Michael T. Mooney has devoted his life to the performing arts, having been involved as performer, writer, director, and administrator. Coming to Paper Mill Playhouse in 1994 from The Growing Stage Theatre in Netcong, New Jersey, he first served in the fundraising department and then became involved in the theatre's accessibility programming, eventually assuming full responsibility for the theatre's nationally recognized Access programs and services. In 2001, he was appointed Manager of Outreach and Access Programs, a position he designed himself. Mr. Mooney has led community drives for the Victims of 9-11, Jersey Cares, New Eyes for the Needy, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, Lainie's Angels, First Book NJ, Tsunami Relief, The American Red Cross, and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. In addition to his Access responsibilities, he also directed Paper Mill's Senior Players Workshop, managed the award-winning Adopt-a-School Project and has been both instructor and adjudicator for their STAR program. He is a founding member of LEAD and served on the board of directors for The Fund for the New Jersey Blind, The Audio-Description Coalition of America (ADC), The New Jersey Cultural Access Network, and The New Jersey Theatre Alliance. For five years, he studied directing and writing for theatre-in-the-round with England's Sir Alan Ayckbourn and has staged more than 60 productions of plays and musicals in Northern New Jersey, including the American premieres of four of Sir Alan's plays. Michael is the proud recipient of the 2008 New Jersey Governor's Award for Arts Education and the 2003 Ann Klein Advocate Award for his work with senior citizens and people with disabilities. Easter Seals New Jersey named him one of their "Miracle Workers" of 2008. He lives in Neptune, New Jersey, having also lived in Central Florida and London, England.
In 2016 playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourn premiered his 80th play that's more than double the output of England's most famous dramatist, William Shakespeare. But that number only represents his major plays.BWW Review: One Man Show SIZE MATTERS Now on DVD November 25, 2016
SIZE MATTERS starring Raymond McAnally and directed by Joel Wilson runs 66 minutes and is distributed by Mountain Mack Productions LLC and is now available fromAmazon.comBWW Review: OLIVER TWISTED by Cindy Brown June 20, 2016
PETER AND THE STARCATCHER is a bit of a homecoming for 'Jersey boy' Tim Hackney, who plays the role of Mrs. Bumbrake in the hit comedy. We caught up with the actor on the road to talk about his upcoming pit stop in the Garden State.BWW Reviews: MACDEATH by Cindy Brown February 2, 2015
Ask a theater lover what kind of music they like, and they will invariable say Sondheim or Andrew Lloyd Webber. Ask what they do for fun, and the answer will usually involve tickets to a play. Anyone who recognizes themselves as 'born in a trunk' will want to add Cindy Brown's new mystery novel, MACDEATH, to their reading list. As the title suggests, the light-hearted mystery thriller takes on the venerable Scottish play and the superstitions surrounding the time-worn tragedy. The book is billed as an 'Ivy Meadows Mystery' - the first of a series. Ivy is something akin to a modern day Nancy Drew - an eager young actress turned sleuth in modern-day Phoenix, Arizona.BWW Reviews: EBENEZER at Resorts Casino Hotel December 16, 2014
You may wonder why the Ocean Professional Theatre Company's holiday offering EBENEZER is being presented in an Atlantic City casino showroom. This charming 350-seat theatre is one of the oldest performance spaces in Atlantic City, dating back to 1912. The Screening Room is a jewel box setting in which to present one of the holiday's most enduring classics. This sort of family-driven entertainment is exactly what Atlantic City sorely needs at the moment.BWW Reviews: THE WIZARD OF OZ at Surflight Theatre December 2, 2014
This December the national tour of SISTER ACT THE MUSICAL is coming to the Garden State with stops in New Brunswick and Morristown. First up, the show will play the historic State Theatre in New Brunswick for three performances on December 12th and 13th. The SISTERs then swing back through New Jersey to perform at the Mayo Center for the Performing Arts in Morristown on January 31st and February 1st.BWW Reviews: ATG's SIZE MATTERS at Hamilton Stage, Insightful and Humorous November 18, 2014
