From left: Melissa Bari, Shayna Ryan, Ariana Sylva, Jerée Moët Phillips. (Photo credit: Marcy Roberts/MCCC)
(WEST WINDSOR, NJ) -- “The Shadow Men,” an original dance theatre production inspired by 19 artworks and interviews with local Trenton artist Tamara Torres, will be performed by the Mercer County Community College Academic Theatre and Dance Company at Kelsey Theatre April 14 -16. Inspired by the parts of Torres’s life story (what she is willing to reveal) and her artwork, the MCCC Academic Theatre and Dance Company draws inspiration to work through topics such as feminism, mental health awareness and racial inequality to create a haunting and thrilling production.
Combining the best ingredients of theatre and dance, the show features a blend of hip-hop, tango, contemporary dance, high drama, thrilling stunts, jump scares and cross dressing to tackle the hard-hitting and pervasive topics surrounding Torres’s life and art.
“This production is going to be the theatrical event of the season in Mercer County,” said Jody Gazenbeek-Person, coordinator of the theatre and dance program at MCCC. “The Kelsey has never staged an event like this before.”
Gazenbeek-Person continued, “The really beautiful thing about this show is that it reveals to the audience how to enter into and get more out of any work of art at the deepest possible level. It's a wondrous adventure to step inside a painting, and it is my sincere belief that this production will be talked about for years to come. The audience is in for quite the magical adventure.”
MCCC’s Academic Theatre and Dance student ensemble includes: Hannah Kay Aquirre, Cole Chulamanis and Ludnie Lubin of Hamilton; Lisbeth Burgo of Lawrence Township; Benjamin Fogg and Jerée Moët Phillips of Ewing; Gigi Garcia, Jackson Jules, Valmiki Rajan, Trinity Miller and Brianna Gonzalez of Trenton; Michael Havardansky of Princeton; Melissa Bari Hemel of Hightstown; Mackenzie Kohlmayer of Yardville; Nlijah Muhammad of Burlington Township; Shayna Ryan of Allentown, Jordan Shutz of Chesterfield; and Arianna Silva of West Windsor.
The show is a collaborative effort with portions directed by Jody Gazenbeek-Person from Newark and Deena Jile’s Shu’aib of Trenton and includes dance scenes choreographed by Gazenbeek-Person, Theresa Flim and Jennifer Gladney of Lawrenceville, and Jill Molinaro of Monmouth County. The show is produced by Gazenbeek-Person and Kelsey Theatre Artistic Director Kitty Getlik, and stage managed by Nancy Mitrocsak.
Performance Dates: Friday, April 14 at 8:00pm; Saturday, April 15 at 8:00pm; Sunday, April 16 at 2:00pm. A livestream will also be available for all dates. Masks are recommended but not required while in the theatre.
Tickets for “The Shadow Men" are $22 for adults and $20 for students and seniors. Tickets are on sale at kelsey.mccc.edu or by calling 609-570-3333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The show will also be livestreamed for residents who cannot make it to the theatre as well as in countries around the world including England, Argentina, Vietnam, Dubai, Kenya and Ghana. For more information about live streaming please visit www.tamaratorresart.com.
Kelsey Theatre is located on the MCCC campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road in West Windsor Township. The theater is wheelchair accessible and free parking is available next to the building. Assisted listening devices are available upon request.