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Premiere Stages at Kean University Announces 2018 Play Festival Finalists

Premiere Stages at Kean University Announces  2018 Play Festival Finalists

(UNION, NJ) -- Premiere Stages, the professional theatre company in residence at Kean University, has selected its four finalists for the 2018 Premiere Play Festival and will increase its cash awards for honored playwrights by one-third, the theatre announced. Premiere Stages received a record 572 submissions for the festival, an annual competition for unproduced scripts that offers developmental opportunities to playwrights with strong affiliations to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.  The 572 submissions marked a 43% jump from 2017, and represented playwrights of all backgrounds and ages. For the first time in the festival’s 14-year history, three of the four finalist scripts selected were requested from synopses submitted by playwrights.

“We are very excited to be developing an eclectic and topical mix of plays as part of the 2018 Play Festival,” stated John J. Wooten, producing artistic director of Premiere Stages. “Interest from playwrights and audiences in the Festival has grown substantially in the past few seasons and we are pleased to feature some impressive writers whose dramatic voices are just starting to emerge.”

This year’s finalists are: Linger by Craig Garcia, whose work has been developed through the TRU New Voices Reading Series and New Moon Short Play Festival; Private by Mona Pirnot, a former Literary Fellow at Center Theatre Group and member of Los Angeles’ Circle X Theatre Company; Baton by Deneen Reynolds-Knott, co-creator and executive producer of the web seriesBulk and a finalist for the 2017 PlayPenn and Bay Area Playwrights conferences; and No Candyby Emma Stanton, a former recipient of the Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship and resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists.

All finalists will receive professional readings as part of Premiere’s 14th annual Spring Reading Series (March 15-18), directed by Mr. Wooten and Jessi D. Hill, Literary Team Chair for Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and will be considered for expanded development in Premiere’s mainstage season. One of the four plays will be selected for an Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) 29-Hour Reading in June, and the most promising play will be awarded a full AEA production as part of Premiere's 2018 season. All finalists receive cash awards ranging from $750 to $2,500.

The schedule for the March readings is as follows:



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Thursday, March 15 at 7:00pm – Linger by Craig Garcia - Maryanne and James are forced to confront the possibility that their child is capable of a horrible act when their son, a high school senior, is accused of a violent assault against a gay classmate. As social media explodes over the incident, the couple struggles to hold their splintering family together.

Friday, March 16 at 7:00pm – Private by Mona Pirnot In the near future, privacy is expensive. Like everyone else, Corbin and Georgia pay a premium to keep their personal information secret. But when Corbin lands an exciting job that requires enrollment in a corporate surveillance policy, the couple discovers uncomfortable truths about their relationship.  

Saturday, March 17 at 7:00pm – Baton by Deneen Reynolds-Knott Ava and Tim, a black couple on a date, are interrupted by news of unrest in Baltimore after Freddie Gray’s funeral. As the pair grapples with differing feelings about the case, Ava reveals a past engagement to a white cop, detonating a night of accusations, interrogations and confessions. 

Sunday, March 18 at 3:00pm – No Candy by Emma Stanton A multi-generational community of Bosnian Muslim women copes, both privately and publicly, with the trauma they experienced during the war. Set in a gift shop near the Srebrenica massacre memorial, the play follows how each woman seeks redemption: one dreams of Julie Andrews, one sings grunge music at karaoke bars, one dresses drag in her father’s clothes. No Candy provides a thought-provoking exploration of the persistence of humor, art, and absurdity in an unimaginable time. 

 

This year’s submissions were evaluated by Premiere Stages staff in partnership with esteemed panelists Chris Cragin-Day, William Eddy, Kimber Lee, Lysna Marzani, Carole Shaffer-Koros, Nicole A. Watson, and Ernest Wiggins. The following semifinalists were also honored in this year’s competition: Redwood by Brittany K. Allen, Bruise and Thorn by J. Julian Christopher,State by James Christy, Gunplay: A Love Story by Michael Yates Crowley, How to Fly by Olivia George, Project X by Taylor Hatch, Pathetic by Julia Jarcho, The Garbologists by Lindsay Joelle,Fireflies by Donja R. Love, Good by James McLindon, When We Left, Part 1 by NSangou Njikam, As Is: Conversations with Big Black Women in Confined Spaces by Stacey Rose,Hurricane Colleen by Tammy Ryan, Europa by Sarah Saltwick, Reunion by Nandita Shenoy, The Patriot by Joe Sutton, La Fonda by Suzanne Trauth, and The Solid Sand Below by Martín Zimmerman.

