David Hyde Pierce, Kristine Nielsen to Be Featured in NJTV's STATE OF THE ARTS, 9/30

A Bucks County farmhouse is the setting for Christopher Durang's new comedy,VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, starring Sigourney Weaver, David Hyde Pierce, and Kristine Nielsen. NJTV's STATE OF THE ARTS visits the playwright in his own Bucks County farmhouse, and talks to Hyde Pierce and Nielsen about working with Durang, who is also their longtime friend and colleague.

Durang will receive one of the highest honors in the field of letters, the PEN Literary Award for Master American Dramatist, in October. His Chekov inspired dark comedy "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" premieres at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton before moving on to Lincoln Center in November. STATE OF THE ARTS "VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE," THE NJSO AT Carnegie Hall airs on September 30, 2012 at 8pm on NJTV

Also on the show, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra plays Carnegie Hall, one of the most famous concert venues in the world. State of the Arts explores why the hall is so extraordinary and why it meant so much to New Jersey's premier orchestra.

Plus, studio visits with two New Jersey artists. Pat Brentano had an epiphany several ago as she watched her neighbors cut down all the trees in their front yard. Her work is now largely about the preservation and restoration of the natural world, particularly hard hit areas of New Jersey. Visit Brentano at her Westfield, NJ studio and at the opening of an exhibit at Kean University featuring her paper cut installation, Bird Apocalypse.

Frenchtown artist Shea Hembrey was born into a family of farmers, factory workers, hunters, trappers, musicians, and cockfighters in Hickory Grove, Arkansas. A 2011 TED Talk featured his acclaimed project SEEK. Hembrey's new exhibition (on view at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in Manhattan) visualizes his 20 year exploration of dark matter and dark energy. According to Hembrey, "When I first heard about dark matter, the first visual that I immediately connected to this mystery was what I see when my eyes are closed: that mercurial, unfixing, shifting darkness. It is a visual that is intimate and continuously available yet it is also vast and unobtainable."

Also coming up on NJTV:

DRIVING JERSEY: JAWS/JOAnna White (MONMOUTH SPCA) on Tuesday, September 18 at 10pm and Sunday, September 2 at 5:30pm

JAWS was recently shown on the big screen at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ and Driving Jersey interviews attending fans about their love of the film and how it affected them in the 1970s and even today. A second segment features JoAnna White, a woman who volunteers her time at the SPCA in Monmouth County socializing animals, preparing them for adoption. The episode concludes with a performance video by local singer Emily Grove.

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