Thursday, July 20, 2017





DEADLINE: The deadline is July 30th, 2017.

  • Application information for staged and site-specific choreography can be found here.
  • ​Application information about dance films can be found here.
  • All information can be found at


The Outlet Dance Project invites artists who identify or have identified as women to submit an application to participate in our upcoming festival. We seek the work of choreographers (individual and/or companies) and filmmakers. The Outlet is committed to supporting all traditional and nontraditional dance forms. We strongly encourage artists from traditionally underrepresented or marginalized communities to apply. The festival celebrates the intersections of visual and moving arts, exploring relationships between sculpture and dance, place and movement.

WHERE: the internationally renowned contemporary sculpture park, Grounds For Sculpture. 

​What we are looking for:

  • ​Site-specific choreography
  • Original choreography, in any genre, created for the stage
  • Dance films of site-specific choreography

Related imageThe Outlet features site-specific dances, dances for the stage, and dance films. Films will be shown on October 5, 2017 during the evening length Dance on Film portion of the Festival, in the beautiful Visitors' Center Screening Room of the Seward Johnson Center for the Arts. On October 7th, half of the festival's live performances takes place in the beautiful East Gallery of the Seward Johnson Center for the Arts. This year we are also seeking at least 2 proposals for work in conversation with Elyn Zimmerman's installation in the East Gallery. The other half is outdoors—in and around the 42-acre park that is Grounds For Sculpture.

​We hope that you will consider applying and help us spread the word!

Warmest regards,

donia salem, Ann Robideaux, Jamuna Chiarini
The Outlet Directors


The Outlet Dance Project is an annual festival at Grounds For Sculpture committed to collaboration, community building, interdisciplinary experimentation, and the exploration of the audience/performer relationship. It is dedicated to providing artists who identify or who have identified as women an opportunity to share their vision through site-specific dance, stage performance, and film.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


Image result for the folk project njTom Chapin

WHEN: Friday, July 21 at 7:30pm
WHERE: Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Rd, Morristown. 
ADMISSION: $10.00 per person at the door. Children 12 and under are free. For further information, call 973-335-9489, or visit
The Folk Project website also offers music samples of Minstrel performers:

Butch Ross opens.

The event is part of The Minstrel Acoustic Concert Series, sponsored by The Folk Project each Friday evening at the Fellowship.

Tom Chapin offers up a mix of story songs, ballads, comedic and political songs, family music, sing alongs, old-time folk classics and a song or two written by his late brother, Harry.  He accompanies himself on acoustic guitar, banjo and autoharp.  In a career that spans five decades, 25 albums and three Grammy awards, the Hudson Valley troubadour has covered an incredible amount of creative ground.  In addition to his work as a recording artist and concert performer, Chapin has acted on Broadway  as well as working extensively in television, radio and films. 

The multi-talented performer has maintained two long and productive parallel careers, both as a respected contemporary folk artist and as a pioneer in the field of children's music. Tom’s concerts feature strong, intelligent songwriting with clear, engaging vocals and the intricate, melodic guitar work that has become his trademark. Chapin's infectious song craft, sterling musicianship and personal warmth consistently shine through, whether he's performing on a record or in a concert hall, in front of a symphony orchestra or in an intimate coffeehouse.

Tom is sure to include songs from his brand new CD, “THREADS,” (to be released on July 7, 2017), old favorites, and a new folk anthem, penned by his daughters Abigail and Lily (The Chapin Sisters). 

In addition to his musical and media endeavors, Chapin is a tireless advocate on behalf of a variety of charitable organizations.  He is on the Board of Directors of WhyHunger, an organization founded in 1975 by his brother Harry. Tom remains active in a variety of environmental causes, as well as efforts on behalf of music and the arts in our public schools.

Opener Butch Ross made the transition from guitar-playing singer-songwriter to one of the most exciting Appalachian dulcimer players in the country. Along with his own songs and traditional tunes, he also plays other contemporary songs that ought to be totally inappropriate to the dulcimer (e.g., Led Zeppelin, The Beatles) but somehow manage to fit the instrument perfectly in his hands. He presents it all with an irresistible intelligence, charm, and gentle humor. He has become an in-demand performer at folk and dulcimer festivals throughout the US and Europe.  


