Friday, August 14, 2020


The JOCUNDA MUSIC, FILM & THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents A Virtual Play Reading of 

written and directed by Meagan Meehan

written by Natasha Cobb
directed by Van Dirk Fisher 

written by Cliff Bergmann
directed by Rhonda Goldstein 

WHERE: on Zoom. Register in advance for this webinar: 
WHEN: SATURDAY, AUGUST 15TH, @ 8 PM EDT (U.S. and Canada). 
DONATION: $15.00 To benefit the Riant Theatre. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

SOUL TO SQUEEZE takes place during the coronavirus pandemic, an ANGEL and a DEVIL vie for the soul of a quarantined human living under the COVID-19 lockdown. The cast includes: CHRISTINE SLOAN STODDARD, (who has performed at The Kennedy Center and Theatre for the New City) as the Angel and DONNA MORALES, (Film credits include: the Stepmother in Cyber Cinderella (Quail Bell Productions), as the Devil.

NOTHING IN COMMON People always talk about how much women want to have children. But men have a biological clock too. Some men will stop at nothing to get what they want. The cast includes: KYMBERLY BURNS, whose Theatre credits include: The Last Train (Afrikan Women’s Rep) and Riding On Bald Tires (Best Actress Award, Strawberry One-Act Festival) as Kelli, CHAUNICE CHAPMAN, whose TV credits include: The Deuce (HBO) and Luke Cage (Netflix), as Shaunda and SPENCER COLLINS, (whose Theatre credits include: leading roles in The Potter’s House and The Great Baptism), as Jean.

GLOBAL INFERNO takes place in London in 1613 in the recent aftermath of the destruction of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre by tremendous fire.  At first thought to be a terrible accident or “act of God”, an impromptu investigation uncovers a surprising explanation which will eventually set in motion a course of history for the future of the British theatre. The cast includes: CHRISTOPHER DIEM, whose Theatre credits include: Charles Wallace in A Wrinkle In Time and James in James and the Giant Peach (Chance Theatre), as the Boy, MATT KOUTROULIS, (whose credits include: Major General Stanley in The Pirates of Penzance and Pozzo in Waiting for Godot) as the Magistrate, CHRIS SCARBOROUGH as the Stage Manager and MICHAEL WESTMORELAND as the Professor.

There will be a TALK BACK afterwards with the Playwright and Cast after the reading. Van Dirk Fisher, Founder & Artistic Director of the Riant Theatre and producer of the JOCUNDA MUSIC, FILM & THEATRE FESTIVAL will be the moderator.

The JOCUNDA MUSIC, FILM & THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents a Virtual Play Reading of 

by Shashone Lambert Short 
Directed by Staxx Cordero 

WHEN: Sunday, August 16th, at 8PM EDT. 

Holy Intervention is a story about love, loss, lies, faith, hope, and redemption. What starts out as a routine night of just sex quickly turns into an evening that neither Bobby nor CC is prepared for. But who will be left standing: The Pastor or his Prostitute?

The Cast includes: ANDRES SANTIAGO PINA as Bobby (Theatre credits include: Lord Capulet in Romeo and Juliet (Classical Theatre of Harlem), Shamrayev in The Seagull (Circle in the Square) and Lucius in Jesus Hopped the A Train (Columbia University) and TANYA FREEMAN as Cece (Theatre credits include: Pipeline and The Mountaintop (Marietta’s New Theatre in the Square), King Hedley II (New African Grove Theatre Co) and Things That Hurt (Resurgence Theatre). 

Director REISHON “STAXX” CORDERO has been featured on Comedy Central, Starz, and most recently in The Needs, available on Amazon Prime. She’s had both lead and supportive roles in Cassidy, Mr. JayV’s Comedy Series and the hit series Bumrush. The off-Broadway theater community embraced her with lead/supportive roles in 20 plus productions including The Diva and The Rapper and AUDELCO nominated Circumstances. 

Register in advance for this webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

There will be a TALK BACK afterwards with the Playwright and Cast after the reading. Van Dirk Fisher, Founder & Artistic Director of the Riant Theatre and producer of the JOCUNDA MUSIC, FILM & THEATRE FESTIVAL will be the moderator. 


