(LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- New Jersey Repertory Company will present Robin Gerber’s new play The Shot April 6–23, 2023 in its Studio Theatre. The Shot will star Emmy nominee and Broadway alum Sharon Lawrence (Cabaret, Fiddler on the Roof). Michelle Joyner will direct the production.
Inspired by the story of former Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, this fictional work looks at her life, including her experiences of domestic abuse at the hands of her cruel husband who inherited the newspaper from Katharine’s father. Graham became a force in politics, winning a Pulitzer Prize for revealing the Pentagon Papers, uncovering Nixon’s abuse of power and crimes in the Watergate scandal, as well as becoming the first female CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
“The Shot is a story for this moment,” said Gerber in a statement. “If women can be abused with impunity, we can be paid less, denied opportunity and autonomy over our bodies. I hope The Shot empowers women who suffer intimate partner violence, and gives the rest of us a window into an abused woman’s soul.”
Gerber herself worked in politics in Washington, D.C., and brings that to bear on her writing. The Shot was first presented to the public via a reading in Los Angeles in March 2020, which was shut down due to COVID-19. Since then, the script has been produced as a digital reading, received a developmental workshop in October 2021, premiered at Great Barrington Public Theatre and was part of the 2022 United Solo Festival.
Patrons can purchase tickets to The Shot, or any of NJRep’s offerings by visiting www.njrep.org or calling 732.229.3166.
SHARON LAWRENCE (Katharine Graham) earned a degree in journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill, and has gone on to be prominently featured on stage and screen over the last 25 years. Her television work includes multiple Emmy-nominated and SAG-award-winning run on NYPD Blue, and work in The Gaze on YouTube that earned a 5th Emmy nomination. Her series, Joe Pickett, on Spectrum and Paramount+ is in its 2nd season of production and her Hallmark movies The Christmas House 1 & 2 have both earned GLAAD nominations. Sharon has had notable stints on hit shows such as Rebel, Queen Sugar, Shameless, Dynasty, On Becoming a God in Central Florida, Desperate Housewives, Rizzoli & Iles, and Grey’s Anatomy, which earned her an Emmy nomination. Film work includes the indie hits Middle of Nowhere from Ava DuVernay and The Lost Husband, both on Netflix. Sharon spent 10 years on Broadway in Cabaret, Fiddler on the Roof and as Velma in Chicago and in LA at The Mark Taper Forum, in Poor Behavior and The Mystery Of Love and Sex , the cabaret, Love, Noel, at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, in several roles at the Geffen Playhouse and at the Pasadena Playhouse in A Song At Twilight, A Kid Like Jake and Orson’s Shadow, for which she was nominated for an Ovation Award and won the LA Drama Critics Circle Award. She has been part of The Shot’s creative team since its first reading at Ojai Playwright’s Conference in 2017. Nonprofit service plays a major role in Sharon’s life as former Chair of the Women in Film Foundation, current Chair the Board of Directors of Heal The Bay and as a Trustee of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation.
MICHELLE JOYNER (Director/Dramaturg) has been at the helm of The Shot from its earliest development phase at the Ojai Playwrights Conference. She currently lives in The Berkshires in Western Massachusetts, and has helmed plays there with Shakespeare and Co., Berkshire Playwrights Lab, Great Barrington Public Theatre and Theatre Fest. West coast: Center Stage, Santa Monica Rep, Greenlight Productions, and LA Women’s Shakespeare Co. Internationally: The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She has also directed a short film and leads The Long Table, a women’s writing group. Michelle is an accomplished stage and screen actor with a long career and has written ten studio screenplays. She is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA, AEA, WGA, and DG. Her first full-length play Iodine will have a reading later this year in the Berkshires.
ROBIN GERBER (Playwright) The Shot, Robin’s first play, was selected for the 2017 Ojai Playwrights Conference. After a well-spent youth involving drugs, sex and feminist activism, Robin took the next logical step and became a Washington, D.C. lawyer. She worked on Capitol Hill for a legendary leader of the House of Representatives, before leaving to be a union lobbyist during the Clinton years. Robin’s post-politics writing life includes: The bestselling advice book, Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way (Penguin), Katharine Graham (Penguin), Barbie and Ruth, about the founder of Mattel (HarperCollins), and the novel Eleanor vs. Ike, which imagines Eleanor Roosevelt running for President in 1952 (HarperAvon). Robin has toured the professional speaking circuit, motivating audiences at many Fortune 500 companies with stories from the lives of great women leaders. She has also appeared as a guest historian for the Biography and History channels and as a featured historian on the CNN documentary series First Ladies speaking about Eleanor Roosevelt. She dedicates this performance to Sean Daly who reminded her to write what scares her before he left this earth.
For tickets and more information, visit njrep.org. New Jersey Repertory Company is located at 179 Broadway in Long Branch, New Jersey.
The New Jersey Repertory Company (NJREP) was founded in 1997 by SuzAnne and Gabor Barabas. Its current central headquarters is the Lumia Theater located on lower Broadway in Long Branch. The theater’s mission is to develop and produce new plays and to make a lasting contribution to the American Stage. Over two decades NJ Rep has produced 150 plays of which 125 have been world premieres. The theater has the additional distinction of having had many of its plays produced by other theaters around the country totaling over 200 subsequent productions in the U.S. and overseas. In 2012 and 2018 NJ Rep was the recipient of a National Theater Company Grant from the American Theater Wing that sponsors the annual Tony Awards for Broadway in recognition of its contribution to the repertoire of the American Stage. Only seven theaters have had this distinction. In addition, the theater has presented over 400 developmental readings as well as introduced 136 new works through its Theatre Brut Short-Play Festivals that focus on visionary and avant-garde works. In May 2016, NJ Rep acquired a new property, a 28,000 square foot school situated on 2 ½ acres and located just five minutes from its Main Stage Lumia Theater and two blocks from the Jersey Shore. The theater plans on gradually transforming the school in stages into a cultural center that will house additional performance spaces, an art cinema, an art museum, a rooftop café, an arts education wing, and residences for out-of-town actors and playwrights. When completed, the center will present a wide array of programs in acting, playwriting, art, sculpture, poetry, music, and photography and will serve as a catalyst for economic development and as the foundation for the cultural renaissance of the community.
NJRep thanks the following for their support: The Shubert Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, SBA Shuttered Venues Program, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, New Jersey CRF, NJEDA, JENNJOE Fund, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, OceanFirst Foundation, Princeton Area Community Foundation, Manasquan Bank, Community Foundation of New Jersey, Monmouth County CARES, Investors Bank Foundation, Jewish Communal Fund, Darien Family Fund, Vasi Laurence, Caroline Huber, Caryl Sills and Linda Mitchell.
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