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NJ Rep to Present the World Premiere of "Welcome To Matteson!"

originally published: 09/07/2023

NJ Rep to Present the World Premiere of "Welcome To Matteson!"

(LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- New Jersey Repertory Company (NJ Rep) will close out its successful season with the World Premiere of Welcome To Matteson! written by Inda Craig-Galván and directed by Dawn Monique Williams. It will begin performances on September 28 before its opening night on Saturday, September 30, and run through October 29, 2023.

A suburban couple hosts a welcome-to-the-neighborhood dinner party for their new neighbors — a couple recently relocated from Cabrini Green, Chicago's roughest housing project — and it's anything but welcoming. A dark comedy about reverse gentrification and how we deal with the "other" when the other looks just like us.

"Welcome to Matteson! brilliantly exposes the layers of reverse gentrification with a dark comedic touch. Inda Craig-Galvan's thought-provoking play challenges us to confront our notions of 'otherness' when it's cloaked in familiarity. A compelling exploration of human connections that resonate deeply. We are so happy to provide this play with its World Premiere."  - SuzAnne Barabas, Artistic Director of NJREP.

NJ Rep to Present the World Premiere of "Welcome To Matteson!"

The cast includes MaConnia Chesser (NY:  Cell), De'Lon Grant (Broadway's Come from Away), Charlie Hudson, III (Off Broadway: Nollywood Dreams) and Cynthia Kaye McWilliams (TV's "Average Joe,” "Bosch").

The creative team includes set design by Jessica Parks, lighting design by Jill Nagle, sound design by Nick Simone, costume design by Patricia E. Doherty, technical director Brian Snyder, and production stage manager is Kristin Pfeifer, and assistant stage manager is Rachael Malloy.

Tickets are available for purchase online or by calling 732-229-3166. Welcome to Matteson! will play on Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00pm, Saturdays at 3:00pm & 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:00pm. Added performance: Friday, October 13 at 3:00pm.  

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

INDA CRAIG-GALVÁN (Playwright) Inda Craig-Galván writes stuff – mostly plays and TV Her work often explores intra-racial conflicts and politics within the African-American community. Grounded in reality with a touch of magical realism that fucks with time & memories. Inda's currently developing new works of theatre on commission with The Old Globe and Round House Theatre. Produced plays include a hit dog holler (Skylight Theatre & Playwrights' Arena co-production, Los Angeles), Black Super Hero Magic Mama (Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles) I Go Somewhere Else (Playwrights' Arena, Los Angeles). Inda is the recipient of the Kesselring Prize, Jeffry Melnick New Playwright Award, Blue Ink Playwriting Prize, Jane Chambers Student Award for Feminist Playwriting, and Stage Raw Best Playwright Award. Inda's plays have been included on the Kilroys List (twice) and Steppenwolf Theatre's The Mix. Inda has developed & presented work at Bay Area Playwrights Festival, NNPN Showcase, Ashland New Play Festival, Orlando Shakes, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Black Swan Lab, The Old Globe Powers New Voices Festival, Kitchen Dog Theatre New Works Festival, Black & Latino Playwrights Conference, WomenWorks, Humanitas, Chalk Repertory Theatre, Skylight Theatre, San Francisco Playhouse, Trustus Theatre Playwrights Festival, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, Intiman, and others. Aside from theatre, Inda is a TV writer on the upcoming series: "Will Trent" (ABC). She previously wrote on the JJ Abrams series "Demimonde" (HBO), the upcoming "Happy Face" (Paramount+), "How to Get Away with Murder" (ABC), and "The Rookie" (ABC). She is in development with Universal TV Studios to write, and executive produce "Cotton Club Princess," adapted from the novel by Karla Diggs. a hit dog will holler, Inda's 4-episode fiction podcast adapted from her play, was produced by and is available now wherever you get your podcasts. 

DAWN MONIQUE WILLIAMS (Director) served four years as the Associate Artistic Director at Aurora Theatre Company and was the Artistic Associate and a resident artist at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for six seasons before that. Williams is a nationally celebrated director with an MA in Dramatic Literature and an MFA in Directing. Dawn is a proud member of SDC.

MACONNIA CHESSER (she/her/hers) - I am thrilled and grateful to be working again with NJ Rep! Previous credits include work with Ensemble Studio Theatre, Shakespeare & Company, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, WAM Theatre, Ancram Opera House, Kennedy Center, Theater Alliance, Tennessee Shakespeare, African Continuum Theatre, & Totem Pole Playhouse. For my mom Dorothy D. Scott Chesser, and my friend Dennis Krausnick.

DE’LON GRANT spent five years on Broadway in Come From Away, and also stars in the live capture currently streaming on Apple TV+. He spent three years touring domestically and internationally in the Broadway musical Jersey Boys. He is the co-creator, co-producer and co-host of a new podcast called Lemme Fix It, available wherever you  get your favorite podcasts.

CHARLIE HUDSON, III – B’WAY: A Raisin in the Sun.  OFF B’WAY: Nollywood Dreams, (A) Loft Modulation, Hurt Village.  SELECTED - Regional: King Hedley II, A Raisin …, Seven Guitars, Clybourne Park, Beneatha’s Place, Piano Lesson, Master Harold…, Fly, Richard III, Mother Courage;  TV: Archive 81, Manifest, The Good Fight, Unforgettable, Rosa Parks Story, and Raisin … “Revisited”; Film: Roxanne, Roxanne; Twelve; Lillian.  Thank you to my family for their love and support.

CYNTHIA KAYE MCWILLIAMS: Selected TV: Average Joe, Prince of Peoria, Coyote, The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, Prison Break, Nashville, Bosch, Bosch: Legacy, Love is a Four Letter Word. Selected Film: Hard Miles, The Lake House. Cynthia worked with Inda Craig-Galvan on BlackSuperHeroMagicMama and is excited to be back on the stage working on her favorite piece from this playwright!  

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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 world premieres. The theater has the additional distinction of having had many of its plays produced by other theaters around the country totaling over 300 subsequent productions in the US 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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