Morris County Park Commission

farm drive thru tour

Fosterfields Drive Thru Farm Tours

Take a drive-thru tour of the farm from the comfort and safety of your vehicle! See your favorite Fosterfields animals including Hobbes, the retired Belgian draft horse, sheep, including our newest Shropshire breed, the Jersey cows, and of course, Carl the ox! See the vegetables growing in the gardens, the architectural features of the Willows, and enjoy special demonstrations that may include corn cracking, butter churning, clothes washing, and more! Each tour will last approximately 45 minutes and admission is by preregistration only. For more info, click here!

COST: $10/carload.

scavenger hunt

Family Photo Contactless Scavenger Hunt

Grab your camera or phone! Contactless scavenger hunts are a great way to safely get your family or group outdoors all year-round! Register here to receive a list of items; take a photo of every item and receive a prize! There are monthly challenges and a seasonal hunt for families with younger children and for special needs groups. Themes and prizes change monthly.

COST: $10/person.


Virtual Demonstration—Artistic Expressions Adult Watercolor Class 

Thursday, August 27 - 10 am - 11 am

Interested in learning more about watercolor? Join artist and curator Melanie Bump as she explores design, beauty and the artistic expressions of watercolor. No experience necessary. For more information, click here.

COST: $10/person.

Home School Programs

Home School Programs
September Classes

1 pm – 2 pm • Ages 5 - 12

September 8 Monarch Madness

Experience the incredible spectacle of the life and migration of the Monarch butterfly.

September 15 - Back to School Potions

To start off the spooky fall season we are going to create potions and slime using ingredients found in your home. Learn what a non-Newtonian fluid is, create chemical reactions and craft a magical treat. No prior wizardry experience required! 

September 22 - Plant Genetics and Successful Seed Savers

Ever wonder why there are so many varieties of flowers, vegetables and fruits? It’s all because of the seed. Learn how scientists figured out how to make new varieties, how to breed seeds and how to save them. 

COST: $10/child per class. A $2 material fee may apply. Click here for more class information!

wild things

Virtual Childrens' Camps:
The Wild Things: Slime Scales, Feathers, and Tails!

August 24 - 28, 10 am – 11:15 am • Ages 5 - 8

Discover the amazing animals of NJ by learning all about them with a naturalist and meeting the live resident animals that call the nature center home.  Each day features an hour and fifteen minutes of online learning about a new animal family through artifacts, stories, crafts, and more. Then complete a variety of activities at home each day to continue the fun and learning! Registrants will need to pick up a container of supplies before camp starts.

COST: $60/child. Click here to register!

art & nature camp

Art and Nature Camp

August 31 - September 4, 10 am – 11 am • Ages 6 - 9

Enjoy a week of drawing, projects, and crafts with the natural world as inspiration. Create masterpieces and learn about wildlife and habitats at the same time!  Each day features an hour of online learning about art and artists.  Then complete a variety of activities at home each day to continue the fun and learning!  Registrants will need to pick up a container of supplies before camp starts.

COST: $50/child. Click here to register!

The latest #MuseumFromHome 

MAM logo


Thanhloan Tran, Grade 9 at Dr Ronald Mcnair Academic High School, Jersey City, NJ, I'm comfortable, Gold Medal

MAM Conversations presented by the Babson Lecture Series

The next MAM Conversations was Thursday, August 13, at 6 p.m. Join us for an evening in conversation with some of northern NJ’s most accomplished teen artists and national winners of the Scholastic Art Awards.

Closed captioning is provided for the MAM Conversations series.

Join the Conversation with Scholastic National Winners Tonight! 

Upcoming Artists:
August 20 Vanessa German
August 27Cara Romero

Art x Math = Creativity Multiplied

play button

Art x Math = Creativity Multiplied

Artists and mathematicians use their own unique languages to understand the world around them. This series of videos combines the languages of art and math to explore the beauty and order of math in art through geometry, pattern, symmetry, and more. Where will the intersection of art and math take you today?

Virtual Tours

MAM is excited to announce the launch of Virtual Tours. Utilizing Matterport 3D technology these interactive, docent-led tours, are the next best thing to actually being in the galleries. 

Virtual Art in Bloom exhibition

Virtual Art in Bloom exhibition

Despite the postponement of this past spring's festivities, MAM is thrilled to bring the Art in Bloom floral exhibition to you virtually. Challenged to work at home, the floral designers have created ambitious and imaginative designs in response to MAM’s exhibitions.

Montclair Art Museum

Support Your Museum

Art matters. Show your museum some love.

Like all nonprofits, MAM relies on the generosity of our supporters, members, and friends to continue our mission to inspire people in their connections to art.

