The 2017 NJPAC Stage Exchange commissions were given to three extraordinary playwrights: Joel Stone, Nicole Pandolfo, and Pia Wilson.
March 2018, at New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Parsonnet Room, One Center Street, Newark, NJ - FREE, Reservations required. RSVP here.
Join us at a special kick-off event at NJPAC in March 2018 as part of The Stages Festival. Actors and playwrights will give you a glance into each piece, a special Q&A with the artists, and the chance to mingle with the three commissioned New Jersey playwrights as well as the artistic directors of the 2018 Stage Exchange partner theaters; Centenary Stage Company , The Growing Stage, and Two River Theater.
Stage Exchange Reading on Friday, March 2, 2018, 7:00 pm, at NJPAC. Tickets are $5.00.
THE PLAY, Turning, a play about the young women from New Jersey who competed in the first women’s gymnastics (“turning”) Olympic event in 1936, in Berlin. This was the first year that women’s gymnastics was included in the Olympics, so this was the first time that world-class gymnastics coaches had to coach women. Women’s turning was a taboo sport, and some of the team members had to rise above resistance from their fathers and husbands. It was their first boat trip to Europe, and they had to learn etiquette because they were invited to balls where the four-foot-nothings danced with Jesse Owens, and social functions where they were greeted by Adolf Hitler.
THE PLAYWRIGHT: Darrah Cloud is currently working on a new musical, SABINA, at The Cell in NYC. Her most recent full-length play, OUR SUBURB, premiered at Theater J in Washington, DC in 2014 and was recently produced at Center Stage in Rochester. Her play for teens, JOAN THE GIRL OF ARC, premiered at Cincinnati Playhouse in January, 2014, then toured. Other plays produced in New York, Europe and across the U.S. include WHAT’S BUGGING GREG?, THE STICK WIFE, (Manhattan Theatre Club, Victory Gardens, LATC, Trinity Rep, etc) THE MUD ANGEL, DREAM HOUSE, BRAILLE GARDEN and THE SIRENS. Her musicals include HEARTLAND, (Goodspeed Opera, Madison Repertory Theatre, The Majestic Theatre/Dallas, TheatreWorks Palo Alto) THE BOXCAR CHILDREN (Theatreworks USA), HONOR SONG FOR CRAZY HORSE (TheatreWorks Palo Alto) and the stage adaptation of Willa Cather’s O PIONEERS!, which has received over 100 productions in the United States and was filmed starring Mary McDonnell for American Playhouse. Her plays are published by Dramatic Play Publishing, and she has won numerous awards, including the Macy’s Prize for Theatre for Young Audiences, an NEA and a Rockefeller. She has had over 10 movies-of-theweek produced on CBS and NBC, is a proud alum of the Iowa Writers Workshop and New Dramatists. She teaches at Goddard College.
THE PARTNERING THEATRE: Centenary Stage Company
Stage Exchange Reading on Friday, April 20, 2017, 7:00 pm at NJPAC. Tickets are $5.00.
THE PLAY, Stephen Fredericks’ idea for a play emerged when he redeemed his wife’s holiday gift: a genealogy research service. Mr. Fredericks discovered that his grandmother had immigrated to the U.S. from Norway in the early 1900s when she was 14 years old, and went right to work as a domestic servant. He decided to meld the story of his grandmother’s immigration with the story of a Syrian girl, also 14, who flees to the U.S. as a refugee in the 21st century.
THE PLAYWRIGHT: As founder and Executive Director of The Growing Stage – The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, Stephen has directed and designed the majority of productions for our professional AEA company. Works under his direction range from THE MIRACLE WORKER to THE MASQUE OF BEAUTY & THE BEAST - THE SECRET GARDEN to LILY’S PURPLE PLASTIC PURSE – SALT AND PEPPER to THE HOBBIT. As a playwright he has adapted and written over a dozen plays for young people either by himself or in collaboration with TGS Resident Artist Perry Arthur Kroeger. Together they have written THE STORY OF THE NUTCRACKER; THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN, ARIZONA; and ALICE IN WONDERLAND performed with Bunraku puppetry. By himself, some of Stephen’s works include THE TALES OF BEATRIX POTTER; SNOW WHITE & THE SEVEN DWARFS; THE LIFE & ADVENTURES OF SANTA CLAUS and A BOY CALLED CINDER. Through The Growing Stage’s New Play Reading Festival he has directed the East Coast premiere production of Anne Negri’s WITH TWO WINGS; and the World Premieres of both Susan Rowen Master’s THE SECRET LIFE OF HUBIE HARTZEL, Emily Freeman’s AND THEN CAME TANGO Casey Daigle-Oriens THE BOOK OF D, and most recently J.S. Puller’s THE BOX OF STORIES. In the first six years of the New Play Reading Festival four of the works have gone on to publication.
