(MAPLEWOOD, NJ) -- The Theater Project, a leading incubator for rising talent and a showcase for New Jersey artists, will reopen for live performances in Maplewood, NJ’s Burgdorff Cultural Center on July 7. The award-winning company will offer three plays in three months, including two by NJ playwrights Mary Jane Walsh and Bill Mesce, Jr.
Mary Jane Walsh's Finishing It Off! is a play about the tears, laughter, and faces of eldercare—the caregivers, the cared for, and the neglected (July 7-17). Filled with humor, rage, and love, the play looks irreverently and tenderly at the issues that confront the aging and their caretakers. Four women perform a dozen monologues from the points of view of the family, the caregiver, the cared for, and the neglected.
It will be followed by playwright/ novelist/screenwriter Bill Mesce, Jr ’s A Jersey Cantata, concerning the lives and loves of the “boys" from an old Italian neighborhood (August 18-28). Big Sal from the deli, Francis the local funeral director, Go-go bar owner Caruso and IQ-challenged Albie, friends since childhood. They are all singing the same tune, no matter how offkey: A Jersey Cantata.
5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche, by Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood, is an interactive comedy about a 1950s cooking contest interrupted by a Cold War air raid siren (September 8-18). It’s 1956 and the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein are having their annual quiche contest (“no men, no meat, all manners”) when the atomic bomb sirens sound! Has the ever-present Communist threat come to pass? Will the white gloves come off to fight for home and country? Most important -- will good taste save the day?
Performances are Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8:00pm, Sunday at 2:00pm. FlexPasses, single tickets, and information for all three shows are available at The Theater Project. The Burgdorff Cultural Center is located at 10 Durand Road in Maplewood, New Jersey.
Determined to keep live theater affordable, The Theater Project is returning with pre-Covid pricing: $25 for single tickets, with discounts for students, seniors and groups. FlexPasses allow patrons to see all three plays for $50.
“We are so grateful to the audience and creative community who have kept our programs alive on virtual platforms for the last two years. We have learned so much about technology’s possibilities to support and enhance live theater,” says Artistic Director Mark Spina, “But now, we are excited about reconnecting with real people in real time in a real space.” Masks and proof of vaccination will be required at all performances, as per Actors’ Equity union requirements.
The Theater Project was founded in 1994. For over twenty years, under the leadership of Mark Spina, Artistic Director, they have provided well-rounded programs on a relatively small budget to audiences who relish and seek out stimulating, new theater.
Providing a forum to express ideas that spark the imagination, and challenge the mind is what they strive to do. Encouraging audiences to think beyond the status quo and elevate the discourses around important contemporary issues is germane to their purpose.
Most importantly, their audiences are willing to take a chance on a title or author they have never encountered before, knowing they will be engaged, challenged and entertained.