The Spring Reading Series is part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s Stages Festival, the state’s largest annual theatre festival that provides free and discounted theatre events for all ages throughout the month of March. The Stages Festival offers dozens of performances, workshops, classes, and events at theatres, art centers, libraries, schools, senior centers, and other community venues throughout the state. The program was developed to encourage New Jersey’s residents to attend their local professional theatres by making the experience affordable, accessible, and fun. The Stages Festival is a project of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Alliance. Major funding is also provided by Bank of America, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, and PSEG Foundation. Additional support is provided by individuals, corporations, and foundations such as The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, F.M. Kirby Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Fund for the New Jersey Blind, and George A. Ohl, Jr. Trust. For more information, please visit www.njtheatrealliance.org or www.stagesfestival.org.

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. Please call 908-737-4077 for a list of sign-interpreted, audio-described or open-captioned performances. For more information, please visit Premiere Stages online at www.premierestagesatkean.com.

Premiere Stages is made possible in part through funding from The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Northfield Bank Foundation, The Wallerstein Foundation for Geriatric Life Improvement, The Hyde and Watson Foundation, The Union Foundation, E.J. Grassmann Trust, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance, Investors Foundation, The Union County HEART Grant, and through the generous support of individual patrons and local organizations. Discover Jersey Arts is our marketing partner. Visitwww.JerseyArts.com for more information about other arts programming happening around the Garden State. 



originally published: 2018-03-02 00:00:00


Upcoming Events

Titus Andronicus Will Play at The Shakespeare Theatre for the First Time in Over 30 Years

Titus Andronicus Will Play at The Shakespeare Theatre for the First Time in Over 30 Years

(MADISON, NJ) -- The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey continues its 56th season with its second Main Stage production, Titus Andronicus. Resident Director Brian B. Crowe will helm this rarely produced Shakespearean tragedy. STNJ veteran Bruce Cromer will play the title role; Tony Award nominee Robert Cuccioli and returning company members Vanessa Morosco and Benjamin Eakeley will play leading roles amongst a cast of 20 actors that also includes young artists from the Theatre’s renowned Summer Professional Training Program. Performances run July 18 through August 5. 


The Arts Council of Princeton and Chimera Productions present The Other Place

The Arts Council of Princeton and Chimera Productions present The Other Place

(PRINCETON, NJ) -- Chimera Productions presents its 13th production, The Other Place by Sharr White, in Princeton, New Jersey on July 19, 20 and 21, 2018, in conjunction with The Arts Council of Princeton. The play, presented in the intimate 60-seat theater inside Princeton’s Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, is a fast-paced, witty, powerhouse of a drama about a scientist on the brink of a revolutionary discover, who’s also contemplating divorce and trying to revive her relationship with her estranged daughter.


Tri-State Actors Theater Presents A Reading of "To Trample The Dragon"

Tri-State Actors Theater Presents A Reading of "To Trample The Dragon"

(DOVER, NJ) -- Tri-State Actors Theater will present two readings of To Trample The Dragon, a new work by by Peter Mitsopoulos. The readings will take place June 28-29 at 8:00pm in the Dover Little Theatre.  This is a play that touches the loss we have all known, and the love that helps us survive.  Admission is by donation.


Two River Theater Presents Professional Development for Teachers: Examining the Work of T. Thomas Fortune and August Wilson

Two River Theater Presents Professional Development for Teachers: Examining the Work of T. Thomas Fortune and August Wilson

(RED BANK, NJ) -- Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, has announced a special one-day professional development program for educators on Tuesday, July 17 from 9:30am-4:30pm. “Examining the Work of T. Thomas Fortune and August Wilson” is being presented as a collaboration between Red Bank’s T. Thomas Fortune Foundation and Two River Theater, in compliance with the New Jersey Amistad Commission. The program will focus on the work of T. Thomas Fortune (writer, journalist, social justice crusader, and editor of the New York Age Newspaper) and the theatrical work of playwright and poet August Wilson (August Wilson’s American Century Cycle).








Event calendar
Wednesday, Jun 20, 2018


MUSIC

GBH @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

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

SUPERCHUNK @ White Eagle Hall, Jersey City - 9:00pm

Celebrating CLARENCE CLEMONS with The Red Bank Rockers @ The Brighton Bar, Long Branch - 7:00pm

FREE SUMMER EVENT: SANE INSANE & SPOKEN WORD @ 70 South Gallery, Morristown - 7:30pm

Ebb & Nova @ The Stanhope House, Stanhope - 6:00pm







THEATRE

The Last 5 Years @ Eagle Theatre, Hammonton - 7:30pm

Half Time @ Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn - 7:30pm


COMEDY

MIKE FINOIA, KEVIN FLYNN, KYLE GROOMS @ The Music Box @ Borgata Casino Hotel, Atlantic City - 9:00pm

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