Centenary Stage Co. Announces 2017-18 Season

Music, dance and special events fill the Lackland Performing Arts Center as Centenary Stage Company announces its 2017 - 18 full season line up of events. In addition to CSC's theatrical events the 2017 - 18 season will see the return of audience favorite series, such as, the January Thaw Music Festival and the annual Dance Fest all while hosting an array of exciting guest artists.


The 2017 - 18 season kicks off with Centenary Stage Company's annual Curtain Up! event on Saturday, September 16 at 8pm in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center. This year's Curtain Up! event will feature the premier musical tribute to Carole King, Tapestry: The Carole King Songbook. Recreating the sound and vibe of a 1970's Carole King concert experience audiences will be transported back to the iconic image of her multi-million selling album of 1971. With impeccable attention to detail, Tapestry: The Carol King Songbook presents a respectful and accurate recreation of piano and vocals, just as they were. Suzanne's performance will take you on a journey back to those great recordings, not only presenting the record-breaking, Grammy winning album of the same name, but taking a retrospective look at the iconic songwriting team of Goffin and King, and her hits that continued into the 70's. This prolific team wrote chart-topping hits for artists such as Aretha Franklin, Bobby Vee, The Beatles, James Taylor, the Drifters, Donny Osmond...and the list goes on.


Just in time for Halloween, Centenary Stage Company hosts, Tillie Smith (the play) and Historical Walk. Over 100 years ago the murder of a kitchen worker thrust the town of Hackettstown into the national spotlight. To this day, many say her ghost still wanders the campus of Centenary University with reports of her sighting. Join CSC for a narrated historical walk following the path of Tillie's final moments before her tragic and untimely death. The tour will be followed by a reading of the CSC 2002 commissioned play, Tillie Smith by PEW Fellow JeAnne Murray Walker. The Tillie Smith historical walk will be held on October 28 at 2pm. The staged reading of Tillie Smith (the play) will be held on October 31 at 8pm in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center.

Centenary Stage Company in partnership with Centenary University present the musical stylings of Sleepy Man on Saturday, February 3 at 8pm in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center. A trio of virtuoso bluegrass musicians who play with dazzling vivacity, Sleepy Man launched to national visibility with their appearance on TEDtalks Music in 2012. Brothers Jonny, Robbie and Tommy Mizzone continue to drop unique and catchy songs anchored by the driving banjo of youngest brother, 15 - year - old Jonny Mizzone. Their unique sound is best characterized as a blend of Americana, pop, and bluegrass. Sleepy Man just released their new single, "Feeling I'm Awake" to rave reviews. All proceeds to benefit the Centenary University Innovation Fund.

In partnership with the Hackettstown Rotary Club, Centenary Stage Company will be presenting a special Comedy Night on Saturday, May 19 at 8pm in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Center. Special celebrity comedian to be announced. Proceeds to benefit the Hackettstown Rotary Club and CSC Artists' Support.


On Sunday, September 24 at 2pm in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center Centenary Stage Company presents Boston's Ensemble Chaconne in Measure for Measure: The Music of Shakespeare's Plays. The ensemble displays versatility and dramatic flair in love songs, comic antics, madness and tragedy in the music Shakespeare's audience would have heard. Selections are performed on renaissance instruments and include music from As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Henry V, The Winter's Tale, The Tempest, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, and other plays.

Centenary Stage Company's ever popular January Thaw Music Festival returns to the Lackland Performing Arts Center for the 2017 - 18 season with an exciting line-up of musical guests.

Launching the January Thaw Music Festival is Freda Payne: A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald on Sunday, January 14 2pm in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center. Freda Payne scored a No. 1 hit with her 1970 pop anthem, Band of Gold. Over the course of the last four decades, Payne has toured the world in concerts, theater performances and one-woman shows. Today, Payne celebrates Fitzgerald's career from her 1934 award - winning Apollo Theater debut to vocalist and subsequent leader of the Chick Webb band, and her concert and recording career as the protégé of producer Norman Granz.

