Tag Archives: local theater

Jersey City Thester Center Continues Voices International Theatre Festival with “Lockdown”

JCTC presents an online staged reading from South African playwright Warren Neb

Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) announces a live-streamed staged reading of “Lockdown” from South African playwright Warren Nebe on Saturday, February 12, at 12:00 p.m. E.T. The play, directed by Jacquelyn de Villiers, continues JCTC’s Voices International Theatre Festival.  “Lockdown” explores the impact of violence on children, their innate relationship to the natural world’s healing powers, and how children’s voices matter. Using layers of South African theatricality and cyclical storytelling, Nebe weaves powerful messages of loss and grief, prejudice and violence, and fear and love.   “Voices International Theatre Festival connects local and global audiences through shared human experiences. Warren’s play is an incredible example of healing through the power of our imagination, stories, and theatre. Navigating trauma and finding faith are universal concepts that resonate with audiences and artists – now more than ever.” The origins of “Lockdown” emerged in the Unga Klara and Drama for Life Writing for Children’s Theatre Workshop that included mentorship for writers. In addition, prominent Swedish playwright, screenwriter, and theater dramaturg Erik Uddenberg mentored Nebe. The Embassy of Sweden (South Africa) and Arts Research Africa, University of the Witwatersrand supported the project. Cast and Crew Playwright: Warren Nebe Director: Jacquelyn de Villiers Stage Direction: Gys de Villiers Cast: Margie Pankhurst as Auntie Maddie (South Africa), Leila Henriques as Mom (South Africa), Tefo Omhile Paya as Taio (Botswana), and Zane Gillion as Anbu (USA). Following “Lockdown,” JCTC will present Deborah Vieyra’s play “The Bluebottles” on Saturday, March 12, and Palesa Mazamisa’s “Lazy Boy” on Saturday, May 14. Both live-streamed performances begin at 12:00 p.m. E.T.  Tickets ($10) are available for purchase at www.jctcenter.org. Accessibility accommodations for all events include closed captioning. In addition, a transcript can be made available in accessible large print or Braille, and sign language interpretation is also available upon request. About Jersey City Theater Center  Founded in 2006, Jersey City Theater Center is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) arts organization committed to inspiring conversations about important issues of our times through the arts.

LONG GONE DADDY -Actor, Playwright Joe Gallo of Hoboken debuts New Play on Fatherhood

Mile Square Theatre’s Playwright-in-Residence Debuts new Solo Show

 By Sally Deering

Joe Gallo Playwright
(Pictured: Joseph Gallo in his one-man play LONG GONE DADDY
opens July 20 at Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken)

 A life in the theater can be a wonderful journey if he or she sticks it out long enough and for actor and playwright Joseph Gallo, his long day’s journey in the theater continues to be mined with opportunities.  He just had two of his plays published by River City Books; and as playwright-in-residence at Mile Square Theatre (MST) in Hoboken, Gallo is about to debut his newest one-man show, LONG GONE DADDY directed by MST artistic director Chris O’Connor. Performances begin July 20 and run through August 7 in the company’s new theater on the corner of 14th & Clinton.



Playwright Joe Gallo Prior to this, Gallo workshopped his play Two-Man Kidnapping Rule at MST. It was later produced by the New Ohio Theatre in New York, and published in Smith & Kraus’s anthology 2012 Best Men’s Stage Monologues and Scenes. As a solo writer/performer Gallo appeared in the original production of his one-man show My Italy Story at Penguin Rep in Stony Point, NY, which later had its debut Off-Broadway at the 47th Street Theatre in New York, starring Danny Mastrogiorgio (“…a compelling page turner.”—The New York Times). An avid storyteller, Gallo won a StorySLAM championship at The Moth in NYC. Continue reading LONG GONE DADDY -Actor, Playwright Joe Gallo of Hoboken debuts New Play on Fatherhood

HOUSE OF SHARDS-Art House Productions “The House of Atreus” an American Vet Returns Home to More Casualties

Art House Productions’ New Play opens June 4th

By Sally Deering

“A cursed bloodline. A family on the edge.  If this house could speak, what stories it would tell.”