Trilogy Repertory Presents PIP Trilogy Masthead

Jesus Christ Superstar 

WHEN: July 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, and 22, 8 PM
outdoor amphitheater at Pleasant Valley Park, Valley Road (next to the Veterans Hospital at Lyons), Basking Ridge
ADMISSION: Free but donations are gratefully accepted. Bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating. For information, call 908-204-3003.

Trilogy Repertory Company opens another great summer season of Bernards Township’s “Plays in the Park” with Tim Rice’s and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar. The season will continue on July 28, 29, and August 3, 4, 5, with William Shakespeare’s delightful comedy, Twelfth Night.

Jesus Christ Superstar is directed by Jaye Barre with musical direction by Joe Lesky of Somerset and choreography by Mariella Klinger of Highland Park.

Jesus, Judas1The musical tells the story of the last seven days in the life of Jesus of Nazareth (Troy Giel of East Orange) through the perspective of Judas Iscariot (David Seamon of Highland Park).  Told only through song and based loosely on the Gospels, the story also delves into the political upheavals of the day and the interpersonal struggles between Jesus and Judas.  Other main roles include Caiaphas (John Lamb of Randolph), Mary Magdalene (Isabel Pluchino of Far Hills), Herod (Joseph Schmidt of Bedminster), Pontius Pilate (John Wells), Annas (Frank Skokan of Bedminster), and Peter (Owen McKenna of Basking Ridge). [Left: Troy Giel  (Jesus) and David Seamon (Judas)]

Jesus Christ Superstar was conceived for the stage by John O’Horgan, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. The musical opened on Broadway at the Mark Hellinger Theater on October 12, 1971.  It ran for 711 performances and received five Tony award nominations. The show underwent three revivals, plus a filmed version in 1973.  Theatergoers will recognize the hit song “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” sung by Yvonne Elliman, as well as “Everything’s Alright,” and “Superstar.”

The production team for the musical also includes Basking Ridge residents Lorrie Lane (Executive Producer), Erin Taylor and Marilyn Gamba (Stage Manager/Assistant), and Beverly Webb (Set Decoration and Costumes) The cast also includes the following:  Karen Breslow, Emily Certisimo, Zoe Considine, Katie Cozzi, Laura DeFelice, Anchal Dhir, Julia Drahzal, Kyle Gelatka, Suchir Govindarajan, Allison Hewitt, Jack Hillebrecht, Caitlin Iannella, Jessica Idell, Francesca Infante-Meehan, Melissa Johnson, Eleanor Klinger, Mariella Klinger, Emmalee Lafean, Patty Lafean, Virginia Lafean, John C. Lubarsky, Angela Masi, Germaine McGrath, Caroline McKenna, Hannah Mellilo, Jack Mellilo, Jack Pachetti, Chuck Pisano, Catherine Pluchino, Nicholas Re, Angela Ricci, Kristen Sands, Micaela Sands, Rosellen Schussler, William Shelton, Amy Six, Hayden Verbanas Robin Verma, and Ria Wolff.

The partnership of Trilogy Repertory and Bernards Township has produced over three decades of family entertainment and achieved several awards for both groups for excellence in theater programming.  Most prominent are the awards from ACT (Achievement in Community Theater) and the prestigious “Excellence in Cultural Arts Programming.”  “Jesus Christ Superstar” is made possible, in part, by support from New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and is presented through special arrangement with R & H Theatricals.


Love our shows? Want to continue supporting quality, local and intimate professional theater? Why not get a season pass to Dreamcatcher?!

Benefits of Subscribing

  • DISCOUNT - Season tickets give you the biggest savings available-20% off all shows.
  • BONUS - Every season pass comes with a guest ticket that allows you to bring a friend to one show for free; that's a $35 value!
  • CHOICE - Choose the full 7-show season or the 3-show mainstage season available through October 8, 2017.
  • FLEXIBILITY - Pick your dates whenever you want, and get unlimited free date changes (up until 3 hours before your scheduled performance).
  • SPECIAL INVITES - Season passholders sometimes get invited to private readings and other special events not open to the public.

Read in more detail about our upcoming season...