In 2008 Stephen received the Sara Spencer Award from the American Alliance for Theatre & Education for making a significant contribution to the field of professional theatre for young audiences. Committed for the past thirty-five years to the genre, Stephen recently served as the Lead Chair of the PLOTYA negotiations with Actor’s Equity for the TYA contract that will run to 2019 which includes for the first time a new play development piece within the agreement. Stephen is a graduate of Arizona State University.
THE PARTNERING THEATRE: The Growing Stage was founded by Executive Director Stephen L. Fredericks in 1982 with a small professional staff, a dedicated corps of volunteers and a dream to bring quality professional theatre to children and their families. Initially, Main Stage productions were performed at the Black River Playhouse and the Williamson School in Chester, New Jersey. As our audience and our reputation for outstanding children’s theatre grew, the company embarked on a journey to create the only performing arts center in the state dedicated solely to young people and their families.
Stage Exchange Reading on Friday, May 25, 2018, 7:00 pm at NJPAC. Tickets are $5.00.
THE PLAY, Two River has commissioned Saracho to write a play that will speak directly to the concerns of Red Bank’s Latino community—drawn from the experiences and challenges specific to this community in this particular place. The play tells the story of a Central American immigrant boy struggling to assimilate on the Jersey Shore.
THE PLAYWRIGHT: Tanya Saracho was born in Sinaloa, México. She is a playwright and television writer who’s worked on “How to Get Away with Murder,” HBO’s “Looking,” “Girls,” and “Devious Maids.” Named “Best New Playwright” by Chicago Magazine, Saracho has had plays produced at: Primary Stages in NYC, 2nd Stage in NYC, Denver Theatre Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Teatro Vista, Teatro Luna, Fountain Theater, Clubbed Thumb, NEXT Theater and 16th Street Theater. Saracho was named one of nine national Latino "Luminarios" by Café magazine and given the first "Revolucionario" Award in Theater by the National Museum of Mexican Art. She is the founder of Teatro Luna (the first all-Latina Theatre Company in the nation) as well as the founder of ALTA (Alliance of Latino Theatre Artists). She is currently in development at STARZ and with Big Beach Films and under commission with: South Coast Repertory Theatre and Two River Theater. Tanya is a proud SAG/AFTRA actor.
THE PARTNERING THEATRE: Joan and Dr. Robert M. Rechnitz established Two River in 1994 to produce world-class theater for an audience that would cherish the experience as an intimate one, enriched and deepened when it is shared with a community of others. In 1997, under the leadership of our founders and Two River’s first Artistic Director, Jonathan Fox, the theater moved from the campus of Monmouth University (where Dr. Rechnitz was a Professor of American Literature) to the Algonquin Arts Theatre in Manasquan. Recent notable productions at Two River include the world premieres of Madeleine George’s Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England, directed by Ken Rus Schmoll; a new family musical, A Wind in the Willows Christmas, written by composer Mike Reid, lyricist Sarah Schlesinger and bookwriter Mindi Dickstein; and Andrea Thome’s Pinkolandia, which was produced as part of Lark Play Development Center’s “Launching New Plays into the Repertoire Initiative” supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Other notable productions include The Electric Baby, for which playwright Stefanie Zadravec received the Francesca Primus Prize, directed by May Adrales; August Wilson’s Jitney and Two Trains Running, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson; Noël Coward’s Present Laughter, directed by David Lee; and Meredith Willson’s The Music Man: In Concert, co-presented with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.