Behind the Scenes Feature 5: Centenary Stage Company
Name: Centenary Stage Company
Address: 715 Grand Avenue Hackettstown, New Jersey 07840
Phone: (908) 979-0900
Mission: Centenary Stage Company (CSC) is dedicated to making art a part of our daily lives, to present theatrical treasures rarely seen on the more commercial stages of our state, to nurture and promote the underserved voice of women writing for the theatre, and to continue a mission of outreach by sharing of artistic talents and resources with our community. We are committed to serving as a major cultural resource for Northwest New Jersey and beyond, through the presentation of a diverse array of programs dedicated to the precepts of entertainment, education and inspiration, through the exploration of ideas and practices relevant to navigating life in this rapidly changing global age. CSC believes in the value of being an integral member of the regional community, and pursues this goal through the continued presence in community organizations and ambitious outreach activities. The programs of CSC reflect our commitment to serve as a cultural resource, understanding that our community is a diverse one. With the knowledge that the arts reflect a broad diversity of cultures and aesthetics, we take seriously our position as educators as well as artists and attempt to present a varied, dynamic season which can inspire as well as educate.
Our commitment to the art of theatre is reflected in our selection of material. We do not make safe, generic choices; we produce not only new works each season, but look to re-examine neglected works by bringing these under-performed plays to the public. We do this for many reasons, not the least of which is our belief in the value of the playwright's message for society. We continue in these uncertain times to take artistic risks, and to seek new voices and daring artists.
Proudest moment(s): Taking our production of The English Bride to New York where it was performed at 59E59.
- Carl Wallnau has been Centenary's Artistic Director from the beginning, over 30 years.
- As well as their self-produced professional Equity series, CSC brings in over 100 events throughout the year including family programming, dance performances, educational touring shows for young audiences, free staged readings, unique theatrical acts as part of their annual black box series, and a big community holiday musical each year.
- CSC is in their 22nd year of their Women Playwrights Series dedicated to promoting new works by women writers through staged readings, and realizing one of those plays as a full production each year. Two recent productions have gone on to play successfully in New York and London. Along with the WPS, they also offer a writing workshop that is free and open to the public.
- CSC is one of the few theatres in the state to help train aspiring young musical theatre performers through their Young Performers Workshop and Tyro Acting Programs.
- CSS is commited to educational theatre with their Young Audience Series, creating performances and programs for all age groups ranging from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie to their new involvement with Shakesperience - which is currently being offered free to local schools, with an intenion to expand into Western New Jersey and beyond.
- The Lackland Center, which opened in 2010, is a new facility offering multiple performance spaces, including the 500 seat Sitnik Theatre.
- As CSC says: "We really do have something for everyone!"