The season kicks off Jan. 17, 2008, with Zina Camblin's comedy, And Her Hair Went With Her, about the clients and beauticians of a beauty shop catering to African-American women. The NJ staging is part of the National New Play Network "rolling world premiere" initiative and will be performed at Horizon Theater in Atlanta, The Fountain Theater in Los Angeles and the Bailiwick Repertory Theater in Chicago. It launched at the Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis.
The other NJ Rep world premieres in 2008 include:The Little Hours by David Bucknam. July 10-Aug. 17, 2008. "Composer-lyricist David Bucknam's insightful and clever adaptation of Dorothy Parker short stories provides for a moving and whimsical evening of two world-premiere one-act musicals. The first act interweaves four of Ms. Parker's works to examine the experience of four very different women, of diverse backgrounds and ages, each questioning what is expected of them emotionally and socially, the commonality of their secret desires, and the very deep, romantic, and universal bond they share to both endure and/or break free of their respective stations and perceptions. The second act, a reworking of Parker's well known 'Such a Pretty Little Picture,' finds us in the yard and mind of George Wheelock, a Walter Mitty type individual. As he responsibly trims his hedges, he fantasizes and re-writes the story of his seemingly picture-perfect family (devoted wife and daughter) and his ordinary life, discovering compromises of his own potential and individuality that leave him examining his soul and questioning his future."Poetic License by Jack Canfora. Sept. 4-Oct. 5, 2008. "A biting drama about greed, ambition, and madness by the author of last season's smash hit Place Setting. Poetic License is a gritty drama in which a potential poet laureate is confronted by his past — a past which could threaten both his career and his family. Can an artist ever really understand the source of his or her inspiration? Can a child ever really understand his or her parents? Poetic License raises questions about the true boundaries of both personal and artistic domain."
Housewives of Mannheim by Alan Brody. Jan. 8-Feb. 8, 2009. "A nostalgic comedic-drama that takes place in the extended community of an apartment house in Brooklyn, 1944. Four women on the home front, living without their men, discover new dimensions of love, friendship and tolerance. They also discover that the freedom that comes with the end of the war and their returning men is a double-edged sword." The 2008 season also includes these new works:Engaging Shaw by John Morogiello, with excerpts from Bernard Shaw. New Jersey premiere. March 13-April 13, 2008. "Irish heiress Charlotte Payne-Townshend fights an uphill battle when she falls in love with playwright George Bernard Shaw. First she must contend with her rivals; then she must engage the confirmed bachelor and philanderer himself. Eventually, her unconventional efforts at conventional romance prove successful in unexpected ways in this delightful new comedy."Women Who Steal by Carter W. Lewis. New Jersey premiere. May 8-June 15, 2008. "This new comedy introduces us to Peggy and Karen, the latter of whom has recently committed, as they say, adultery with the former's husband. Women Who Steal is about the aftermath of that revelation, and it's a hilarious, tightly constructed joy ride, complete with squealing tires and tequila-chugging and Meat Loaf — yes: Meat Loaf! — blaring from the car radio. How these women deal with each other as they attempt to resolve the resultant conflict and stress, how they interact with the different men in their lives, is played out in a story that reaches the fullness of its comedic potential without losing sight of the serious emotions that fuel the action. Carter W. Lewis' writing is marvelously structured to make the best use of the situation — this weaving of circumstance and consequence is beyond clever the way concrete is beyond Styrofoam."
Apple by Vern Thiessen. East Coast premiere. Oct. 23-Nov. 23, 2008. "Get ready to take a big bite out of Apple. Award-winning Alberta playwright Vern Thiessen's script is an open-hearted look at an extramarital affair that develops more than the usual problems. The passion has gone out of Andy and Evelyn's marriage when he meets Samantha, who rekindles Andy's ardour. But then Evelyn becomes seriously ill, and Andy's conflicting loyalties exacerbate the situation. The wedding vows that mention in sickness and in health become very present for him. The feelings wrapped up in Apple have clearly touched audiences to the core. The play has been a success across Canada and is currently in a three-year repertory production in Poland." NJ Rep is located at 179 Broadway in Long Branch, NJ. For more information call (732) 229-3166 or visit www.njrep.org.