Become a Member

Dates Announced for Shakespeare in the Park Bergen County 2020 

In February, The Black Box PAC
Shakespeare in the Park Bergen County team was preparing the lineup for 2020, their third season of free outdoor performances, before the pandemic hit. In the wake of COVID-19, the uniquely collaborative group of theater makers have revamped their annual summer festival. All involved have been closely monitoring the situation and given current guidelines BBPAC has been given the go-ahead to move forward with their third season - although it may look a bit different!

Following a successful online reading series, the actors are moving outside from late August and performing through the end of September as the ever-evolving situation allows. In these public venues (ranging from libraries and parks in Tenafly, Englewood, and Teaneck to a variety of private venues in the general area), The Tempest and Measure For Measure will be performed outdoors without fixed seating.

Audiences will bring their own chairs and will set up at a distance from other parties. Furthermore, audience will be asked to comply with current state guidelines and wear masks. Local officials will be in attendance to ensure distancing is taking place. BBPAC strictly follows all up-to-date health protocols as dictated by local, state, and national authorities. The safety of our patrons and performers is of the utmost importance. 

Due to capacity restrictions, most venues will require pre-registration. Opening night of The Tempest at The Teaneck Public Library, a new venue for this third year of Shakespeare, has already “sold out”—attendance is free, but reservations have already hit the cap of 100 attendees!

The Borough of Tenafly began an outdoor concert series mid July, led by Council President Jeff Grossman. The Tenafly Presents committee has been carefully planning the 2020 performance series in order to adjust to COVID-19 and social distancing concerns. They are excited to add Shakespeare to the lineup, with performances aat Huyler Park (intersection of Hillside & Piermont) and all audience members instructed to bring a chair and a mask. 

Additionally, this summer a selection of special private venues will be added to the lineup. Old York Cellars in Ringoes, NJ has been hosting a “Summer Wine & Music” series and “Wine & Comedy” nights in their outdoor tent. In August, Shakespeare is added to the mix! These performances require ticketed reservations through Old York Cellars, at

The evolving performance schedule—as of this writing—is as follows:

Audience is asked to check in with each venue for reservation information and their COVID-19 policy. Dates and locations are also posted to

This year, the Shakespeare in the Park Bergen County company is excited to mount these new productions of Measure for Measure and The Tempest in rep. The shows - directed by BBPAC's Artistic Director Matt Okin and Director of Shakespeare Programming Michael Gardiner - feature the talents of professional actors from NJ and NY including: Christina Cruz, Allen Garcia, Michael Gardiner, Cassandra Guglielmo, Kentrell Loftin, Danielle MacMath, Sean Mannix, Rachel Matusewicz, Bess Miller, Arthur Gregory Pugh, Ilana Schimmel, and Jacey Schult.

Black Box Performing Arts Center is a 501(c)3 non profit theater company. They are able to present free summer Shakespeare with the support of the Puffin Foundation, Arbor Terrace of Teaneck, Bauer Printing, Michael Pessolano of Freidburg Properties, and the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund.

For more information, please email and visit

Photo credit: Amy Lebovics Photography

 NEW Workshop: "How to Submit So Your Plays Get Produced"

Have you been writing during the pandemic?

Did you take one of our 10-Minute Playwriting workshops?

Do you have questions about "the business" of playwriting?

How To Submit So Your Plays Get Produced

A workshop with playwright Stephen Kaplan 

Thursday, August 20, 7pm-9pm

FREE for Luna playwriting students (former and current); $5 general


How to Submit So Your Plays Get Produced is a virtual workshop led by award-winning playwright and Dramatists Guild Northeastern Regional Council Member Stephen Kaplan. The workshop will talk about best practices in sharing your work, networking, record keeping, and more.  

This workshop is designed to inspire writers to market their work more effectively. You hear it all the time: the only difference between playwrights that have been produced and playwrights that haven't is that produced playwrights get their work seen by the decision-makers. That translates to submissions and networking, a daunting task we'd like to simplify. This workshop covers resources for finding opportunities, tips for easier submission, success stories from cold calls, and remote networking.

