As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recommendation from medical experts of the need for social distancing, the annual Stages Festival is not able to be produced this year as originally intended. However, the New Jersey Theatre Alliance staff is proud to introduce Stages Online. Stages Online is a digital platform for audiences to engage with virtual opportunites from our member theatres within the safety of their homes. While many Stages Festival events are being rescheduled for later dates, below you will find opportunities such as virtual play readings, classes, and educational resources.
Stages Online is a CELEBRATION of New Jersey theatre during difficult times!
Please note that events will be updated on a weekly basis.
Stages Online is made possible by generous funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, Bank of America,The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, OceanFirst Foundation; the George A. Ohl, Jr. Trust; New Jersey Historical Commission; and Fund for the New Jersey Blind.
Stages Online Offerings:
- Weekly themed offerings from The Growing Stage: The Children's Theatre of New Jersey- TGS TV: Online Creative Arts: A free and easy online hub to incorporate theatre and the arts into your daily schedule of distance learning at home. Each week, The Growing Stage: The Children's Theatre of New Jersey will share a new theme with corresponding ONLINE and OFFLINE educational activities to enrich your child’s learning experience and have a little fun too.
- Luna Stage Company- Secret Cities: Songs of Unsung Heroes: In the face of COVID-19, this original song cycle reflects the acts of kindness that transform our everyday lives. Illuminating the stories that weave our communities together, Songs for Unsung Heroes is the newest installment of Secret Cities, Luna Stage’s ongoing collaboration with local artists and community members to celebrate the rich history of the Oranges.
- Pushcart Players- A More Perfect Union Online: Over the next four weeks, Pushcart will post a lesson plan that corresponds with a 15 minute video selection of A MORE PERFECT UNION. Please feel free to utilize the lesson plans, study guides and videos to enhance your distance learning options. This show is appropriate for instruction in theater, history, social studies, and civics.
- George Street Playhouse is offering a four-part virtual residency to pre-K students. Each part features a short, original story and illustrations told both in English and Spanish, with accompanying activities for students and families to do at home. Looking for a simple digital vocal and physical warm-up that students can do at home? Check out GSP's Hello Sun Challenge. The Lincoln Annex Ensemble Project offers digital review of one musical from one class from the 4th grade students of Lincoln Annex in New Brunswick Public Schools. These musicals are written, composed, designed and performed by the students with the support of GSP Teaching Artists Dustin Ballard and Dave Seamon
- The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey: Shakespeare LIVE!- Video content, activity suggestions, study guides, and other prompts to aid you in your teaching of Shakespeare. Enjoy videos and study materials for Julius Ceasar and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
- Updated every Tuesday; 4:00PM: McCarter Theatre Center- Creative Tuesdays: Students are invited to come together each week to share in creative virtual experiences. Themes, classes, content and age groups will vary each week.
- Wednesday, June 24; 6:00PM: Cape May Stage- Lecture series – Twi McCallum- Sound Design: Sound design is the invisible force of a production. There are 3 types of sound cues, including dialogue, foley, and music. This lecture will show examples of each cue designed for a Cape May Stage production last season as well as the dramaturgy and engineering behind getting the right cue.
- Tuesday, June 30; 7:30PM: The Theater Project- Dragons in the Crease: Based on a real event, the play concerns a college student with a severe stutter who has been asked by his professor not to
speak in class but instead write his questions down. Because of the media coverage that ensues, the incident becomes a national news story, changing both their lives forever.
- Thursday, July 2; 7:00PM: Cape May Stage- Reading of “America’s Sexiest Couple” by Ken Levine: Two actors, who were “America’s Sexiest Couple” on a popular ‘80s sitcom reunite for the first time in 30 years. They face a lifetime of unresolved issues, longings, resentments, and regrets. Plus, the network wants to reboot the show. Career and personal aspirations collide. Professionally and personally, where do they go from here?
- Monday, July 6; 8:00PM: Cape May Stage- Broadway Series – Storm Large: musician, actor, playwright, and author. She shot to national prominence in 2006 as a finalist on the CBS show Rock Star: Supernova, where despite having been eliminated in the week before the finale, Storm built a fanbase that follows her around the world to this day.
- Wednesday, July 8; 8:00PM: Cape May Stage- Steel Magnolias Cast Reunion: Cape May Stage presented a production of the much-loved play Steel Magnolias. This reunion will bring all the cast members together (virtually) to reminisce and share behind the scenes stories. This lecture will also give a fascinating insight into the rehearsal process of a play going from the page to the stage.