American Theater Group is now presenting 'Size Matters' at the Hamilton Stage of Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway through November 23rd. This one man show stars Raymond McAnally who also stars in the production. Metropolitan area audiences should not miss the opportunity to see this thoughtful, humorous and important play.BWW Reviews: ANNIE GET YOUR GUN at Algonquin Arts Theatre October 28, 2014
Long after the curtain rings down on the Algonquin's near-perfect production two names will stick in your mind: Irving Berlin (natur'lly) and Carter Calvert, the Broadway star who brings Annie Oakley vividly to life on the Manasquan stage.BWW Reviews: Surflight's Singular Sensation September 2, 2014
It seems right that Surflight Theatre closes it's 2014 season with A CHORUS LINE. After 65 years as a New Jersey theatrical institution, Surflight must have hosted hundreds of such auditions, giving that first 'big break' to scores of performers.BWW Interviews: Getting INTIMATE with 1812 August 19, 2014
This year the Philadelphia FringeArts Festival will get INTIMATE. Alan Ayckbourn's INTIMATE EXCHANGES, that is. 1812 Productions returns to the Festival with a daring new production of Ayckbourn's 1982 experiment in tree drama.BWW Reviews: PYTHON Seen in Beach Haven August 12, 2014
Very rarely a Broadway musical transcends mere entertainment and becomes part of the cultural landscape. FIDDLER ON THE ROOF is such a musical. Although the word 'iconic' has been overused of late, I daresay FIDDLER has reached that status. Its themes of family, love, community and yes - tradition - have made it a transformative experience for five decades of theatergoers.BWW Reviews: Broadway at the Beach - Bart Shatto in JEKYLL & HYDE June 24, 2014
Last summer Beach Haven's Surflight Theatre came back from superstorm Sandy with a superb production of 'Les Miserables' starring Broadway's Bart Shatto as Jean Valjean. This summer, Broadway's got 'Les Mis,' but luckily the beach still has Bart. Shatto currently stars as not one, but two 19th century protagonists, 'Jekyll & Hyde,' in Frank Wildhorn's 1997 musical sensation. It's almost as if he were playing Valjean and Javert. If such a thing were possible, Shatto would be the man to do it.BWW Previews: Summer With Sir - A Season of New Productions by Sir Alan Ayckbourn May 23, 2014
Last month, Britain's most prolific playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourn celebrated his 75th birthday. With 78 major plays to his credit, the busy play maker seems more popular than ever - even on this side of the Atlantic. In fact, over the next few months, fans can see a wealth of Ayckbourn productions - all located in and around the New York area. Let's take a look at what the master playwright has in store for metro area theater-goers this summer!BWW Reviews: STAGED by Ruby Preston March 12, 2013
I'm sure author Ruby Preston is tired of her books being compared to NBC's "Smash". But with two and a half million viewers, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Both the hit TV series and Preston's novels have a bright and breezy tone matched with biting wit, all set inside the enigmatic world of the Broadway musical. Preston's novels are primarily dialogue driven, so it is not difficult to imagine them on the small screen. She even replaces 'chapters' with 'scenes'. With her newest show biz tome "Staged", Preston extends the shelf life of her heroine, producer Scarlett Savoy, the focus of her first novel, "Show Biz". In "Staged" persistent producer Scarlett is trying by hook or crook to get her first big musical to the Great White Way. In the process she is offered a somewhat indecent proposal by a smarmy theater owner that compromises her integrity but just might help get her show the prime real estate she feels it deserves. Along the way we are introduced to Scarlett's colorful array of theatrical friends who, thanks to Preston's vivid and affectionate portrayals, often threaten to upstage our intrepid producer herself. There's even a delicious eleven o'clock twist worthy of any Broadway farce. If it weren't set so squarely in the present, we might even be reading a juicy pulp novel of Broadway in the 1940's. Ruby Preston is the nom de plume of a real-life Broadway producer, so her insider's eye is spot on, while her affection for this business we call show is always apparent. Of course, all ends well for Miss Scarlett, as Preston has plans for yet a third installment in her "Broadway" trilogy. Until then, "Staged" makes perfect bed or beach reading for actors and audiences alike!