WHERE: Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, Oakes Center  *  120 Morris Avenue  *  Summit, NJ 07901
Tickets: 800-838-3006 | Info: 908-514-9654


After the Fire-  Lucy Graves McVickerOur World through Artists’ Eyes

WHEN: through August 21
Johnson Education Center, 1 Preservation Place, Princeton

D&R Greenway Land Trust is hosting the Garden State Watercolor Society’s 48th annual exhibition. Exhibition-related events:

  • Artist demonstration with Lisa Budd: Wednesday, July 26, 2-3:30 p.m.
  • Plein air painting: Wednesday, August 9, 9 a.m.-noon on D&R Greenway grounds, followed by Gallery Walk with Tess Fields and Joanne Amantea 1-2 p.m. 
  • Artist demonstration: Monday, August 21, 1:30-3 p.m., with juror Susan Weintraub.

Gallery hours Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 609-924-4646;

Kiawah- Charles McVickerArtwork by 67 artists, from Cape May to Sussex County, was selected for the exhibition by juror Susan Weintraub. Many of the artists are nationally known, such as Lucy and Charles McVicker, Sandy O'Connor and Donna Read. (Top: After the Fire, by Lucy McVicker; right: Kiawah by Charles McVicker.)

Juror Susan Weintraub, who has served as juror for regional and national watercolor exhibits, is the recipient of the American Watercolor Society’s Gold Medal of Honor for her painting “End of the Day.” She was featured in the February, 2016 issue of Watercolor Artist for paintings of her Brooklyn neighborhood, Brighton Beach, and the community’s resilience after the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Sandy.

Chop on the Rocks- Kimberlee NentwigHaving served as an art teacher for New York City public schools for 25 years, Weintraub has since studied at the Art Students League where she was an eight-time recipient of the coveted “red dot,” an award given to the best individual work in each class each year. In 2012 the Art Students League purchased one of her paintings for its permanent collection, adding to the work of such notable students as Winslow Homer and Georgia O’Keeffe. Other prizes and awards have come from the Salmagundi Club, the Ridgewood Art Institute, the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society and the Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors.  (Left: Chop on the Rocks by Kimberlee Nentwig)

“Garden State Watercolor Society wholeheartedly supports D&R Greenway Land Trust’s commitment to conserving our natural world,” says GSWS President Tess Fields. “By purchasing art during this exhibit you will not only help support the arts, you will also support D&R’s worthy mission.

“Artists see the beauty that nature has to offer, experience our harsh urban environments and interact with the world’s many inhabitants,” continues Fields. “From those experiences artists internalize, and then react and create. The resulting art is a meaningful and sometimes profound reflection of our world.” 

Frosty Hedgerow- Judith Hummer“We are delighted to partner once again with the Garden State Watercolor Society,” says D&R Greenway Land Trust President & CEO Linda Mead. “D&R Greenway’s mission is to preserve and protect a permanent network of natural lands and open spaces, creating and extending greenways—unbroken chains of preserved land surrounding stream corridors, headwaters, water recharge areas and significant ecosystems. Together, D&R Greenway and GSWS hope to inspire a conservation ethic that results in an increased public commitment to land preservation and stewardship.” (Right: Frosty Hedgerow by Judith Hummer)

“GSWS is grateful to Linda J. Mead, D&R Greenway President and CEO, her wonderful staff and the D&R Greenway Board of Trustees and advisors for their continued interest and support for our organization,” concludes Fields.

The exhibition will be in the Marie Matthews galleries of the Johnson Education Center, One Preservation Place, Princeton. Admission is free. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., closed holidays and special occasions – please call ahead to confirm availability.


WHERE: Union County Performing Arts Center - 1601 Irving St, Rahway, NJ,  (732) 499-8226

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Hispanic Theatre Festival Announcement 2.0 for tickets and information

Even though there is a large and vibrant Hispanic population in New Jersey, there are no Spanish-language plays being performed in central New Jersey. The CDC Theatre plans to bridge that gap by mounting the Hispanic Theatre Festival, featuring one-act plays that will showcase exciting and intriguing playwrights in Spanish for the Spanish-speaking population of the state.