- Monday, July 13; 8:00PM: Cape May Stage- Broadway Series – Quarantine with Constantine Maroulis- Constantine Maroulis is an accomplished actor, producer, singer and songwriter best known for his Tony-nominated performance in Rock of Ages and his epic run as a finalist during the heyday of American Idol His new original album, Until I’m Wanted, is expected to be released soon.
- Thursday, July 16; 7:00PM: Cape May Stage- Reading of American Son by Christopher Demos-Brown- American Son was inspired by the mother of a woman who worked as a prosecutor with Chris and Stephanie. The play, which had its world premiere at Barrington Stage Company in 2016, follows a mother engaged in a search for her missing son at a Florida police station in the middle of the night.
- Monday, July 20; 8:00PM: Cape May Stage- Ann Hampton Callaway - Jazz Meets Broadway- Back by popular demand, Tony-nominated Broadway and jazz star Ann Hampton Callaway returns with her acclaimed show “Jazz Meets Broadway.” Cabaret Scenes Magazine wrote of the NY premiere, “Callaway explores the crossroads of jazz and show tunes and expertly illuminates the nuances in these lyrics with such dexterity that lines that have been heard a multitude of times before sound completely new…her newest showing only cements her supreme storytelling ability and flair as a detective of the human spirit.
- Healing Voices: Caregivers' Stories: This year's participating theatres are offering virtual workshops to participants throughout the spring. Dates for final presentations are yet TBA.
- Sunday, April 26; 7:30PM: The Theater Project- Streaming Passion: A virtual play reading by Marc Palmieri about a live conference call as the techno-challenged members of a small church struggle to mount their annual Passion Play for an online performance during the Easter season lockdown. The suggested donation is $5.
- Tuesday, April 28; 7:00PM: McCarter Theatre Center- Shakespeare Community Reading Group: McCarter hosts a casual monthly Shakespeare Community Reading Group—now in its 5th year!—for people of all ages and levels of experience. This is a casual and fun way to personally experience Shakespeare’s words and characters. All are welcome and no experience necessary!
- Wednesday, May 6, 11:00AM: Two River Theater- Story Time with Sarah: Pamela's First Musical: Two River’s very own Pamela (Sarah McKinley Austin) shares Wendy Wasserstein’s story about a young girl’s first Broadway show experience with her glamorous Aunt Louise (and all the adventures in between)! Recommended for ages 5-10.
- Wednesday, May 6; 7:00PM: Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre in collboration with The Theater Project- Black/Out Stories: a virtual play reading by Steve Harper about the narrator's search for a pattern in black people's coming out experiences that will somehow illuminate his own, and help him to understand his place in the larger community. Highly personal, sometimes painful and sometimes funny, interviews with a variety of people willing to share their coming out stories are laced with his own quest for peace and clarity.
- Wednesday, May 6; 7:00PM: Art House Productions- Virtual Drinks with INK: Grab a coffee, seltzer, or glass of wine and join Art House for a conversation with the current INKubator cohort. Resident Director Alex Tobey will moderate a discussion with this year’s playwrights about their history, their process, and their latest and greatest obsessions, followed by a short question and answer session with the audience. This year's cohort of playwrights include Kev Berry, J. Julian Christopher, Alyssa Haddad, Christopher Rashee-Stevenson, Leila Teitelman, and Colin Waitt.
- Wednesday, May 13; 7:00PM: Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre- A Virtual Reading of Tracy Jones by Steven Harper. Tracy Jones has rented out the back "party room" of Jones Street Bar and Grill: the Place for Wings and Things, a typical chain restaurant. Tracy Jones is throwing a party to which she's invited every woman in the world who is also named Tracy Jones. Tracy Jones has been sitting for over an hour alone, nursing her Diet Coke, waiting for any other Tracy Joneses to show up. Tracy Jones' epic loneliness is about to be tested beyond anything she ever imagined.
- Wednesday, May 20; 11:00AM: Two River Theater- Story Time with Jenna: Where the Wild Things Are: Sail along with Max to the land of the Wild Things as Associate Director of Marketing Jenna Castano shares this beloved classic. The reading is suitable for ages seven and younger.
- Wednesday, May 20; 7:00PM: Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre- A Virtual Reading of The Buzzer by chandra thomas. Set in Newark, The Buzzer is the story of a couple of young professionals moving into, and perhaps changing forever, a new neighborhood. As they struggle with personal questions about the future of their relationship and their desire - or not - to have children of their own, a young boy and his social worker change the direction of their future. With humor and warmth, the play explores the interconnectedness of its characters, and the responsibility we all have to each other and to our communities.
