NJ Rep Boasts Four World Premieres in 2004-05 Season; East Coast Debut of Blessing's Whores Launches Slate

News   NJ Rep Boasts Four World Premieres in 2004-05 Season; East Coast Debut of Blessing's Whores Launches Slate New Jersey Repertory Company's 2004-2005 season begins in October with the New Jersey premiere of Whores by Lee Blessing, heralding a gaggle of new and new-to-New Jersey plays.

Whores marks the fourth collaboration with Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey and will be presented at NJ Rep in Long Branch Oct. 7-Nov. 14. Blessing's credits include A Walk in the Woods, Going to St. Ives, Cobb and Eleemosynary.

The play is billed as "a brutally funny, frank and provocative" work "inspired by the true story of the murder of three American nuns and a Catholic lay worker in El Salvador." Blessing sets his fictitious story "in the deranged mind of a general from an 'unnamed' Central American country."

According to NJ Rep, "The play examines the moral and political implications of what happens when America projects its ideals beyond its shores and winds up creating an environment that breeds corruption and violence. Through dark humor and heightened theatricality, Whores takes aim at the media, our legal system, and politics."

The new season also includes:

  • The world premiere of Touch of Rapture (Jan. 13-Feb. 20, 2005) by Mary Fengar Gail. "The mystery surrounding an artist's legacy is explored in this romantic comic-drama that celebrates the love of art and the art of love. Before dying, a reclusive sculptress speaks her last words to her husband: 'Will you take my hands?' He does, and in that instant her gift of sculpting is bestowed upon him, radically changing his perceptions. Overwhelmed by his new powers, his life spirals out of control,  and he is forced to seek the help of his wife's cousin and brother. Together they try to balance the business of art with its creation, and also find time to fall in love." Gail's plays include Carnivals Of Desire, Fuchsia, Jambulu,  Drink Me, The Garden On F Street and The Breasts Of Fortuna.
  • Theatre Brut Festival of Short Plays (March 4-6, 2005). This season's theme is "Sacrifice." Over a dozen plays will be present during the three-day festival.
  • The world premiere of Ruth Wolff's Aviators (March 31-May 8, 2005), "the story of an academic couple whose relationship is strained by events from their past. The aura of unfulfilled promises, sexual scandal, and the appearance of a mysterious young woman, forces them to abandon their intricate fantasy life and deal with the difficulties of reality." Wolff, playwright and screenwriter, is a native of Massachusetts who now lives in New York. Her plays include The Abdication (Bristol Old Vic, Eureka Theatre, worldwide), Sarah in America (Kennedy Center), The Second Mrs. Wilson (Barter Theatre), Empress of China (Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, Todi Festival, Italy), Joshua Slocum Sailing Alone Around the World (Rhode Island Shakespeare Theatre), George and Frederic (University of Utah), The Perfect Marriage (East Hampton Playwrights Theatre), The Golem (Off-Broadway) and more.
  • The East Coast premiere of Ten Percent of Molly Snyder (May 19-June 26, 2005), by Richard Strand. Originally presented by Steppenwolf in Chicago, the work is "a fast-paced comedy that shows how any of us might get driven to the brink by the endless twists of daily bureaucracy. Poor Molly Snyder simply went to the Division of Motor Vehicles to fix a typo on her driver's license, but instead she winds up in a maze of red-tape that sends her on a hilarious downward spiral." Richard Strand wrote his first play in 1976, a one-act entitled Harry and Sylvia. That play won two national awards, was published by Hunter Press and premiered at the Theatre Arts Corporation of Santa Fe in 1977. Clown, a full length version of Harry and Sylvia, was premiered by Chicago's Victory Gardens Theater in 1981. His The Bug premiered at the 1989 Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville and The Death of Zukasky was seen there in 1991.
  • The world premiere of A Child's Guide to Innocence (July 7-Aug. 14, 2005) by Vincent Sessa. It "follows the lives of three generations of an Italian American family over a 50 year period.  Personal and historical memory mix in this haunting and powerful drama of tradition, religion, war and secrecy. With themes as timeless and as current as today's headlines, it is the irresistible force of love which serves as the prism through which the play is viewed." Sessa's plays include Moral and Political Lessons on Wyoming and Reckless Abandon. His The Girl With the High Rouge was produced in 2000 by NJ Rep and he is a member of MCC's Playwrights' Coalition in New York.
  • A yet to be announced new play will be presented Aug. 25-Oct. 2, 2005.
  • The world premiere of Dan Dietz's Tilt Angel (Oct. 14-Nov. 20, 2005). The play is "a blues-infused fairy tale about a working class Tennessee family struggling with grief and loss in the aftermath of a plane crash. Ollie hasn't left the house in nine years, much to his father's dismay. But when his mother dies en route to Memphis, and  his father refuses to even pick up her remains — much less bury them — Ollie has to take matters into his own hands. A strange angel-man is there to help, but will his mother go peacefully into the afterlife... or will she put up a fight? Sparks and steel, threatening vegetables, weird wings and weirder hands all collide in this gritty and lyrical comic-epic about a most unusual family." Dan Dietz, of Austin, TX, wrote Dirigible, Blind Horses and tempOdyssey. Performances are $30 with discounts available for students, seniors, previews, groups, and through subscriptions. For additional information, visit www.njrep.org or call the box office at (732) 229-3166.

    New Jersey Repertory Company is located at the Lumia Theatre, 179 Broadway in Long Branch, easily accessible from NJ Transit.

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