Acts of crime occur around us everyday. When one happened to two friends of playwright Kim Merrill, it prompted her to write her Criminal Acts, which receives its premiere production at the Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey Feb. 1-18.
Inspired by a real-life mugging, the play attempts to find the origin of such deviant behavior while questioning how much society is willing to accept. The plot follows events surrounding three high school students, the targeted teacher and his wife.
Susan Fenichell directs the production with a cast that includes Patrick Brinker, Tina Frantz, Sarah Knapp, John McCarthy and Derek Richardson. The artistic staff features Sarah Edkins on scenic design, Danielle Castronovo on costume design, and Christopher Gorzelnik on lighting design.
Now in its 15th year, the PTNJ has been a breeding ground for new plays and new playwrights. Such productions as Dolores Whiskeyman's Radium Girls, David Feldshuh's Miss Evers’ Boys, and Keith Glover's Thunder Knocking on the Door all had their beginnings at the New Jersey theatre.
PTNJ is located at 33 Green Village Road in Madison. For tickets to Criminal Acts, call the box office at (973) 514-1787. For more information on this show and the theatre's various programs, visit www.ptnj.org. — by Ernio Hernandez