New Jersey Stage

Monday, April 25, 2011

2010 Play Festival Winner The Good Counselor Heralded by the American Theatre Critics Association

(UNION, NJ) -- Premiere Stages at Kean University announces that Kathryn Grant's The Good Counselor was named the runner up for the Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association Best New Play Award for 2011.  Ms. Grant received a $7500 citation and was invited to speak at the annual Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival. The Good Counselor was the 2010 Premiere Stages Play Festival Winner was the only finalist from New Jersey.  The committee of established critics selected it as the highest rated professional production from the region.

The American Theatre Critics Association (ACTA) award program was created in 1977 to honor new plays premiered at theaters outside New York City. Since 2000, it has been generously funded by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, making the $40,000 Steinberg/ATCA the largest national new play award of its kind.

In her acceptance speech at the Humana Festival Grant spoke about how the process of bringing a play to fruition reminded her of a swap meet. She then cited an online legend about a man who began his swapping with a paper clip and through a series of escalating swaps he finally ended up with a house.

"If you are lucky it can work like that," said Grant.  "I began trading with various developmental companies, revising up to stronger versions of my play.  But it wasn't until I won the Premiere Stages Festival Award that I was offered a house.  And what a dream house Kean University was, with ebullient actors, sensuous design elements and the fine leadership of artistic director John Wooten and dramaturg Erica Nagel."

After its critically acclaimed run at Premiere Stages, The Good Counselor was published by Samuel French, Inc. It joins a long list of plays developed by Premiere Stages that have been published by Sam French, Dramatists Play Service and Broadway Play Publishing.

The Premiere Stages Play Festival is made possible in part through funding from The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Provident Bank Foundation, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance, and through the generous support of individual patrons.

Premiere Stages is the professional theatre entering its seventh year in residence on Kean University.  The company focuses on the original production of new plays by both established playwrights and emerging writers.  The company "fast-tracks" plays that are considered ready for production, bringing new plays from the page to the stage in a matter of months.  The theatre casts the plays with noted performers alongside local professional talent and student actors.

Premiere Stages is a member of the NJ Theatre Alliance, the coalition of the state's professional regional theatres.  At Kean University, Premiere offers affordable prices, air-conditioned facilities and free parking close to the theatre. Premiere Stages provides free or discounted tickets to patrons with disabilities and all facilities are fully accessible spaces. A schedule of sign-interpreted, audio-described or open-captioned performances is available upon request. Assistive listening devices and large print programs are available at all times.  Publications are available with advanced notice in alternate formats.

Visit the Premiere Stages website at or call 908.737.4092 for further information.