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American Theater Group and Producing Artistic Director James Vagias present the Tony Award-winning musical The Bridges of Madison County at the South Orange Performing Arts Center June 20-30. Based on the best-selling novel and hit film starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood, The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller was developed by the Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning creative team of Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five Years, Parade, Songs for a New World) and Marsha Norman (The Color Purple, The Secret Garden, 'night Mother).

The Bridges of Madison County is a sweeping romance and tells the story of an Italian war bride's passionate affair with a charismatic travelling photographer from National Geographic. This Tony-award winning musical features a celebrated romantic score and speaks to the roads we travel, the doors we open and the bridges we dare to cross. It asks the eternal question 'what if'..."

The production features Jennifer Ellis, Bryant Martin and Jared Bradshaw with Tait Ruppert, Deborah Tranelli, Alex Carr, Courtney Martin, Jodie Ann Evans, Brigitte Francis, Jackson Mattek and Andrew Winans completing the cast. The Bridges of Madison County is directed and choreographed by Merete Muenter with music direction by W.Brent Sawyer. Keith Levenson is the conductor and musical supervisor. Sawyer and Levenson have numerous Broadway credits and Levenson was the music conductor/supervisor for the First National Tour of The Bridges of Madison County.

The Bridges of Madison County runs June 20-30, 2019 at The South Orange Performing Arts Center, One SOPAC Way, South Orange NJ. There will be an audio-described performance Sunday, June 23 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $35-$39 and can be purchased at or by calling the box office at (973) 313-2787.

About the Featured Players:

Jennifer Ellis (Francesca Johnson) has appeared in Merrily We Roll Along (Huntington Theatre), Shear Madness (New World Stages), Shakespeare in Love (IRNE Award), Bridges of Madison County (IRNE Award), Far From Heaven, My Fair Lady (Elliot Norton Award, IRNE Award), Wonderful Town (Elliot Norton Award), The Music Man, Love's Labour's Lost and the Comedy of Errors.

Jared Bradshaw (Bud Johnson) comes directly from productions of Jason Robert Brown's Songs for A New World and Parade this year in Atlanta, GA. Jared starred in Forbidden Broadway for 3 years and on Broadway in Jersey Boys for 8 years. Jared was also featured in the original cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and understudied Willy Wonka.

Bryant Martin (Robert Kincaid) Sheriff Martin Green in Desperate Measures at New World Stages. Featured in Oklahoma, The Bridges of Madison County and numerous regional credits at The Old Globe, Pioneer Theatre, PCLO, and others. T.V.: Quantico, Forever, The Jack and Triumph Show.

Tait Ruppert (Charlie) Theatre credits include: Broadway: Candida, Off-Broadway: Album (Cherry Lane Theatre), Lone Star. New Jersey Regional Credits include: Later Life, Accomplice, Our Mother's Brief Affair, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Wizard of Oz. Other regional theatre credits include: Anna Christie (Odyssey Theatre, L.A.), Another Country (Long Wharf Theatre), The Matchmaker. Film and TV credits include: Diner, Swordfish, Veronica's Closet, Mad TV, Getting On.

Deborah Tranelli (Marge) has appeared in over 50 Off-Broadway, regional & tour productions. Most recently: Hereafter Musical (Snapple), Philosophy for Gangsters (Beckett), A Little Princess (premiere STC). Television/Film: Dallas (Phyllis 11 seasons), Law & Order, Murder in Manhattan (pilot), Three's Company, Hart to Hart, Dance for One (indie) & more. Concerts: Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Town Hall, Lyrics & Lyricists, Jacksonville & Greenville Symphonies & hundreds more. Multiple Bistro Awards including her solo CD, A Lot of Livin'. ATG debut.

American Theater Group, a professional member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, is SOPAC's theatre company in-residence. Headed by Producing Artistic Director James Vagias, the theatre company presents staged readings of new work in the SOPAC Loft and fully-staged productions on the SOPAC mainstage.

American Theater Group was launched in 2012 with co-founders Joe Mancuso, Rick Sordelet and then Mayor of Rahway Jim Kennedy that offers musicals and plays, a new musical reading series and arts-in education programming. Its focus is on producing new and classical works, primarily by American Playwrights, with an emphasis on the development of new works and the rediscovery of undeservedly neglected older ones. American Theater Group's Board of Trustees chairperson is South Orange resident and Tony Award-winning actress Michelle Pawk.

Since 2006, SOPAC has been serving as a premier performing arts center in the region. SOPAC offers innovative artistic and cultural experiences for diverse audiences in an intimate, inviting environment. The premier arts center hosts a variety of live performances, community events and education programs for all ages. To further expand its offerings, SOPAC has a partnership with the Juilliard School of Music to present Juilliard @ SOPAC-a series featuring upcoming musicians from the acclaimed conservatory. SOPAC is home for Seton Hall University Arts Council's performances, including Classical Concert Series, Jazz 'N the Hall performances and Seton Hall University Theatre productions. SOPAC also presents performances by its theater company in-residence, American Theater Group. For more information, visit


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