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Spring Solos Series at Vivid Stage Kicks Off with "101 Humiliating Stories" April 13-16


originally published: 03/27/2023

Spring Solos Series at Vivid Stage Kicks Off with "101 Humiliating Stories" April 13-16

(SUMMIT, NJ) -- Vivid Stage, in residence at Oakes Center at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit, will present 101 Humiliating Stories by Lisa Kron from April 13-16, kicking off their three-week Spring Solos Series. Directed by Mark Spina (Union), the show will be performed by Laura Ekstrand (Livingston), Artistic Director of Vivid Stage. Following this comedy is The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey by James Lecesne and Harry Clarke by David Cale. Each of the three solo shows explores the many dimensions that every person contains, and allows each actor to portray a multitude of characters along the way.

In 101 Humiliating Stories (April 13-16), we dive deep into the universal experience of humiliation. In this one-woman show, the actor shares a series of humiliations past, present, and future, including exquisitely detailed anecdotes like "Geeky Celebrity Encounters" and "How I Spent All the Petty Cash From My Office on Makeup." An invitation to perform at her high school reunion in Lansing, Michigan, triggers another series of anxiety-filled fantasies. How will she, a lesbian East Village performance artist, cope with her Midwestern classmates? 101 Humiliating Stories is evocative, moving, and overall hilarious.

When the play debuted in 1994, Variety magazine’s Greg Evans said the following: “With her outstanding 101 Humiliating Stories, Lisa Kron pushes comic self-deprecation somewhere near the high end of solo theater. From the moment she hits the stage running,...Kron ensnares her audience with 90 minutes of hilariously embarrassing anecdotes.” Ben Brantley of the NY Times said: “The show 101 Humiliating a chain of artfully paced narratives of excruciating moments.”

Spring Solos Series at Vivid Stage Kicks Off with "101 Humiliating Stories" April 13-16

On April 20-23, The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey by James Lecesne will be directed by Joshua Schnetzer and performed by Scott McGowan (Maplewood), a member of the Vivid Stage ensemble. One actor portrays every character in a small Jersey Shore town as he unravels the story of Leonard Pelkey, a tenaciously optimistic and flamboyant fourteen-year-old boy who goes missing. A luminous force of nature whose magic is only truly felt once he is gone, Leonard becomes an unexpected inspiration as the town’s citizens question how they live, who they love, and what they leave behind.

On April 27-30, Harry Clarke by David Cale will be directed by Betsy True (Montclair) and performed by Clark Carmichael (West Milford), a member of the Vivid Stage ensemble. Harry Clarke is the story of a shy midwestern man who feels more himself when adopting the persona of cocky Londoner Harry Clarke. Moving to New York and presenting himself as an Englishman, he charms his way into a wealthy family’s life, romancing two family members as the seductive and sexually precocious Harry, with more on his mind than love. With his spellbinding and emotionally nuanced storytelling, Cale has created a riveting story of a man leading an outrageous double life.

101 Humiliating Stories will appear at Vivid Stage at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit from April 13 through April 16. The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey runs April 20-23, and Harry Clarke runs April 27-30. Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:00pm. Special dates: Thursday, April 20, is Pride Night, where guests can gather at 7:00pm to enjoy snacks, beverages and fellowship for an additional $15. Every Sunday performance in the series will be Senior Sunday; seniors age 65+ pay $25. Receptions with coffee and cake, along with an informal talkback, follow these Sunday performances. 

Tickets range from $25 to $39, with special rates for subscribers and groups. For touchless advance ticket purchases, go to Vivid's website. For more information, call 908-514-9654. The theatre at Oakes Center is wheelchair accessible. Assisted listening devices are available at all performances. The parking lot is accessible from Ashwood Avenue, behind the theatre.

Vivid Stage was founded in 1994 as Dreamcatcher Rep, and is a non-profit professional ensemble of actors who build community with the audience by sharing contemporary, life-affirming stories that challenge, energize and entertain. Their work has at its heart a belief in the essential goodness of people and the power of live performance to connect people through our shared humanity. They expose theatregoers to ideas and lives like and unlike their own with the intention of awakening their imaginations and creating empathy for others. They deepen the experience of all their patrons with personal contact through receptions, talkbacks, and interactive programs.

The company’s activities include mainstage productions, improvisational comedy and cabarets, new play readings and a variety of educational and senior outreach programs.


Vivid Stage’s programs are funded by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Union County Department of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, and many other corporations, foundations and individuals.  Vivid Stage is an Equity Producing member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

Vivid Stage, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) corporation, incorporated under the laws of the State of New Jersey.

Graphic by Yolanda Fundora

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