New Jersey Stage

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cranford's The Theater Project In Search of a Long-Term Performance Home

(Cranford, NJ) -- The Theater Project's 17-year run of provocative theatrical offerings emanating out of Union County College's Cranford campus theater is coming to an end. As a result, the professional theater company is in the process of diligently searching for a performance venue and long-term home in order to continue its mission of providing its Central New Jersey community with a broad range of affordable theatrical and educational programming.

The Theater Project's priority is to stay close to its loyal audience and remain in the Cranford or Union County area. It hopes to find a flexible performance space and willing partnering entity to collaborate for years to come. It is interested in hearing from building owners and existing organizations who believe they may have appropriate space and a desire to engage in such a dialogue.

"If a local business operator, building owner, school, or arts organization is interested in discussing future partnering opportunities with The Theater Project, we are eager to hear from them," says Mark Spina, Artistic Director and founder. "Our 17-year roots are right here in Union County and we owe it to our loyal audiences to turn over every stone in search of a new home so that we may continue our mission to bring live, high quality and affordable theatre to our friends and neighbors."

Interested individuals or organizations should contact The Theater Project at 908-659-5189 or by email at theaterproject@aol.com.

The need for a new long-term home for The Theater Project was necessitated by Union County College's plans to utilize its Roy Smith Theater differently going forward.

An award-winning Associate Member of the New Jersey Theater Alliance, The Theater Project strives to cultivate a more thoughtful and creative community by inspiring and challenging our audiences in an intimate and engaging setting through powerful, relevant and rarely-seen theatrical productions that explore contemporary values and topical issues, as well as through educational offerings and programs that benefit our Central New Jersey community. The Theater Project has recently received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the New Jersey State Council for the Arts, and the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Beyond its mainstage shows, The Theater Project's outreach into the community is extended by:
* An annual Young Playwrights Competition open to high school students state-wide featuring staged performances of the pieces and savings bond prizes
* An adult playwriting workshop and peer coaching group where new plays can be cultivated in a safe development environment
* Educational outreach focused on the challenges facing immigrant students in today's American high schools
* Free monthly staged readings of new plays by New Jersey-based playwrights

The Theater Project's final production at the Roy Smith Theater of Union County College will be  the historical and provocative Carlyle Brown play "The African Company Presents Richard III" running from April 28 through May 15.

The play centers on a theater company of free black actors passionately performing Shakespearean adaptations and original works in front of packed houses in 1821 Manhattan. The African Company, as they were known, then dared to open their production of Richard III on the same night and right next door to another Richard III production by New York City's leading theater of the time starring English tragedian Junius Brutus Booth. The African Company's refusal to close down and capitulate to the pressure of their white competitors is depicted in this provocative and empowering drama. Tickets range from $10-25 and are available at Brown Paper Tickets at 800-838-3006 or at brownpapertickets.com. More information is available at TheTheaterProject.org.