GEORGE STREET PLAYHOUSE AND MASON GROSS SCHOOL OF THE ARTS FORM ARTISTIC ALLIANCE
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- Longtime Hub City neighbors Mason Gross
School of the Arts and George Street Playhouse have initiated a landmark
theatrical partnership that will allow students to launch professional
theater careers in downtown New Brunswick. The artistic and educational
collaboration will kick off with George Street's production of Thornton
Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning American classic, "Our Town," scheduled
to run April 22 through May 25, 2014.
David Esbjornson, chair
of the Rutgers University Mason Gross School Theater Department, as well
as an award-winning theater director (Broadway's "Driving Miss Daisy"
and "The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?"), will direct the 24-member cast that
includes a mix of theater students and professional actors. This
Grover's Corners will truly embody "Our Town" as multiple members of the
university, city and state communities make guest appearances
throughout the run.
"As the legendary actress and acting teacher
Uta Hagen said to me when she performed at George Street Playhouse, 'Get
those young people here to work with us! They can learn from us and we
can be energized by them!" says George Street Playhouse Artistic
Director David Saint. "For fifteen years now I have been working to
realize this dream of a partnership between this great training ground
for exceptionally talented young people at Mason Gross School of the
Arts and George Street Playhouse. Our Town with Our Theatre and Our
University is the perfect inauguration!" Graduates and
undergraduates will work onstage as part of the alliance. The
collaboration will pave the way for students to earn a coveted Equity
card, proof of membership in the American Actors' Equity Association, a
labor union representing theater performers and stage managers.
makes all the sense in the world, from George Street's standpoint and
ours," says George B. Stauffer, Dean of the Mason Gross School. "The
partnership will allow George Street to present productions with a large
cast that includes young, vibrant actors, and it will give our students
the chance to work with George Street's seasoned professionals. Most
importantly, it will create a new Rutgers-New Brunswick alliance that
will benefit the entire community."
thrilled that Mason Gross and George Street Playhouse have finally
found each other," he says. "This collaboration will be a fantastic
experience for our graduating students. They get the rare opportunity to
transition directly into the profession." Stauffer says the
partnership "gives students a leg up in the theater world. I hope our
students will get a better grasp of what it's like to work in a
professional Equity theater, with the obligations, pressures, and
rewards that come with it. It will be beneficial to be able to say,
'I've acted on the stage of George Street Playhouse.'"
added, "The symbiosis of the finest professional actors that New York
has to offer and eager young actors ready to enter the professional
world will spark creative energies and result in thrilling theatrical
productions for our audiences."
Our Town runs April 22 through May
25, 2014, at the George Street Playhouse, 9 Livingston Ave. in New
Brunswick, N.J. More information and ticket packages are available by
calling 732-246-7717 or by visiting www.georgestreetplayhouse.org .
About Mason Gross School of the Arts Founded
in 1976, Mason Gross School of the Arts is the arts conservatory of
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and home to the departments
of dance, music, theater and visual arts as well as Brodsky Center for
Innovative Editions, Mason Gross Extension Division, Mason Gross Online
and the Rutgers Center For Digital Filmmaking. Its faculty and alumni
rosters include arts professionals recognized nationally and
internationally, including Kristin Davis, Calista Flockhart, Avery
Brooks, Cleo Mack, William Pope.L, Alice Aycock, Sean Jones, and
Cristina Pato. The school's enrollment of 729 undergraduates across four
departments and 322 graduate students across four departments, combined
with a faculty of 224, assures students the opportunity to work closely
with accomplished artists within their fields.
About George Street Playhouse Under
the leadership of Artistic Director David Saint since 1998, George
Street Playhouse is a nationally recognized theatre, presenting an
acclaimed mainstage season while providing an artistic home for
established and emerging theatre artists.
Founded in 1974, the
Playhouse has been represented by numerous productions both on and
Off-Broadway. Recent productions include The Toxic Avenger (Outer
Critics Circle Award for Best New Musical), Anne Meara's Down the Garden
Paths, the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated
production of The Spitfire Grill and the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize
winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at GSP during
the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays. In addition to its
mainstage season, GSP's Touring Theatre features four issue-oriented
productions and tours to more than 250 schools in the tri-state area,
reaching over 40,000 students annually.
George Street Playhouse
programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State
Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the
National Endowment for the Arts.