Creative Team at Art House Productions
Christine Goodman, Mason Beggs and Meagan Woods

 That’s the tagline for the new play THE HOUSE OF ATREUS which premieres Thursday, June 4, at Art House Productions in Jersey City. It’s a collaborative work between Christine Goodman (Executive Director of Art House Productions) who wrote the piece, Mason Beggs, who directed, and choreographer Meagan Woods.

Gabbie Cowdie in Art House Productions House of Atreus
Gabbie Gowdie and Ema Lakovic in The HOUSE OF ATREUS

THE HOUSE OF ATREUS is an immersive and unconventional theater piece. Instead of putting the actors on stage and the audience in rows of seats to observe, the set takes up the entire theater with a chair and TV in one area, a broken down porch in another, and a dining room table at center. The audience enters through a haze of smoky fog and is encouraged to find a spot of their choosing to watch the play as it unfolds around them. This immerses the audience into the play’s action, which becomes part of the overall theater experience.

Adam Resnick in Art House Productions  House of Atreus
Adam Resnick plays Alan in THE HOUSE OF ATREUS, Presented by Art House Production in Jersey City

“The audience will be active observers,” Goodman says, sitting on set with Beggs and Woods during a break in tech rehearsal. “We’re changing the audience’s perspective.”

The play’s plot focuses on the main character Alan who returns home after serving in Iraq. He comes back only to find his house in ruins and his family broken and as war torn as the place he left behind. Continue reading HOUSE OF SHARDS-Art House Productions “The House of Atreus” an American Vet Returns Home to More Casualties


Bayonne’s Culture Scene Takes Off -Art, Theater and New Outdoor Stage on the Rise

By Sally Deering

Bayonne Arts PavilionPhoto of truck with Bayonne Announcement Jersey City’s culture scene just got some competition. It seems Bayonne, its Hudson sister to the south has been going through a renaissance of sorts. Art galleries, theater companies and now a new performing arts pavilion are giving the city a cultural facelift.

Dwyer and Semanchick
(Richard Dwyer and Adam J. Semanchick
of Bayonne Theater Co)

There’s the JCC of Bayonne’s Fine Art Gallery currently featuring A COUPLE OF IMAGES, paintings and photographs by Bayonne residents and artists Billy Zbylut and Patty Mulligan; the Art Circle of Bayonne at the Bayonne Community Museum which has a Spring Art Show underway  featuring Bayonne artists; the new Bayonne Theater Company is hosting a gala on Thursday, May 21, with its first show THE MUSIC MAN in pre-production; and a Bayonne performing arts pavilion which will host local theater, music and dance groups, as well as stars like Willie Nelson is breaking ground in a few weeks. .

Continue reading BAYONNE, THE NEW BOHO?


Theater Company to Enrich Jersey City’s Cultural Life with Performances, Readings and Workshops

 By Sally Deering

Jersey City Phoenix Ensemble
Cast of IMPERFECT WOMEN OF THE BIBLE by Marsha Trice, performed by the Phoenix Ensemble of Jersey City

Sometimes friendships lead to creative collaborations and nobody knows that better than Marsha Trice, Artistic Director of the Phoenix Ensemble theater company in Jersey City. Trice and several company members met taking acting classes and doing plays in college and now they are collaborating as producers, actors, costumers – you name it – as the Phoenix Ensemble once again becomes a viable theater venue on Jersey City’s cultural landscape.

Phoenix Ensemble
Oliver Pinkard and Marsha Trice of Phoenix Ensemble of Jersey City

Phoenix Ensemble began in the early 1990s and it has been on again-off again until recently, when the company regrouped with Trice as artistic director with co-founders Tony Wilkes, Oliver Pinkard, Michael Laval and Dave Robinson sharing the helm. Together with producer Michele Baldwin, the creative team supports Phoenix Ensemble’s mission to bring theater, workshops and classes to Jersey City residents, especially to kids and teens who need creative opportunities to express themselves.



