New Jersey Stage

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dreamcatcher's 2011-2012 Season: Mainstage Features Three Exciting Plays

(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre's new season brings three acclaimed plays from the last two years to the stage in South Orange.  After several years of presenting a two-play season, Dreamcatcher is excited to add a third production in the winter months.  As always, the theatre tells stories that reflect our shared experience of being human with heart and humor.  Dreamcatcher, in its seventeenth season, is the professional theatre in residence at the Baird Center of South Orange and a senior member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.  This year, the Dreamcatcher Resident Acting Company and its guests will present three mainstage productions, two improvisational comedy nights, two new play readings, one holiday variety show, and one Dreamcatcher Junior show, our annual production for families.

Kicking off the season is Multiple Personality Disorder, Dreamcatcher's improvisational comedy troupe, on Saturday, September 17.  At this first presentation, season passes will be available for the entire season, and the ticket price for the improv show can be applied to the cost of a pass.  This popular event will also be held in the spring on Saturday, April 14.

Dreamcatcher's fall mainstage production is the New Jersey premiere of a play by Geoffrey Nauffts entitled NEXT FALL.  Nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play in 2010, NEXT FALL takes a witty and provocative look at faith, commitment and unconditional love. While the play's central story focuses on the five-year relationship between Adam and Luke, NEXT FALL goes beyond a typical love story. This timely and compelling new American play forces us all to examine what it means to "believe" and what that belief, or the lack of it, might cost us.  During its Broadway run, the New York Times called it "The funniest heartbreaker in town! NEXT FALL embodies something theatergoers have been sorely missing, perhaps without knowing it, for years. A smart, sensitive, immensely appealing and utterly contemporary New York comedy." NEXT FALL will open on October 28 and will play until November 13.

On December 2 and 3, Dreamcatcher will present A VERY SPECIAL (HOLIDAY) SPECIAL, a unique and affectionate send-up of traditional television holiday variety shows.  This Very Special Special will include holiday songs, comic sketches and improv, and lots of good old-fashioned fun.

Dreamcatcher will present its second mainstage production in January, the New Jersey premiere of Steven Dietz's 2009 bittersweet comedy SHOOTING STAR.  Snowed in overnight at a middle-America airport, college lovers Elena Carson and Reed McAllister have an unexpected and life-altering reunion.  As the night gives way to laughter, banter, remembrance and alcohol, Elena and Reed revisit a past that holds more surprises than they imagined—and a present that neither of them could have predicted. Filled with laughter and ache, SHOOTING STAR takes a funny, candid look at the middle days of our lives, and how we got there.  Its Trinity Rep production, reviewed on NPR, was called "hilarious and very serious…Steven Dietz's work is filled with undercurrents. You will find yourself laughing out loud. And then, two minutes later, realizing there's something serious under the guffaws. SHOOTING STAR is a work both funny and sad; a quick and sharp play about our lives, one that gives us all the fun and all the tears of our times." SHOOTING STAR plays January 13 through 29.

The third mainstage production of the season will be the whip-smart BLOOD: A COMEDY, written by David Lee White, the Associate Artistic Director of Passage Theatre in Trenton.  BLOOD had its premiere at Passage in 2009, and will be receiving its second production at Dreamcatcher in March 2012.  Jacqueline Stanzi is an eccentric life-long atheist and college professor who has just lost her tenure for trying to teach intelligent design in a science class. Struggling with confusion and memory loss, Jacqueline decides that the only way to save her mind – and her highly dysfunctional family – from destroying itself is for them all to get religion. What better time for a family confessional than the eve of her daughter's wedding and the joining of two bloodlines?  When the play ran at Passage, Anita Gates of The New York Times wrote, "David Lee White's BLOOD: A COMEDY couldn't be cleverer as it deals with the onset of Alzheimer's disease, a soap-opera-style family shocker and reflections on the existence of God."  BLOOD: A COMEDY runs at Dreamcatcher from March 9 through 25.

In the spring, two “Meet the Artist" free new play readings will be held on May 9 and 23, thought-provoking experiences which include the opportunity for audience discussion with the writer, director and actors after the performance.

After its month-long Summer Theatre Conservatory for students aged 10-17, Dreamcatcher will present its annual DREAMCATCHER JUNIOR production on July 27, an original family show that always draws on the creativity of its young actors to shape the piece.  Each year, the youth company creates a one-of-a-kind piece that ranges from fairy tale quest to Shakespeare adaptation to musical revue.

Throughout the year, Dreamcatcher offers internships for high school and college students, classes for teens and adults, and many volunteer opportunities.  All of Dreamcatcher's activities center on the collaborative nature of theatre and creating a comfortable environment for artists and audiences of all ages to explore and grow together.  The company's work is supported by grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and several other corporate and individual donors that believe in the power of the arts to bring people together and promote understanding between them.

Season passes may be purchased that provide substantial discounts to all events, and special rates for groups are also available.  The theatre at The Baird is wheelchair accessible, and such access services as large print scripts, assistive listening devices, audio description and open captioning will be available by prior arrangement throughout the season.  Performances are in the third-floor theatre at the Baird Center, 5 Mead Street, South Orange, NJ 07079.  For more information and tickets for any of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre's programs, please call 973-378-7754, ext. 2228, and visit www.DreamcatcherRep.org.