Stephen Kaplan's Exquisite Potential, Winner of NJ Playwrights Contest, Begins April 4

By Michael Gioia
April 4, 2013

Bergen County resident and playwright Stephen Kaplan is the winner of the ninth annual New Jersey Playwrights Contest for his play Exquisite Potential, which starts performances April 4 under the direction of Edward Matthews.



Exquisite Potential will officially open April 5 for a run through April 28 at the Hunziker Black Box Theatre at William Paterson University.

The cast includes Patrick Little as Gary Gerber, Joe Raik as Gary/David Gerber, Matt Rofofsky as Alan/David Zuckerman and Erin Zapcic as Laura/Beth Zuckerman.

Here's how the work is billed: "All parents think their children are great. Alan Zuckerman just happens to think his 3-year-old son, David, is the Messiah. Thirty years ago, Alan and his wife, Laura, visit their rabbi to verify David's possible divine nature. Thirty years later, David has grown up and the answer to a father's question is revealed. Exquisite Potential is a funny and probing look at the bond between parent and child."

The New Jersey Playwrights Contest (NJPC) of William Paterson University "supports the work of emerging New Jersey playwrights and regional composers by showcasing their work to the public through staged-readings and a full production of the winning play and musical. Unpublished scripts by New Jersey residents are solicited in the summer and through a rigorous process that includes the staged-reading series, one play and one musical are selected to receive a professionally designed and directed production the following fall and spring semesters."

Kaplan is also the author of A Real Boy (semi-finalist in the Ashland New Plays Festival); When the Mayonnaise Goes Bad (written with Will Nolan); The Book of Daniel (winner of New American Comedy Showcase Award – Ukiah Theatre); Tim Eless, Private Eye (with Noah Wyle – Blank Theatre Company); And Jack Came Tumbling After (Old Globe Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre and HERE and Lincoln Center Theatre's American Living Room Series); Self Addressed (with Steven Gilborn and Peter Van Norden at L.A.'s Hudson Theatre and Edinburgh Theatre Festival); Dreams of Reason (Northwestern University); Oh, Happy We (The Theatre-Studio); and Six Seniors in Search of an Ending (a special commission written for President Bill Clinton). He is also the recipient of the Bank of America's Young Artist's Award and the California Young Playwright's Award and is a five-time winner of the Blank Theatre Company's Young Playwright's Competition.

Other members of the play's creative team include set designer Bill Motyka, lighting designer Brian Collins, costume designer Vanessa Leuck, sound designer Theo Metz, tech director John Todd Erwin, production stage manager Shari Selke and producer Matthews.

The NJPC is coordinated by Edward Matthews and Shari Selke of the University Performing Arts Department.

Hunziker Black Box Theatre is located inside William Paterson University at 300 Pompton Road in Wayne, NJ. For more information and tickets, click here.