Stephen Kaplan’s plays include: Tracy Jones (upcoming: Williamston Theatre); Death Defying (NJ Rep/Theatre Brut); Branwell (and the other Bront√ęs) (upcoming: Loft Ensemble, Blue Room; semi-finalist: O’Neill); Community (finalist: Seven Devils; semi-finalist: Premiere Stages); Exquisite Potential (finalist: Woodward/Newman); A Real Boy (59E59 Theatre; semi-finalist: PlayPenn, Ashland, FutureFest and MTWorks’ Newborn Festival); una casa/a home (finalist: Landing Theatre’s New American Voices, Route 66 New Play Development); For Unto Us (published by DPS); In Mrs. Baker’s Room (Commission: Abingdon); The Seventh Son (semi-finalist: Ronald M Ruble New Play Festival). He is a Dramatists Guild member and serves as the Northeastern Regional Representative for the DG National Council. Visit for more info. 

 Back By Popular Demand: BLACK WOMEN & THE BALLOT

WHEN: Starting August 15th, 2020 at 8pm (EDT)

Black Women and The Ballot: 3 Short Radio Dramas playback will be streaming through Election Day on our website

Be sure to join us for this special V.O.T.E. (Voter Outreach Through Theatre Engagement) Screening of #BLACKWOMENBALLOT


Five theater organizations today announced the formation of the #theatre5alliance to bring the arts to people’s homes and to highlight the importance of keeping local theater alive and thriving. 

The alliance is comprised of Berkshire Playwrights Lab, Durango PlayFest, Laguna Playhouse, New Jersey Repertory Company, and Seven Angels Theatre. Like similar groups nationwide, each of these organizations canceled their summer performances due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The alliance will harness the writing talents of dozens of well-known screen and stage actors to create original vignettes of three to ten minutes each. The project is the brainchild of actor Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years, Lombardi), who called upon friends in the industry to create videos of themselves reading works they’ve written under the banner “Keeping Live Theatre Alive.” He has brought in Filmmaker Jeremy Fletcher to edit individual videos of the actors and alliance members will be making them available on their websites starting August 29th, 2020.  Lauria is a longstanding supporter of local theater and of the alliance members.

“Every sector in society has been impacted negatively by COVID-19, including theaters,” Lauria said. “I wanted to raise awareness of the plight of these organizations while celebrating how actors are keeping their creative juices flowing.”

Actors committed to the project so far include Kim Brockington, Bryan Cranston, Bruce Davidson, Andre De Shields, Judd Hirsch, Stacy Keach, Dan Lauria, John Larroquette, Judith Light, Hal Linden, John Lithgow, Jodi Long, Priscilla Lopez, Wendie Malick, Joe Mantegna, Carolyn McCormick, Patty McCormack, Laurie Metcalf, Alfred Molina, Ed O’Neill, Lou Diamond Phillips, James Pickens Jr, Stephen Root, Tony Shalhoub, Charles Shaughnessy, Peter Scolari, Joe Spano, Chris Sullivan, Reno Wilson, Henry Winkler, and Robert Wuhl.  

The content will be available to viewers by each theatre and they will use the vignettes in creative ways to raise awareness of their organizations as well as thank their patrons for their support during this difficult year.

For more information on each theatre’s programming plans, visit any of these theatre websites: New Jersey Repertory Company, Berkshire Playwrights Lab, Durango PlayFest, Laguna Playhouse or Seven Angels Theatre.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

 YIVO Launches New Online Museum with First Interactive Exhibition

Read More About the Online Museum

 This Week at All About Jazz

We're excited to announce that on August 15th, All About Jazz will celebrate its 25th year online. We have big plans including the launching of our virtual jazz club, a new store, plus much much more. Stay tuned! 

Under the Radar: Charles Mingus and Max Roach spearheaded the other Newport jazz festival. Read the story about the short-lived Cliff Walk Manor Festival. 

Chats with Cats: Meet An Die Musik owner and operator Henry Wong and learn how Henry has reinvented his venue during the pandemic. 

Interview: An accomplished composer working across chamber and orchestral music, ballet, theater, installations, film and TV music, Max Richter has built his career on defying expectations, diversity, and taking chances. Read his story

Meet the Staff: Get to know B.D. Lenz—musician and author of two All About Jazz columns: Chats with Cats and Mind Your Business. And from our radio and podcast section, meet Russell Perry, host of the epic Jazz at 100 radio program and Leo Sidran, host of the equally epic The Third Story podcast. 

Stay current and read our latest album reviews. Remember last week's mention of Maria Schneider's Data Lords? You can read our three reviews from here

Comments have returned to All About Jazz. Look for them at the bottom of every article and news item. Join or start a conversation. You can post as a member or as a guest. 