Long-time CDC Theatre member Joel Redmount, who serves as both producer and a director for the Festival, outlined the genesis of the project. “Thousands of people grow up and raise families here in suburban New Jersey, often speaking Spanish at home, but they never even imagined the experience of hearing the beauty of the Spanish language brought to life on the stage I brought the germ of the idea to the governing board of the CDC Theatre earlier this year.  There is a lot of great community theatre being done in New Jersey—but this was an opportunity to tap into an underserved audience, to bring people to the Theatre who perhaps had never experienced it before.  That is a very compelling notion to any good Theatre.  Doing something new, something inventive, finding new audiences to fill seats.  The CDC Theatre board was highly encouraging.  They jumped at the chance and carved out time from the CDC Theatre summer schedule.

The Hispanic Theatre Festival will span two weekends—July 28/29 and Aug 4/5—with four (4) evening performances starting at 8pm. Each evening performance will consist of two (2) one-act plays. Additional information about the Festival and how to order tickets can be found by visiting the theatre’s website at Funding has been made possible in part by the NJ State Council on the Arts, Dept. of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through a grant administered by the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs.


Image may contain: textBy Ruth Ross

That two couples with the surname Jones live next door to each other is not the strangest thing about The Realistic Joneses, Will Eno’s surrealistic comic drama now receiving its New Jersey premiere at Alliance Rep in Summit. For nearly two and a half hours, herky-jerky conversation almost completely comprised of non sequiturs will keep your head spinning as you try to make sense of it all. Fortunately, Director Michael Driscoll has assembled a talented quartet of actors to deliver this odd dialogue and convey the play’s theme: the ultimate loneliness affecting everyone, especially that experienced by coping with terminal illness on the part of both caretaker and patient.

Given the lack of coherent dialogue in The Realistic Joneses, it’s no surprise that very little happens. It seems that the garrulous younger couple has just moved into the house next door to their older, more laconic, neighbors. Some questions arise early. Why have John and Pony recently moved to this rural town not far from the mountains? Why do Bob and Jennifer seem to have so much time on their hands? Do any of the four work? If not, why?

As the four get to know each other, intimate details and secrets are revealed, bit by bit. Pony and John have moved ostensibly because she always wanted to live there, so he obliged her desires. Bob is suffering from a degenerative disease, but he wants to know nothing about his condition (nor does he want to talk about it), leaving Jennifer to manage his health problems all alone. Both men experienced a bout of unexplained cortical blindness. The doctor who discovered Bob’s disease practices in this town. It all sounds (and feels) very confusing, but then again, playwright Eno isn’t known for lucid plotting. That Pony and John talk incessantly, mostly about nothing or in non sequiturs, becomes very tiresome after awhile; the looong silences in Bob and Jen’s conversations are so annoying that one wants to tell them to “say something, already”!

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, drink, table and indoorOn a spare set decorated with a table, bench, some beach chairs and a lamp, Driscoll directs his actors to perform as though what they are saying makes perfect sense, and it works. John A.C. Kennedy(right, with MacMillan) is excellentas Bob, a difficult role that calls for him to express his anguish in silences more than words. His lack of interest in his condition is maddening; he even wants his wife to be scared for him. Of the four, Lauri MacMillan’s Jennifer is the only one to speak in full sentences. Her hunger for Bob’s companionship and his lack of sympathy for her burden are the saddest things in the play. It’s heartbreaking just to listen to her talk to John about her plight, only to have his spout inanities.

Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting and indoorAs John, Erik Gaden (left, with Marques) is terrific. His delivery of incomplete and nonsensical sentences makes it hard to feel sympathy for a character who really deserves it (no spoilers!). He’s not only very talkative but loud, too, and his wild-looking eyes hint at mental instability. As Pony, an animated Lili Marques is loud too and talks with her hands. She, too, utters inappropriate statements: “I don’t know whether to go to med school or get a haircut” is just one. One wonders what brought these two together and how long their relationship will last. They talk past each other, nonstop.

This was the first Will Eno play I’ve seen, so I had no idea of what to expect (I do no research before coming to review). I really had to go home and think about The Realistic Joneses before I could even organize my thoughts to write. The title, of course, is ironic; the only realistic Jones is Jennifer. The other three are off in La La Land. But ultimately, each operates in his or her own separate universe, unable to talk to anyone about hopes and fears, unable to share experiences good or bad. Solitary. Lonely. Clueless. Sad. Maybe it’s something we can all relate to in this age of handheld “communication” devices; one doesn’t have to be terminally ill to feel lonely.