   Kooky Characters Come to Life as Local Live Theaters Begin New Seasons



Clay and Sandy Cockrell Production Director at J CITY Theater rehearse a scene from APARTMENT 3 A
Clay and Sandy Cockrell Production Director at J CITY Theater rehearse a scene from APARTMENT 3 A

Culture flourishes in Hudson with art, music and dance performances happening throughout its cities. We also have some terrific live theater groups putting on shows for adults and kids and the new season is now kicking off, like J CITY Theater’s production of APARTMENT 3A. Along with J CITY Theater, the Attic Ensemble in Jersey City is celebrating 43 years as a community theater and the Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken opens its season with a wink to the kids in its production of the Broadway play A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD.

Here’s a closer look at some local theater companies and their upcoming shows. Why not check out a performance or two? You’ll be supporting local theater and those artists who may work in the cultural milieu of New York City and who also nourish the cultural fabric of Hudson’s  community


Producing Director of the J CITY Theater Clay Cockrell and his wife Sandy Cockrell, who is the company’s Artistic Director are thrilled to be back on the boards after almost a year-long hiatus brought on by Hurricane Sandy. (See our interview with Clay Cockrell following this story.)

This marks J CITY Theater’s 8th season of presenting popular and contemporary plays on the stage of the theater which is located in the basement of St. Michael’s RC Church facing Hamilton Park in Jersey City. The company recently opened its season with APARTMENT 3A, a romantic comedy about a public television employee who loses her faith in God, men and public broadcasting.  As the heroine takes a ride on the romance rollercoaster, she eventually has an on-camera meltdown during a pledge drive which leads to pandemonium and hilarity. The play runs through Oct. 26 and features Sandy Cockrell, Stephen Hope, Randall Marquez and Clay Cockrell. Stage Manager is Jack Vandewark and Tech Director is Nick Probst; Jacquelyn Bird is choreographer. Continue reading LIVE THEATER -A FROG, DETECTIVE AND HAMLET, TOO!

Attic Ensemble Auditions for DETECTIVE STORY about Police Station

 A fascinatingly realistic picture of routine cases brought into a bustling metropolitan police station in the course of an evening
ae-sandThe Attic Ensemble, Theater for a New Jersey City, announces auditions for Detective Story by Sidney Kingsley. The play will be directed by Billy Mitchell. Auditions are Monday, September 30 and Wednesday October 2 at 7:30 pm at the Historic Barrow Mansion, 83 Wayne Street, Jersey City. Callbacks will be held on Wednesday October 3rd, if needed.
We are casting: 16 men and 6 women. There will be doubling and multiple casting.
PATROLMAN KEOGH/BARNES (20s-30s); CHARLIE (30s-40s) – Burglar
LEWIS (20s-30s) – Burglar; DET. McLEOD (40s); DET. DAKIS (40s-50s)
DET. CALLAHAN (30s); DET. O’BRIEN (50s); DET. BRODY (40s)
DET. GALLAGHER (30s-40s); ENDICOTT SIMS (30s-40s) – Lawyer
ARTHUR KINDRED (20s) – Former GI; DR. SCHNEIDER (40s) – Gardener/Abortionist
JO FEINSON (30s-50s) – Reporter; SHOPLIFTER (20s-30s); SUSAN CARMICHAEL (20s);
MRS. BAGATELLE / MISS HATCH / INDIGNANT CITIZEN (20s-30s) Continue reading Attic Ensemble Auditions for DETECTIVE STORY about Police Station

Hudson County Families Invited to Bring the Kids to Hudson County Community College’s Sixth Annual Literacy & Family Day

The FREE March 2 celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday is open to the general public and will feature several child-pleasing activities                                  


hccc-logo300dpiJERSEY CITY, N.J. / March 1, 2013 — Hudson County Community College (HCCC) invites area families to gather the children together and come to the College for a day of reading and fun. The College will hold its Sixth Annual Literacy & Family Day on Saturday, March 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the College’s Culinary Arts Institute/Conference Center, 161 Newkirk Street, just two blocks from the Journal Square PATH Station in Jersey City. There is no charge for admission; all children must be accompanied by an adult.

