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NJ Rep presents the U.S. Premiere of "The Hummingbirds"

originally published: 07/11/2022

NJ Rep presents the U.S. Premiere of "The Hummingbirds"

(LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- New Jersey Repertory Company (NJ Rep) presents the U.S. premiere of The Hummingbirds: A Comedy of Menace by Garret Jon Groenveld.  It is a comic-drama set in the future, which may be closer than you think.  Performances run from August 4-28, Thursdays through Sundays.

The Hummingbirds Synopsis: Been unemployed too long? At the Unemployment Bureau, we can place you in a job you may not be qualified for or a job that's not safe, but you will do it. Because if you can walk, you can work! 

The Hummingbirds won the 2012 Global Age Project and the 2012 Internationalists Global Playwriting Prize (7 Presentations in 7 countries - US, Romania, Spain, Mexico, The Netherlands, Germany and Singapore). It has not received an English language production, but is on tour in Romania (in Romanian) and has been produced in Spanish in Zaragoza, Spain and two acclaimed productions in Mexico City, Mexico.

NJ Rep presents the U.S. Premiere of "The Hummingbirds"

The cast includes Sophia Lucia Parola and Michael Irvin Pollard.  The play is directed by SuzAnne Barabas, Artistic Director at NJ Rep.

Performances are from August 4-28, Thursdays at 8:00pm, Fridays at 8:00pm, Saturday at 3:00pm & 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:00pm.  Tickets are $55 and available for purchase online or by calling 732-229-3166 for reservations.

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The production team includes: Rose Riccardi (Production Stage Manager), Patricia E. Doherty (Costume Design), Nick Simone (Sound Design), Jessica Parks (Scenic Design/Props), Jill Nagle (Lighting Design), Rachael Malloy (Assistant Stage Manager), Janey Huber (Assistant Lighting Designer), James Lockhart (Master Electrician), Brian Snyder (Technical Director), Blake Robinson (Props Assistant).

Michael Irvin Pollard returns to NJ Rep after previously appearing in  Lucky Me, Happy, Release Point, Night Train, Yankee Tavern, Dead Ringers, Apple, Ten Percent of Molly Snyder, and Big Boys as well as several Theatre Brut festivals and numerous staged readings. Other regional credits include performances at Shadowland Stages, Centenary Stage Co., Forestburgh Playhouse, Seven Angels Theatre, The Theater Project, the Adirondack Theatre Festival, Writer’s Theatre of NJ, the Depot Theatre, the Pioneer Valley Summer Theatre, George Street Playhouse, and the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park where he was a member of the professional actor training program. In New York city Michael performed most recently in Pan Asian Rep’s critically acclaimed production of Daybreak and is best known for his work in improvisation and sketch comedy, with performances in various venues including the West Bank Café, the West Side Arts Center, the Avalon Theatre and the Pearl Theatre.

Sophia Lucia Parola was born and raised in New Jersey. She started her training at Brookdale Community College and has since studied at Stella Adler Studio, HB Studio, and privately. Some of her favorite theatrical roles include Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lady Anne in Richard III with Hip To Hip Theatre, and Trish in The Promotion at New Jersey Repertory Company.  Sophia has also recently appeared on FBI: Most Wanted, and stars in indie films Marijuana Minutes, and Last Known Location. Sophia is also a professional Red-Carpet Host for Garden State Film Festival and Cinequest Film Festival. Sophia would like to thank her family, friends, and mentors who continue to support her.  

Garret Jon Groenveld (Playwright) is a poet and playwright living in San Francisco, CA with an MFA in Poetry and an MA in Playwriting from San Francisco State University. He also studied with Edward Albee at the University of Houston. He's a founding writer of PlayGround and an inaugural member of the Writers in Residence program at the Playwrights Foundation. His play Missives had well received productions in San Francisco and New York. His play, The Hummingbirds, is a winner of the 2012 GAP Festival from the Aurora Theatre in Berkeley and the winner of the Internationalists Global Playwriting Prize. This prize included six presentations in six countries (including New York, Berlin and the Netherlands) and has led to productions worldwide, including an ongoing tour of Romania and an extended run in Mexico City, Mexico. His play, The Empty Nesters was in 2014's Theatre Resources Unlimited Reading series and had a production workshop in San Francisco in 2015. An open ended tour of the show premiered in San Francisco in 2016 and a tour is planned for 2019 with stops in LA, Chicago and New York. 

SuzAnne Barabas (Director/Artistic Producer), has been the Artistic Director of NJ Rep for the past 23 years. SuzAnne is a member of Actors Equity Association, the Dramatist Guild, and the Society of Directors & Choreographers.

New Jersey Repertory Company is located at 179 Broadway in Long Branch, New Jersey. The company 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 140 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.

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