The January Thaw Music Festival continues on Sunday, January 21 at 2pm in the Lackland Performing Arts Center with jazz's fresh new face, Danny Bacher, in Swing That Music! A Jazz Tribute to the Three Louis. Vocalist, saxophonist and consummate performer, Danny Bacher, swings the praises of the three Louis - Armstrong, Prima & Jordan in an unforgettable performance paying homage to the era of jumpin' jive with a dollop of Dixieland. "It is about making hot music but staying cool, about cutting up while maintaining effortless self - control, about having a blast with friends." (Stephen Holden, NY Times)

Finally, the January Thaw Music Festival closes with "The joyous, ebullient music..." of Matuto on Saturday, January 27 at 8pm in the Lackland Performing Arts Center. "...Matuto merges the forro folkloric music of Brazil with the sounds of all-American bluegrass. Violin, accordion and a range of Brazilian percussion give this band, founded by South Carolina native Clay Ross, a seductively cross-cultural appeal." (Chicago Tribune) In Brazil, Matuto is slang for Country Boy, but these urbanized virtuosos have headlined renowned Bluegrass, Jazz, and World Music Festivals across North America, as well as recent collaborations with Carnegie Hall. "These engaging Brazilian forró rockers borrow from jazz and funk in their lively sets." (NY Times). Emerging internationally as a festival main-stage sensation the rolling drums, quicksilver accordion licks, earthy vibes and thoughtful reflections mingle on their Appalachia-gone-Afro-Brazilian sound.

Music events continue at Centenary Stage Company as the 2017 - 18 season continues in the Lackland Performing Arts Center with the unique sound of Ranky Tanky on Saturday, February 10 at 8pm. "The biggest surprise of the evening!" exclaimed GLobalFEST of this band's performance. Ranky Tanky, which takes its name from the Gullah phrase for "work it" or "get down", transforms unique Georgia/Carolina sea island sound with jazz trumpet, gospel vocals, and a rocking R&B Rhythm section.

Molsky's Mountain Drifters continue the CSC 2017 - 18 season of concert events on Saturday, March 10 at 8pm in the Lackland Performing Arts Center. Grammy - nominated Bruce Molsky on fiddle, banjo, guitar and song with next generation virtuoso guitarist Stash Wyslouch and banjo player Allison de Groot are a force to be reckoned with and are creating some of the most soul - stirring music out there today. "It is no exaggeration to say that Bruce Molsky is one of the greatest American fiddlers of all time. His playing is mesmerizing and transporting, and best experienced live" (WBUR: Boston NPR)

Back by popular demand and just in time for St. Patrick's Day, the "hottest Irish acoustic group on the planet" returns to Centenary Stage Company. Lúnasa will be performing on Saturday, March 24 at 8pm in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center. Lúnasa's novel arrangements and unique musical approaches create a singular sound that has propelled Irish acoustic music into exciting new territory.


The New Jersey Ballet returns to the Lackland Performing Arts Center for an exciting weekend of Dance. On Saturday, November 4 at 8pm in the Sitnik Theatre the New Jersey Ballet presents their Repertoire of original works. For more than half a century, New Jersey Ballet has thrilled audiences from Bergen to Cape May with top quality professional ballet. The repertory includes works choreographed by some of the greatest names in the world of dance: Balanchine, deMille, Tudor, Nebrada, North, Pourfarrokh, Taras, Sappington, Renvall, Tomal, Vernon, Vesak, Petipa, Chabukiany, Saint Leon and Bournonville.

Then on Sunday, November 5 at 2pm the New Jersey Ballet returns to the Lackland Performing Arts Center to present their family favorite Cinderella in the Sitnik Theatre. The classic fairy tale comes to life with lavish sets and costumes, performed with New Jersey Ballet's original "storyteller" narration so little children can follow the story. Cinderella is rich, colorful entertainment with a moral for children of all ages.

Centenary Stage Company's annual Dance Fest returns to the Lackland Performing Arts Center for the 2017 - 18 with three premiere professional dance companies. The 2017 - 18 Dance Fest features Moe-tion Dance Theater, XY Dance Project and Nimbus Dance Works.