- Thursday, May 21; 7:00PM: Cape May Stage: Reading of an Excerpt from A Song at Twilight by Noel Coward: Join Cape May Stage via Facebook Live as they stream a live reading of an excerpt from A Song at Twilight by Noel Coward. Reading by Roy Steinberg, Marlena Lustik, and Mitchell Malnati. Stage Directions by Mitchell Malnati.
- Friday, May 22; 6:30PM: McCarter Theatre Center- Execution of Justice: A virtual community reading of McCarterTheatre Center's Artistic Director and Resident Playwright Emily Mann’s award-winning docudrama Execution of Justice. The documentary play chronicles the murder trial of Dan White, who, in 1978, assassinated San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and openly-gay City Supervisor Harvey Milk. Crafted entirely from trial transcripts, reportage, interviews, and words from “the street,” the play examines historical, yet timely, issues of civil/human rights, legal vs. judicial justice, the miscarriage of justice, and political violence in America, The reading, a community partnership project with the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice,—which falls on the 90th Anniversary of the birth of Harvey Milk—will be followed by a facilitated talking-circle discussion of the experience of the play in relation to contemporary concerns, events, and personal resonance. Registration is required to participate. Please be sure to read all of the information detailed on the online registration form.
- Wednesday, May 27; 7:00PM: Hudson Theatre Works- Bird In a Box: Bird In a Box by Joanne Hoersch. Two sisters, two very different memories of their shared childhood. With Joanne Hoersch, Gloria Lamoureux, directed by Frank Licato, produced by Adrian Wattenmaker with music by Donald Stark and Zachary Licato. The reading will premiere on Hudson Theatre Works' Youtube channel.
- Monday, June 1- Paper Mill Playhouse- Rising Stars Honors: A montage of school video submissions of the shows that happened, or didn’t happen, sharing highlights of their performances or rehearsals. Rising Stars Honors will be hosted by premiere at 7PM on Paper Mill Playhouse’s Facebook page as a Premiere video.
- Wednesday, June 17; 11:00AM: Two Tiver Theater- Story Time with Evan: The Rainbow Fish: Join TRT Box Office Supervisor, Evan Kudish, on Facebook Live as he shares this classic tale about a beautiful fish who learns to share his most prized possession. The reading of The Rainbow Fish is a salute to our 2017 production brought to life with enchanting puppetry by Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia. Suitable for ages seven and younger.
Looking for more virtual theatre opportunities?
Art House Productions: Art House Online offers an array of virtual offerings such as Drag Bingo, Saturday Night Online Online Gallery, and Virtual Story Slams.
East Lynne Theater Company: During this time of staying in, ELTC is bringing a different short story to you through thier YouTube Channel, every Thursday.
Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre: Join Dreamcatcher Rep for virtual improv classes, virtual play readings, and digital performances.
McCarter Theatre Center: McCarter@Home offers weekly classes, conversations, interviews, and opportunities to participate.
New Jersey Repertory Theatre Company: Beyond the Curtain at NJ Rep asks friends of NJ Rep to reflect on thier time working at the theatre.
Paper Mill Playhouse: Paper Mill’s spring six-week Theater School session will move online and worldwide! Join their award-winning faculty of theater artists for small group classes, or a private voice lesson or coaching session. Join thier College Discovery Seminar for musical theater and theater for students and parents.
Pushcart Players: Enjoy full access to these study guides and vides recordings for Ellis Island: Gateway To America for a limited time, while students are continuing their studies from home.
The Theater Project: The Theater Project is zooming. Join them on Saturday afternoons for virtual play readings,
Two River Theater: Watch, share, and engage with the Two River staff daily for artist features, at-home activities, crafts, classes, workshops and more!
More virtual opportunities from the New Jersey arts community.
Discover Jersey Arts @HOME has compiled virtual experiences from amazing arts groups from all over the state – workshops with local artists, shows with international stars, performances of national tours, regional plays, comedy, art prompts, poetry slams, classes, living room musicals, and so much more.
The Theatre Alliance staff is reguraly monitoring the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to adjust Stages Festival programming as necessary. For questions or concerns, please contact Deonté Griffin-Quick, Manager of Programs and Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In keeping with its commitment to making theatre accessible, the Alliance strives to make Stages Online events accessible to all people with disabilities. If you require a specific accommodation for a Stages Online event, including ASL interpretation or open captioning, please contact Deonté Griffin-Quick at 973-731-6582 x 14 or email@example.com at least two weeks before the event.