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Chatham Playhouse to Host 30th Annual Jersey Voices: One-Act Festival

originally published: 07/08/2024

Chatham Playhouse to Host 30th Annual Jersey Voices: One-Act Festival

(CHATHAM, NJ) -- The Chatham Community Players (CCP) will host its 30th annual Jersey Voices One-Act Festival with six performances between July 26 and August 4, 2024. This year's production will include seven original short plays written by New Jersey playwrights. The evening of seven one-act plays enables writers to showcase original scripts while allowing directors and actors to experiment with new roles.

This year Jersey Voices celebrates its 30th anniversary! It began as a place for new work to be brought to the stage, to push the envelope of what theater can be, and to challenge audiences.  To honor its 30th year, they did not have an open play submission process, but they kept that in mind and went back through their previous submissions that never made it to production.

“Over the 6 years that I have been part of Jersey Voices, I have read at least 500 short play submissions.” says producer Jessica Phelan of Montclair.  “We could never produce all the plays that our play reading committee enjoyed.  There have been certain plays over the years that have stuck with us and we talk about year after year. In deciding how to commemorate our 30th anniversary, my co producer, Aaron Kellner, and I decided to celebrate those playwrights who submit to us year after year and their plays that have had a special place in our hearts.”

“Over the years, Jersey Voices has established a strong community of passionate risk-takers and receptive audiences,” adds producer and stage manager Aaron Kellner of West Orange.  “For many, participation in some capacity has become an eagerly anticipated summer tradition.  It is a privilege to be able to spotlight so many talented local artists and continue a legacy of quality that is the hallmark of CCP.”

Performance dates are July 26, 27, August 1, 2, and 3 at 8pm and August 4 at 3:00pm at the Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Avenue, in Chatham. All tickets are $20. Tickets are available for purchase online or at our Box Office or Online. For more information, call the box office at (973) 635-7363. Some of the pieces contain adult themes and we are recommended for audiences 16 and up. 

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“Sexpo 2091” by Alex Bernstein of Cranford, Directed by Alyson Pemoulié Halter of Fanwood: The promise of a sex-fueled extravaganza takes a sharp turn when a wife informs her husband that she has other plans. Featuring Lynn Langone of Cranford as Peg and Richard Sibello from Park Ridge as Don.

“A Leap of Faith” by Susan Brown-Peitz of Avenel, Directed by John A.C. Kennedy of Springfield: In the middle of a tense family crisis, two adult siblings step into the backyard of the house they grew up in, to navigate a history of broken trust and personal failures, in an effort to determine whether there’s still a possibility for light at the end of the tunnel. Featuring Andrew Marr of Gillette as William and Sarah Pharaon of South Orange as Beth.

“Negate the Gods” by Clinton Festa of Greensboro NC, Directed by Stephen Mennella of Somerset: A Greek god and goddess, in the midst of their eternal punishment by Zeus, are taught a lesson in the power of positive thinking by an unexpected source. Featuring Nick Matthews as Prometheus; Ross Pohling of Westwood as Sisyphus; and Missy Renwick of Summit as Io.

“Sunday in the Park with Will” by Ed Friedman of Peekskill NY, Directed by Cass Cochrane of Colonia: A middle-aged man secretly meets with the daughter of his romantic partner. Things don’t turn out as either of them had planned. Featuring Miranda Montalvo of Montclair as Gina and Jose Rivera of Springfield as Garrett.

“Blow, Gabriel, Blow” by Jeanne Johnston of High Bridge, Directed by Ed Faver of Roselle: Gabriel, an average guy with an average life, learns from an attorney, Luci, that he has inherited a large sum of money and a trumpet. To get the money, he must blow a single note on the horn. In comes a third party, Michael, who does his best to convince him to reject the offer. But why? Featuring Ben Hunt as Michael; Chip Prestera of Florham Park as Gabriel; and Elizabeth Renner of South Bound Brook as Luci.

“Lillian Whistles Back” by Alexis Kozak of Ocean Township, Directed by Michael Sasso of Whippany: After his wife dies, a middle-aged ornithology enthusiast has continued to live with his mother-in-law. Tension between these housemates comes to an explosive (and uncomfortably humorous) head as they grapple with grief and their shared reality. Featuring Jeff Campbell as Walter and Christine Orzepowski of Bloomfield as Lillian.

“The Forgiven” by Alex Wilkie of Moorestown, Directed by Julia Cassisi of Cranford: Two women, one holding a grudge and the other at peace, debate past indiscretions. Featuring Gloria Lamoureux of Succasunna as Helen and Lauri MacMillan of Little Falls as Lois.

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The Chatham Community Players has been entertaining residents of Morris County and the surrounding area since 1922. The organization’s mission is to produce high-quality theater for a diverse audience, while elevating its standard of excellence and providing a creative outlet with educational opportunities and outreach programs.

Funding has been made possible in part by Morris Arts through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.



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