By Sally Deering
Tucked away in the back of Barrow Mansion, a beautiful old building on Wayne Street in Jersey City, men and women dressed in 1940s costumes roam the rooms like ghosts waiting for their guests to arrive.
And arrive they will as The Attic Ensemble prepares for the first show of its 43rd season with the 1949 police drama DETECTIVE STORY by Sidney Kingsley. It opens Fri, Nov. 8th and runs the next couple of weekends. Directed by Attic’s Executive Director Billy Mitchell, DETECTIVE STORY features 22 actors who play 34 shady and not-so-shady characters who come through the doors of a New York City police station.
It’s a Sunday evening just five days before the show opens and actors are rehearsing in their costumes – designed by Yolanda Keahey of Jersey City – while Mitchell keeps things moving, correcting lighting cues and coaching actors in their scenes. The stage is set with old, worn-out desks and chairs, period typewriters and telephones which ring constantly throughout the play. Think TVs “Barney Miller” only set in the 1940s instead of the ‘70s.
There’s a certain charm about The Attic Ensemble even though there’s an underlying uncertainty about its future. For the past 42 years Attic has presented contemporary plays and musicals in Jersey City and after 42 years of struggling to make ends meet, the company’s future is as wobbly as a backstage prop table. Continue reading ATTIC TREASURES Jersey City Theater Company Attic Ensemble Raises the Curtain on its 43rd Season