In The Realistic Joneses, the existential threat isn’t physical death. It’s the death of a marriage, the death of a relationship, the death of friendship, the death of trust, the victory of fear and longing for human connection during the worst of times. And that is worst of all.

The Realistic Joneses will run through July 29 in the little black box theater in the lower level of Mondo, 426 Springfield Ave., Summit. For performance times and tickets, call the box office at 908.472.1502.

Monday, July 17, 2017


We Are the Dinosaurs cover small web

Laurie Berkner’s Greatest Hits Solo Tour

WHEN: 1:30 p.m., Friday, July 28, 2017. Festival gates open at 1:00 p.m.
The QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, Solberg Airport, 39 Thor Solberg Road, Whitehouse Station (Readington Township), NJ.
TICKETS: $25, $35, $45, plus applicable fees. Super Premium tickets $75*, plus applicable fees. A limited number of $75 Super Premium tickets are available.

*Super Premium tickets include preferred seating, after-show Meet & Greet, photo opportunity, and a personalized, autographed picture of the Laurie Berkner Band from Laurie.

TO PURCHASE TICKETS: Visit the Ticketfly website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Call 973-882-5464 or visit the QuickCheck New Jersey Festival of Ballooning website.

PLEASE NOTE: Children 1 and under may sit on a parent/guardian's lap. Children 2 and older will need a ticket to sit in the reserved seating area. Ticket prices are the same for adults and children.

Concert ticket INCLUDES general admission to the festival (up to a $35 value) and a reserved concert seat for Laurie Berkner’s performance.

Due to space restrictions, this concert does not include access to the VIP Blue Sky Club or VIP Parking.

Concert seats are assigned on a first come, first served basis. Seats will be assigned when orders are placed. The last day to purchase tickets online and have them mailed is Friday, July 21st. Tickets purchased after July 21st will be held at the Will Call booth.

The QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning is the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America. This concert, presented by Hackensack Meridian Health, marks the first time the Festival has offered a performance geared to young children and their families.

Laurie Berkner solo photo credit Jayme Thornton 72dpiA pioneer in children's music over the last twenty years, the legendary Laurie Berkner will bring such well-loved hits as "Bumblebee (Buzz Buzz)," "Victor Vito," "We Are The Dinosaurs," and "Pig on Her Head" to this performance, along with songs like "Bicycle," "Bubbles," and "I've Got So Much To Give" from her new album, Superhero. Laurie will showcase many fan favorites, including an array of tunes that encourage kids and grownups alike to get up and dance. Kids should plan to bring their dancing shoes and a stuffed animal (for their heads).

At her solo shows, in addition to familiar hits, Laurie Berkner performs songs that don't always fit with a full-band performance: tunes with simpler arrangements, hand motions, and a cappella singing, like "Bottle Caps," "One Seed," "Telephone," and "Drive My Car."

To give everyone a chance to catch their breath between high-energy moments, the show will include quieter interludes, with songs such as Laurie's classic "Moon Moon Moon."

Laurie says, "I have been looking forward to performing at this festival for months. I can't wait to see all the balloons taking off - I know it will be spectacular! (I really hope I can see them from the stage!) I feel so lucky that I was invited to play at such an exciting venue, and that I'll have Kira Willey there singing a few songs with me. It's going to be a great show!"

“We are thrilled to begin celebrating our 35th anniversary with our first ever concert geared for our youngest balloonatics,” notes Festival Executive Producer Howard Freeman. “While we have added the top rising Disney teen sensations into our concert series over the past few years for teens and tweens, Laurie Berkner will be our first Kids’ Concert for children ages 2-8.”

Dubbed "one of children's music's biggest success stories" by USA Today, Laurie Berkner's original songs, albums, DVDs, music videos, and books leave no doubt: Laurie is the uncrowned queen of children's music and the power behind the progressive "kindie rock" movement.

Laurie Berkner was the first artist to ever appear in music videos on Nick Jr. and was featured in nearly all the episodes of the channel's Jack's Big Music Show.