 HCCC President Dr. Glen Gabert said the event, which is prepared and presented by the College’s Academic Affairs Division and the Culinary Conference Center, is an annual celebration of the birthday of Theodore Seuss Geisel, who is better know to generations of Americans as Dr. Seuss, author of Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat and 44 more beloved children’s books. Continue reading Hudson County Families Invited to Bring the Kids to Hudson County Community College’s Sixth Annual Literacy & Family Day

COVER STORY:Sugar Plum Fairies, Jersey Style-Nimbus Dance Works’ “Jersey City Nutcracker” to Enchant Audiences Once Again

By Sally Deering

During the holidays, take a walk down Wayne Street in Jersey City (right off Grove) and you might hear strains of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” blasting from a boom box inside the Barrow Mansion, a community center where theater and dance companies hang their hats – and shoes. In one of the larger rehearsal rooms, professional dancers and students from local schools are spinning, leaping and paying close attention to Nimbus Dance Works’ Artistic Director Samuel Pott as he choreographs their movements for the company’s upcoming production of “Jersey City Nutcracker.”


Artistic Director and Choreographer Samuel Pott rehearses dancers in a scene from “Jersey City Nutcracker”


The curtain goes up Fri, Dec. 21st at the Frank R. Conwell Middle School on Bright Street in Jersey City and runs through Sun, Dec. 23rd — for tickets, go to www.nimbusdanceworks.org. After attending a recent rehearsal, it pleases me to report that this is going to be one fabulous show.

Nimbus Dance Works’ version of Tchaikovsky’s classic features the composer’s beautiful score with a twist on its tale. In the original E.T.A Hoffman story, the boy and girl, Christopher and Maria, fall asleep and the toys that are placed under the tree spring to life. In the Nimbus version, Christopher and Maria embark on a journey through the urban landscape instead where dancers play Sugar Plum Fairies, an Arabian Princess, The Rat King and so much more as Tchaikovsky’s score helps bring the story to life. Continue reading COVER STORY:Sugar Plum Fairies, Jersey Style-Nimbus Dance Works’ “Jersey City Nutcracker” to Enchant Audiences Once Again

Hudson County Community College Offers Associate in Arts Degree with Theatre Arts Option

  New program being coordinated by veteran actor, playwright/screenwriter, producer and professor, Joseph Gallo

 Contact: Jennifer Christopher, 201-360-4061, [email protected]

Hudson County community College Logo November 29, 2012, Jersey City, NJ – Students who wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree or higher in  theatre arts may now begin their journey by earning an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts with a Theatre Option from Hudson County Community College.

The new program has been designed to provide students with a broad-based liberal arts curriculum and core theatre options, including Introduction to Acting, Introduction to Theatre, Introduction to Drama, Contemporary Drama, Acting II, and Intro To Playwriting, and will prepare them for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Hudson County Community College is arranging for articulation agreements with New Jersey City University and Kean University, amongst others, thus allowing for credits earned at HCCC to be transferred.

HCCC President Dr. Glen Gabert said the Theatre Arts program is being coordinated by Joseph Gallo, a seasoned theatre professional with a diverse background. Mr. Gallo, who studied at New York University, and the Ohio University Graduate Playwriting Program, and is a member of the Actors Studio Playwrights and Directors Workshop in New York, has written, produced, and performed in a variety of plays and productions throughout the U.S. Continue reading Hudson County Community College Offers Associate in Arts Degree with Theatre Arts Option