bank of America, City National Bank, The Shubert Foundation, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Investors Bank, The Hyde and Watson Foundation, Kessler Foundation, The F.M. Kirby Foundation, E.J. Grassmann Trust, and The Union Foundation.

originally published: 05/14/2021

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