42nd_Street_342ND STREET

WHEN: Fridays, July 14 and 21 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, July 15 and 22 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, July 16 and 23 at 2 p.m.
Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) Kelsey Theatre, on the college’s West Windsor Campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road.
TICKETS: $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $16 students and children.
Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333. 
Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.

42nd_Street_1The entertainment quotient doesn’t get higher than in this show that combines crowd-pleasing tap dances, popular musical theater songs, and show-stopping ensemble production numbers. Peggy Sawyer, a small town girl with big time talent, arrives in New York with hopes to be on Broadway and lands a spot in the chorus line of a new musical, “Pretty Lady.” When lead actress Dorothy Brock twists her ankle right before opening night, Peggy is picked to take her place. Says "Pretty Lady" director Julian Marsh, “You're going out there a youngster, but you've got to come back a star!" Delightfully corny, with romance and hilarious wisecracks throughout, “42nd Street” is a part of musical theater history that never gets old. (Above: Haley Schmalbach of Palmyra as newcomer Peggy Sawyer and Elio Lleo of Ewing  as director Julian Marsh.)

The musical score includes some of the greats: “We’re In The Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off To Buffalo,” “Dames,” “I Only Have Eyes For You” and of course “42nd Street.”

42nd_Street_2The cast stars Michael Marrero of Hamilton as Billy Lawlor; Haley Schmalbach of Palmyra as Peggy Sawyer; Elio Lleo of Ewing as Julian Marsh; Jen Gursky of Lebanon as Dorothy Brock; Carolyn Anzuini of Bordentown as Maggie Jones; Matthew Cassidy Morrisville, Pa., as Bert Barry; Tara Wagner of Hamilton as Ann Reilly; Fred Gropper of Yardley, Pa., as Pat Denning; Ron SanGiovanni of Burlington as Abner Dillon; Shan Williams II of Trenton as Andy Lee; Sarah Webster of Morrisville, Pa., as Phyllis Dale; Erin Wurtz of Levittown, Pa., as Lorraine Flemming; Chris Schmalbach of Palmyra as Mac; and Joe Stockette of Langhorne, Pa., as Oscar. (Left: Wow...a dime! From left, Sarah Webster of Morrisville, Pa., as Phyllis, Erin Wurtz of Levittown, Pa., as Lorraine, Tara Wagner of Hamilton as Ann, and Haley Schmalbach of Palmyra as Peggy.)

The ensemble features Kathryn Aylesworth of Cherry Hill, Robbie Angarone of Hamilton Square, Lexi Baldachino of Millstone Township, Zachary Benedetti of Ewing, MaryRose Brendel of Cranbury, Reise Bridgers of Hamilton, Sean Conway of Hamilton, Nicholas Eldridge of Hamilton, Maddie Keelan of Hamilton, Nick Kianka of Hamilton, Matt Krauss of Yardley, Pa., Marley Madding of New Hope, Pa., Marina McLaughlin of Columbus, Elizabeth Miller of Yardley, Pa., Isabella Papaccio of Hamilton, Christina Pullen of New Egypt, Allison Reed of Yardville, Harrison Smith of Cherry Hill, Danielle Standifer of Hamilton, Joseph Wojtkowski of Manalapan, Julianna Zannikos of Doylestown, Pa., and Sam Zdanowicz of Hamilton.

The production team includes Producers Mike Almstedt and Mike DiIorio; Director Mike DiIorio; Musical Director Pam Sharples; Choreographer Laura Ghaffor, Lighting Director Chris Ghaffor, Sound Design Eric Collins and Costumer Louisa Murey.

Top: She’s a star! Front row, from left are Matt Krauss of Yardley, Pa., Haley Schmalbach (Peggy Sawyer) of Palmyra, Nick Kianka of Hamilton; back row: Reise Bridgers of Hamilton, Harrison Smith of Cherry Hill, and Sam Zdanowicz of Hamilton. Photos by John Maurer


finalists winners

Calling Singers!

New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's 29th Annual International Vocal Competition Auditions

Vocalists of all ages worldwide are invited to apply now and take advantage of this opportunity. The final application deadline is October 31, 2017.

