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Rachel Hirshfeld, DETOUR Gallery And Acclaimed Actors Collaborate For Worthy Cause

When art imitates life, the experience is always intriguing...when life imitates art, it is spellbinding. Acclaimed animal-rights activists and good-works charities, and the Associated Humane Societies on Shafto Road in Tinton Falls, NJ, have some passionate friends in the theatrical and visual arts. This April 17th, renowned DETOUR Gallery of Red Bank, New Jersey, local playwright/director, Thomas Ryan Ward, and acclaimed Monmouth County talents are coming together for a one-night-only event to raise some much-needed funds for animals in need.

The evening (the collective creation of long-time animal advocate, Rachel Hirshfeld of Asbury Park, and playwright, Ward) is seeking to be truly unique in its presentation. Ward explains, "When local, award-winning actor, Frank Dicopoulos, had a chat with me back in 2016...whether I could recommend any fun and character-driven comedies for him and his former 'GUIDING LIGHT' friends to reconnect immediate response was, 'I'll write you one! Hence the title, 'AS SEEN ON TV'." Once the play had been created, Ward had a conversation with Red Bank business owners, Meredith Barrett and Matt Selton of Flipping Fun Productions, who had recently been in talks with DETOUR Gallery owner, Ken Schwartz, about potential collaborative events...and Ward's play felt like a solid fit. Ward enthused, "It was Rachel Hirshfeld and her dedication to animal wellness that truly sparked the 'ah ha' moment for me, as a pivotal scene in the script takes place, a) in a high-end art gallery and b) is an animal-centric charity event. The pieces all fit and making this portion of the play become part of the reality of the evening was a perfect marriage. I couldn't be more honored that my work gets to do 'good work' as well."

Joining Dicopoulos in the cast are Teja Anderson, Lisa Sherman, Grayson Berry, Brett Lowell, Howard Smith, Emma Currie Smith, and Ward's long-time writing and production partner, Sam Pelissero; who will also act as host for the reading portion of the evening.

A wine/beer and hors-d'oeuvres reception will begin at 6:30 pm sharp before the 7 pm reading - sponsored by Shore Point Distributing Company. Post-reading, Flipping Fun Productions will be creating their unique flipbooks, starring attendees and their favorite actor(s) from the evening. Seats for the charity event are extremely limited and free to the public with a suggested donation of $35 for the well-respected charities (for every dollar raised, $100 will be matched for SoupBone Charities). To pre-register, go to Ward's Production Company website, and fill out the online form.

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