Premiere Stages at Kean University to Launch 10th Season with Interactive Readings Series, 3/14-16

By: Feb. 28, 2014
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Premiere Stages at Kean University will hold its 10th Annual Spring Readings Series Thursday, March 14 through Saturday, March 15 at 7:00 pm and Sunday, March 16 at 3:00 pm in the Murphy Dunn Theatre, located in Vaughn Eames Hall on Kean's central campus (1000 Morris Avenue, Union, N.J.).

This year's readings will feature the 2014 Premiere Stages Play Festival finalists Janice Underwater by Tom Matthew Wolfe (a two-time semi-finalist for the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Center), Sunrise Highway by Nick Gandiello (winner of the American Globe Theatre's Best Play and Audience Favorite Awards for Travis Winters), The Ansel Intimacy by Vincent Delaney (the Guthrie, Humana Festival, Seattle Rep), and Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino (a 2014 Kendeda Playwright and recipient of the Edward Albee Playwriting Fellowship and Residency). One new play will be read by professional actors each evening, and the public is encouraged to actively participate in the new play development process through post-reading dialogues with the writers. Patrons are also afforded the opportunity to provide written evaluations.

The Premiere Stages Play Festival is an annual competition for unproduced scripts that offers developmental opportunities to playwrights born or currently residing in the greater metropolitan area (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut). Four finalist plays are selected from more than 400 submissions, given professional readings and considered for expanded development as part of the Premiere Stages 2014 Season. One of the four plays will be selected for an Actors' Equity Association (AEA) staged reading in June, and the most promising play will be awarded a fully produced AEA production in September. All of the finalists also receive cash awards ranging from $500 to $2000.

The schedule for the March events is as follows:

Thursday, March 13th at 7pm - Janice Underwater by Tom Matthew Wolfe

Things are not going well for Janice. She has an aversion to authority, a talent for drawing illustrations no one has seen and a sneaking suspicion that she's losing her mind. Something will have to give.

Friday, March 14th at 7pm - Sunrise Highway by Nick Gandiello

In mid-'90s Long Island, two teenagers make a pact to keep a secret from their blended family. As the consequences of their secret prove increasingly dangerous, issues of race, sexuality, and identity intersect and collide.

Saturday, March 15th at 7pm - The Ansel Intimacy by Vincent Delaney

On his 16th birthday, Tate receives a gift he never wanted: Ansel, who was scientifically engineered to provide him with replacement parts. But as the bond between them grows, Tate discovers some gifts can't easily be accepted.

Sunday, March 16th at 3pm - Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino

Female soldier Jess returns from war severely burned only to find her Floridian hometown in a state of decay. With the use of virtual reality video game therapy, she desperately tries to restore her relationships, home, and all that was lost.

The heart of Premiere Stages' mission, the Play Festival has quickly become known for being a launch pad for regional dramatists. Numerous plays developed through the Festival have been published, subsequently produced in New York and regionally, and honored by the American Theatre Critics Association.

"At Premiere we are committed to fast-tracking plays from a sit-down reading to a fully staged production within a few short months, allowing topical and socially conscious plays to remain relevant," stated John Wooten, producing artistic director of Premiere Stages. "We also afford playwrights the benefit of retaining the world premiere rights to their scripts. Second productions of new plays are extremely rare, and we are committed to building and extending partnerships that will reverse that trend."

Admission and parking for the Spring Reading Series is free. Reservations are recommended; call 908-737-4092 or email to reserve. For more information, visit

Premiere's 10th Annual Spring Reading Series is part of The New Jersey Theatre Alliance's Stages Festival, a statewide program offering free and discounted tickets to performances, workshops, classes and events at the state's professional theatres, partner performing arts centers, as well as libraries, schools, senior centers and museums. The Stages Festival is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional program sponsors are Bank of America and The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. Additional program support has been provided by The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The HMS Foundation, The F.M. Kirby Foundation, The George A. Ohl, Jr. Trust Foundation, Prudential Foundation, The Smart Family Foundation, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation and The Victoria Foundation. For more information on the Stages Festival, visit or

Premiere Stages offers affordable prices, air-conditioned facilities and free parking close to the theatre. Premiere Stages provides free or discounted tickets to patrons with disabilities. All Premiere Stages facilities are fully accessible spaces. Please call for a list of sign-interpreted, audio-described or open-captioned performances. Assistive listening devices and large print programs are available at all times. Publications are available with advanced notice in alternate formats.