WHEN: preliminary auditions are on Wednesday, November 1; Saturday, November 4; Monday, November 6; and Wednesday, November 8 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The final auditions are held on December 11 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
a new venue, Nola Studios, located at 250 West 54th Street, 11th Floor-Studio B in New York City

At the preliminary auditions, a luminary panel of judges officiates comprised of Metropolitan Opera legend Lucine Amara; Maestra Lucy Arner, Music Director/Principal Conductor, New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera; and Evelyn La Quaif, General Manager and Stage Director, New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera. Upon request, the judges' comments are sent to all preliminary participants and finalists. A professional accompanist is provided to all vocalists participating in the preliminary and final auditions. (Top: Some of the finalists of the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's 28th Annual International Vocal Competition gather after the auditions. Photo Credit: New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera)

Free Master Classes

Vocalists are encouraged to take advantage of a free master class available to all applicants accepted to sing in the preliminary auditions. Finalists selected to perform in the vocal competition may attend three four-hour free master classes. Amara and La Quaif present the master classes and provide artists with direction on deportment, language, style and presentation at auditions.

WHEN: Master classes are only for finalists on November 18, 25, and December 2 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Yeoryia Studios, located at the Epic Security Building, 2067 Broadway in New York, New York in the United States.


During the competition, finalists obtain valuable resources to cultivate their craft. The vocal competition features:

  • a free master class for vocalists accepted to the preliminary auditions;
  • three four-hour master classes for finalists;
  • feedback and extensive free coaching on language, style and presentation;
  • performing opportunities in Verismo Opera's fully staged productions with a live orchestra for finalists; and
  • cash awards totaling $3,500 ($2,000 first prize, $1,000 second prize and $500 third prize).

"Vocal competitions provide singers the opportunity to experience performing at the highest level of intensity. The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's annual vocal competition's free master classes offer singers a deeper knowledge of their art from professionals in the business," said Amara, who performed at the Metropolitan Opera for 41 years with opera houses and symphonies throughout the world.

Application Requirements

All applicants are required to submit the following:

  • an application form. An application may be downloaded HERE
  • a resume
  • a biography
  • an MP3 file or a CD containing at least three arias
  • an 8 x 10 black and white photo
  • the application fee

The early bird registration fee, $55, is in effect through July 31, 2017, changing to $75 on August 1, 2017. Payment may be made securely online at located at the bottom of the page or by check made out and sent to Verismo Opera, P.O. Box 3024, Fort Lee, New Jersey 07024-9024. Applicants accepted into the competition are notified. For further information about the competition or to schedule an audition appointment, contact or call (201) 886-0561.

Verismo Opera is the house opera company of the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC) in Englewood, New Jersey. The nonprofit opera company is recognized for providing opportunities for artists to learn and perform in a professional environment with a live orchestra.


Two River favorites Brandon J. Dirden (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Crystal A. Dickinson (Seven Guitars) and Brenda Pressley (Trouble in Mind) have long been part of Two River’s family of artists. Next season, they return to Red Bank to play Walter Lee, Ruth, and Lena Younger, respectively, in one of the greatest family dramas ever written, A Raisin in the Sun—the play that “changed American theater forever” (The New York Times).

WHERE: Two River Theater, 21 Bridge Ave., Red Bank

Cast also includes: Jasmine Batchelor, Andrew Binger, Nat DeWolf, Willie Dirden, Charlie Hudson III,  David Joel Rivera, Owen Tabaka, and York Walker.

  • TICKETS RANGE $40-$70
  • SUBSCRIBE & SAVE 25% ($30-$52.50 PER TICKET)
  • GROUPS OF 10+ SAVE UP TO 30% ($28-$63 PER TICKET)


Lead Sponsor: Hackensack Meridian Health Riverview Medical Center
Supported by: The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation
Photo by Dario Acosta / Auditorium Magazine

Two River Theater patrons receive 50% off tickets to the New Jersey Premiere of Dominique Morisseau’s Obie Award-Winning Skeleton Crew!

WHEN: Valid for performances on July 13, 15, 20, 21, 27 & 28 with discount code 2RIVER. Web & phone orders only; not combinable with other offers.

For tickets, call: 908-737-7469 or visit

WHERE: Premiere Stages, 1000 Morris Ave • Union, NJ 07083