Premiere Stages Celebrates 10th Anniversary Season with New Initiatives

Premiere Stages Celebrates 10th Anniversary Season with New Initiatives

Premiere Stages, the professional theatre company in residence at Kean University, has announced it will kick off its landmark 10th Anniversary Season with the launch of two new play development initiatives, the Premiere Play Festival Alumni Reading Series, and the Bauer-Boucher Kean Student/Alumni Reading.

The Premiere Play Festival Alumni Reading Series will provide additional support to professional playwrights Premiere Stages has developed in the past, while the Bauer-Boucher Kean Student/Alumni Reading - named for longtime Premiere Stages patrons W. John Bauer and Nancy Boucher - will showcase the work of a gifted Kean University student or alumni playwright. Tariq Hamami, who graduated from Kean in 2006, and 2006/2010 Play Festival Finalist Tammy Ryan have been named as beneficiaries.

Premiere Stages will present the inaugural edition of the Play Festival Alumni Reading Series, Tammy Ryan's Soldier's Heart, on Thursday, February 6th at 7 p.m. in New York City. The reading will take place at 520 8th Avenue on the 3rd Floor, and feature Premiere Stages favorite and Emmy Award-winning actress Kim Zimmer. In Ms. Ryan's affecting new play, an American soldier leaves her son behind to defend the country she loves. When her commanding officer becomes her assailant, she returns home to face her greatest test, bringing back more than she bargained for. Seating for this reading is extremely limited, and can be reserved by calling 908-737-4092 or emailing Premiere Stages will present a full production of Soldier's Heart, a finalist for the 2013 Premiere Stages Play Festival, at Kean University July 10 - 27.

Premiere's first Bauer-Boucher Kean Student/Alumni Reading will feature an intriguing new work by Kean graduate Tariq Hamami. In The One, Percy Ent, a couple anxiously awaits the arrival of Percy Ent, a rich man who has the power to provide an escape from their mundane and empty world. Upon meeting Percy, the couple soon discover that there are significant strings attached to his promise of a better life. The One, Percy Ent will receive a free public reading in the Kean University Center Little Theatre, located at 1000 Morris Avenue in Union, on Wednesday, January 29 at 7 p.m. All seats for this reading are free, though reservations are strongly recommended; those interested in reserving are encouraged to call 908-737-4092 or email A reception will be held honoring the playwright, Ms. Boucher and Mr. Bauer following the reading. "John and Nancy have been extremely supportive of Premiere's commitment to new play development. We are honored and excited to officially make them part of the Premiere Stages family through this new initiative," stated John Wooten, Producing Artistic Director.

Tammy Ryan's award-winning plays have been commissioned, developed and performed across the United States and internationally at such theaters as The Alliance Theater Company, Florida Stage, Marin Theater Company, Dallas Children's Theater, Dorset Theater Festival, Stamford Theater Works, 29th Street Rep, City Theater Company, The Pittsburgh Playhouse and Bricolage Production Company, among many others. Her play Dark Part of the Forest won the 2006 Premiere Stages Play Festival and was subsequently published by Broadway Play Publishing. Her acclaimed play Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods was developed as part of the 2010 Premiere Stages Play Festival, was the recipient of the Francesca Primus Prize, awarded by the American Theater Critics Association, and was published by Dramatic Play Publishing.

Kean University graduate Tariq Hamami is an associate member of Original Binding Productions and a board member of Playsmiths, a NYC-based collective of theatre artists. His plays include The Town of No One (FringeNYC '11), White Picket Fences (Access Theatre '13), Spite (FringeNYC '08), Everything Will Be Alright (Horace Mann Theatre & BMCC '09), and Queen Elizabeth of Factory Fifteen, a 2011 finalist in the Samuel French OOB Festival.

Premiere Stages offers air-conditioned facilities and free parking close to the fully accessible spaces. Free or discounted tickets for patrons with disabilities are available. Please call for a list of sign-interpreted, audio-described, or open-captioned performances. Assistive listening devices and large print programs are available upon request. Publications in alternate forms are available with advanced notice.

Pictured: Tammy Ryan's new play, Soldier's Heart, will receive a reading in New York on February 6th.2. Playwright Tariq Hamami is a 2006 graduate of Kean University.

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