New Jersey Stage

Saturday, February 12, 2011

East Lynne Theater Company busy in March with "The Stages Festival" and other events


(CAPE MAY, NJ) -- Just because East Lynne Theater Company isn't currently doing four shows a week in Cape May doesn't mean the company is idle. This is the time to work with designers and keep track of ELTC's touring shows, and prepare for, along with other Equity professional theaters in the state, New Jersey Theatre Alliance's (NJTA) "The Stages Festival," and "Family Week at the Theatre."

"The Stages Festival," which includes the 14th Annual "Family Week at the Theatre," is a month-long, state-wide celebration of theater and the performing arts with discounted and/or free tickets to all events, and with programming for ALL age groups (not just the little ones). The organization responsible for this much anticipated program is the New Jersey Theatre Alliance: the statewide consortium of professional theaters in the Garden State, of which East Lynne Theater Company is a proud member. For an up-to-the-minute schedule, visit the website at www.familyweek.com.

As usual, ELTC provides performances and workshops both in and out of Cape May County.

Cape May County events begin on Sat., March 5 at 8:00p.m., with "Saturday Night Scenes" performed by adult acting students who have just completed ELTC's Weekend Immersion Workshop. The staged readings are scenes taken from classic and contemporary American plays, selected specifically for the students. This entertaining evening is admission-free, at The First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St., Cape May, NJ where ELTC is in residence.

Next up, on Thurs., March 10 at 1:15p.m. (a different time than originally advertised), is "Of Thee I Sing" at Glenwood Avenue Elementary School (2900 New York Ave., corner of Glenwood and New York Avenues.) Using President Obama's book, "Of Thee I Sing" as a guide to learning about famous Americans, ELTC teaching artists Gayle Stahlhuth and Patti Chambers will spend six days, from March 1 through March 10, with three fifth-grade classes, helping the students to research, write, and rehearse their scenes. This admission-free performance is the outcome of this in-school residency. Marketing is funded through NJTA's "Family Week," but the residency itself is directly funded through a grant from Target, an organization that since 1946, has given 5% of its income to the communities they serve. For reservations, call ELTC at 884-5898, or go to the website: www.eastlynnetheater.org.

Then on Friday and Saturday, March 18 and 19 at 8:00p.m., ELTC presents "Sherlock Holmes Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" at The First Presbyterian Church of Cape May. Step back in time, as ELTC presents this tale in the style of a vintage radio broadcast complete with live sound effects and commercials, just like the Sherlock Homes radio shows that were on NBC in the 1930s. To save an innocent man from prison, Holmes and Watson must find the thief who stole a valuable gem. This is the final time ELTC will present "The Blue Carbuncle." "The Adventure of the Norwood Builder" is ELTC's next radio-play offering in November. Tickets are $25 for general admission, $15 for full-time students, and anyone age 12 and under, as always with ELTC, is free. For information and reservations, call ELTC at 884-5898 or go online at www.eastlynnetheater.org. A special "Stages Festival" offer on Friday night: Anyone age 18 and under, bring 2 General Admission patrons, and they pay only 2 for 1 = $25. Since 2002, ELTC has produced a Sherlock Holmes performance to coincide with Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities' "Sherlock Holmes Weekends." For information about this March weekend-full of Holmes-related offerings, go to www.capemaymac.org.

On Thurs., March 24 at 7:00p.m., is "Alice in Wonderland" performed by students at West Cape May Elementary School, 301Moore St., in West Cape May. Like last year, after six sessions with ELTC teaching artists, third through sixth grade students will perform this Lewis Carroll classic, based on the script by American playwright Alice Gerstenberg. The performance is open to the public and admission free. For reservations, call ELTC at 884-5898.

ELTC's shows for "The Stages Festival" and "Family Week at the Theatre" that are beyond Cape May County include Robert Aberdeen's popular "Victorian Magic" which will appear at Old Bridge Library in Old Bridge on Sat., March 5 at 2:00p.m., and at the Giggles Children's Theater at St. Joseph's Hospital in Paterson on Thurs., March 8 at 6:00p.m. "The Blue Carbuncle" journeys to The Lillian Booth Actors' Home in Englewood for a performance on Sun., March 20 at 5:00p.m., where some of the actors living at the Home will perform in the radio play, and at The Mahwah Library on Sun., March 27 at 2:00p.m.

"Family Week at the Theatre" is a co-sponsored project of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Discover Jersey Arts is a marketing partner and WNYC Public Radio is a media sponsor. Additional support comes from The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, The F.M. Kirby Foundation, McCarter & English Attorneys at Law, The George Ohl, Jr. Foundation, The Prudential Foundation, The Grotta Fund for Senior Care of the Jewish Community Foundation of MetroWest of NJ, The HMS Foundation, JP Morgan Foundation, and The Wallerstein Foundation for Geriatric Life Improvement. "Beyond the Stage" programming is made possible by the support of Bank of America.

Meanwhile, ELTC is on-the-road celebrating Black History Month with Derrick McQueen performing "Paul Robeson through His Words and Music" on Fri., Feb. 25 at 7:30p.m. at James Chapel, Union Theological Seminary, 3041 Broadway at 121 St. in New York City. Admission is free, and more information may be found at: http://www.utsnyc.edu/robeson.

For Women's History Month in March, Michele LaRue is performing her popular "Someone Must Wash the Dishes: An Anti-Suffrage Satire" ten times in four different New Jersey counties, admission-free. For a complete schedule go to: http://eastlynnetheater.org/FamilyWeekandOtherEventsinMarch.htm.

Other ELTC events include: On Thurs., March 17 at 1:00p.m., artistic director Gayle Stahlhuth will speak at the Women's Community Club of Cape May at Price Hall, corner of Academy and Seashore Roads in Cold Spring and on April 2, "Helpful Hints," with Susan Tischler, performs in Stone Harbor.

To stay up-to-date with what's going on with East Lynne Theater Company and to check out the Cape May Summer/Fall Production Season, go to www.eastlynnetheater.org, or call 884-5898. Season tickets are available through June 30. See five shows for only $100 and you many use the tickets in any way. See five different productions, or see fewer shows, and take friends. Checks may be mailed to: 121 Fourth Ave., West Cape May, NJ 08204.