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Articles By Christopher Benincasa

PODCAST: Sesame Street's Sonia Manzano Reads Tales After Dark at Kean University

This Saturday, October 31, 2021, the hit public radio and podcast series Selected Shorts returns to Enlow Recital Hall at Kean University for an evening of beguiling tales for the Halloween season. One of the three readers is actor, writer, and creator of the new PBS Kids show “Alma’s Way,” Sonia Manzano, who is famous for her iconic, long-time role as Maria on “Sesame Street.”

PODCAST: Growing Stage Young Playwrights Competition 2021

On Saturday, September 18, four young playwrights will present four new plays at The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, in Netcong. They are the finalists in The Growing Stage’s first Playwriting Festival for Young Writers: Violet Baker, Maya Abraham, Maxine Ting, and Alethea Shirilan-Howlett.

The Lighthouse International Film Festival Leads the Way Back to the Movies

The Lighthouse International Film Festival begins its first post-lockdown, not-virtual festival on Thursday, June 3. The four-day celebration of filmmaking takes place once a year on New Jersey’s famous Long Beach Island and features cutting-edge, thought-provoking international and independent feature films, narratives, shorts, documentaries, episodics, comedies, surf films, and more.

PODCAST: And the Beat Goes On: Celebrating Arts Ed at the 2021 NJ Governor’s Awards

The 2021 New Jersey Governor’s Awards in Arts Education took place Saturday, May 22. The ceremony honored 98 students and 17 education leaders who have demonstrated excellence in and dedication to arts education. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was the second virtual Governor’s Awards in its 41-year history.

A Borderless Exhibit at the Noyes Galleries

Right now, 21 artists from 14 countries are being featured in a new exhibition at the Noyes Galleries at Kramer Hall in Hammonton. “Borderless: Digital Practices in Changing Times” can be viewed in person at Kramer Hall and online through May 9, 2021. We recently spoke with six of the artists: Khaled Hafez from Cairo, Egypt, Max de Esteban from Barcelona, Spain, Seet Van Hout and Uwe Poth from Nijmegen, Netherlands, and curators Suzanne Reese Horvitz and Robert Roesch from Philadelphia – whose studio is in the South Jersey Pinelands – about overcoming the obstacles thrown up by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Multiple GRAMMY Nominations for Westminster Choir College Alums

The 2021 GRAMMY Awards took place on Sunday, March 14, and, for the first time, a Westminster Choir College graduate participated in each of the five recordings nominated in the Best Choral Performance category. We recently spoke with five of the artists in that category – Donald Nally, Laquita Mitchell, Adam Luebke, Benedict Sheehan, and Christopher Jackson – about the nominated recordings.

"Bad Dates" at George Street Playhouse

We recently spoke with the family behind George Street Playhouse’s latest offering, “Bad Dates.” This one-woman show starring Broadway’s Andréa Burns was directed by her husband Peter Flynn, with cinematography by their son Hudson Flynn – a filmmaker and high school senior. The play, written by Theresa Rebeck, is a comedy about a single mom on the hunt for shoes, the perfect dress, and a romantic table for two at a great restaurant.

An Art School Quaranteam Keeps the Caroling Going at Kirkpatrick Chapel

Since 1958, Christmas in Carol and Song has been an annual tradition at Rutgers University’s historic Kirkpatrick Chapel in New Brunswick. Patrick Gardner, distinguished professor of music and director of choral activities at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, has led the Rutgers Kirkpatrick Choir and the Rutgers University Glee Club for more than 25 years.

Celebrating Hope, Joy, and Resilience with Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday POPS! Concert

Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday POPS! concert series is one annual tradition that will not be cancelled because of COVID-19. This year, the concert will be available virtually, free of charge, every weekend before Christmas.

PODCAST: From Fort Lee to D.C. to Bloomywood with Actor and Writer David Meyers

We recently spoke with Fort Lee, NJ native David Meyers, who left the world of Washington, D.C. politics behind to pursue a career as an actor, playwright, and screenwriter. In between projects for the stage and screen, he co-created the comedic web series “Bloomywood,” in which he stars as Hollywood hopeful Michael Bloomstein. 



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