The 2017 - 18 Dance Fest launches with Moe - tion Dance Theater on Sunday, March 11 at 2pm in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center. "Artistic Director Marueen Glennon's choreography has the ring of truth," says NJ dance critic Robert Johnson, and her work has been called "refreshing, wise, and grounded in experience". Known for their site specific work, Glennon's company is dedicated to creating new forms of expression through movement and dance.

The 2017 - 18 Dance Fest continues with the XY Dance Project on Sunday, March 18 at 2pm in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center. Led by Artistic Director, Nijawwon Matthews, XY Dance Project has a unique movement style that blends contemporary dance through spiritual rhythms of African dance, the grace and peace of Tai Chi and the heart of street dance.

Finally, the 2017 - 18 Dance Fest closes with Nimbus Dance Works on Sunday, March 25 at 2pm in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center. Nimbus Dance Works presents ESTHER, an edgy retelling of the First Testament tale of gender, power, and seduction, with full glam - rock/high - concept verve. In collaboration with Brooklyn - based indie rock band Sky Pony (fronted by Tony - nominated Lauren Worsham), ESTHER creates crossover appeal between rock and concert dance, high - brow and low - brow, and resonates deeply in today's turbulent context.

Now in its 27th season, the WPS is a developmental program dedicated to providing a working forum for the unique and underserved voice of women writing for the theatre today. Each season new plays are selected for a collaborative workshop process, with a professional director and actors. At the end of the rehearsal, a staged reading of the play is presented at CSC for our regional audiences, giving CSC audiences larger exposure to new work, as well as offering the playwright an opportunity to get feedback from the audience during the development process.

Women writers from around the country will converge in Hackettstown for the three week event scheduled on Wednesdays; April 11, April 18 and April 25 at 7:30pm, which will bring dramatic workshop-presentations of the three new full-length plays by women writers. Individual plays will be announced as selected. Plays presented in the developmental WPS program are finalists in the Susan Glaspell Award competition, and are under consideration for full production in a subsequent season at the Centenary Stage Company, the professional, Equity theatre in residence on the campus of Centenary University.

The Centenary Stage Company 2017 - 18 season of events are now available for purchase to Season Producers and Flex Pass holders only. Season Producer package offers patrons admission into 20 events during the CSC 2017 - 18 season (excluding NJYCB Nutcracker and Special Events). Benefits of becoming a Season Producer include; advance season renewal with preferred seating selection, no restrictions on date/time of performance selection, discounted tickets and no order, exchange or mailing fees. Season Producer package is $250 for single patron and $400 for two patrons. Centenary Stage Company also offers a variety of Flex Pass options. Series A Flex Pass (Any 7 events) for $122.50 per patron, Series B Flex Pass (4 Equity Theatre Events) for $90.00 per patron, Series C Flex Pass (Any 3 events) for $66.00 per patron and a Dance Fest Flex Pass (Moe-tion Dance Theater, XY Dance Project, Nimbus Dance Works) for $45.00 per patron. CSC's Flex Pass options exclude the Curtain Up! event, Nutcracker and Special Events. Flex Passes provide patrons with discount ticket prices and the convenience of purchasing tickets at any time for each event.

CSC Season Producer and Flex Pass options can be purchased by mail, phone, fax or by stopping by the CSC Box Office. Tickets will be available for purchase to the general public June 20, 2017. New for 2017 - 18 individual ticket buyers can now PICK THEIR OWN SEATS on the CSC online ticketing system.

For more information regarding any of the 2017 - 18 series of events visit centenarystageco.org or call the CSC box office by phone at (908) 979 - 0900. The Centenary Stage Company box office is located in the Lackland Performing Arts Center at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ in residency on the campus of Centenary University. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 1 - 5pm and two hours prior to every event.

The 2017-18 season of performing arts events at the Centenary Stage Company is made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Shubert Foundation, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the Sandra Kupperman Foundation, and CSC corporate sponsors, including Premier Season Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Medical Center, Home Instead Senior Care (Washington), The Holiday Inn in Budd Lake, and Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.

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