Our radio programs and podcasts provide countless hours of entertainment and discovery. Featured Today: Bob Osborne's World of Jazz. Today, Bob pays tribute to trumpeter Eddie Gale. Tune in

Enter the Whaling City Sound contest giveaway!

Celebrate 20 years of Whaling City Sound by entering to win one of WCS's latest releases! Five winners can choose from any recent releases including John Stein's Watershed, Tim Ray's Excursions and Adventures, Dave Liebman's Earth Expansions or Jim Robitaille's Space Cycles. ENTER 

Professional Tips

Musician? Work on your All About Jazz presence. All free.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020




  • Choppy Water by Stuart Woods 
  • The Midwife Murders by James Patterson 
  • A Private Cathedral by James Lee Burke 
  • No Offense by Meg Cabot 
  • Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family by Omid Scobie 
  • The Boy in the Field by Margot Livesey 
  • Evil Geniuses by Kurt Andersen 


  • I Promise by LeBron James 
  • Splat the Cat and the Cat in the Moon by Rob Scotton 
  • Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley 
  • Girl Versus Squirrel by Hayley Barrett 
  • Sun and Moon Together by Ethan Long 
  • The Unicorn Came to Dinner by Lauren Destefano 


  • Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything by Racquel Vasquez Gililand 
  • Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar 
  • Facing the Sun by Janice Lynn Mather 
  • Cut Off by Adrianne Finlay 


Ebooks and audiobooks available via Libby/Overdrive

Libby is a free app where you can borrow ebooks and digital audiobooks from your public library. You can stream books with Wi-Fi or mobile data, or download them for offline use and read anytime, anywhere. 

Download the mobile app from your App Store or visit eBCCLS and get started today!

Sarah Pardi, the library’s Head of Public Service, recommends two stories of survival: I usually prefer to read non-fiction and when summer arrives, I am always drawn to tales that involve adventure, nature, and survival. Two titles I highly recommend are Into the Wild by John Krakauer and Adrift: 76 Days Lost at Sea by Steven Callahan. Each title tells a captivating and harrowing tale of men facing an epic battle against mother nature with two very different results. Both are page turners that will keep you glued to the end. Request these titles here and here


Hoopla offers movies, music, audiobooks, ebooks, comics, and TV shows to enjoy on your computer, tablet, or phone. Access with your library card. There's never a wait list. 

This week's recommended Hoopla tile is the ebook of Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Adventure by Jeff Kinney. From the author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series comes the sequel to The Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid.Join Roland and his best friend, Garg the Barbarian, as they embark on a quest to save Roland's mom from the White Warlock. Access this title here



 FREE Movies This Weekend at UCPAC in Rahway

Movies Under The Stars

WHEN: Thursday and Friday, 7:30 Pre-show; 8:15 Movie starts
WHERE: UCPAC Main Stage Parking Lot, Rahway

Brought to you by the City of Rahway and presented by the Union County Performing Arts Center

These outdoor movies are free, socially distanced, and family friendly! 

All our movies are bring your own, and we encourage you to order delivery from the delicious local restaurants in Rahway - all patrons will receive one coupon for $10 off from a participating Rahway restaurant (one coupon per reservation/walk-up area).


LIVE CONCERT TRIBUTE TO NINA SIMONE THURSDAY NIGHT: Black Divas Pay Tribute to the Legendary Singer-Songwriter & Activist


Black Divas Pay Tribute to the Legendary Singer-Songwriter & Activist

See you Thursday on Facebook Live (on the Axelrod's and Remember Jones's pages).

“Feeling Good,” “I Put a Spell on You,” “To Be Young, Gifted and Black”...the unmistakable voice and sounds of Nina Simone evoke a period of civil unrest, the yearning for equality and freedom, and the celebration of American Blackness. Hailed as “the High Priestess of Soul,” Miss Simone recorded 30 albums and paved her own way as a jazz singer, pianist, songwriter and civil rights activist. 

The Axelrod is pleased to welcome back two favorite Black divas to celebrate Nina Simone: Broadway’s Amma Osei (Rock of Ages) and recording artist JaQuita May. Last summer Amma portrayed the Narrator in Joseph...Dreamcoat and JaQuita played the Acid Queen in our Tommy concerts and Dionne in Hair. We also welcome a cameo from American Idol alum Melinda Doolittle. Our music director/pianist is Darnell White.  

The Anne & Sheldon Vogel Virtual Concert Series is co-produced by Remember Jones and his team. 

WHEREFacebook streaming live on the Axelrod and Remember Jones’s Facebook pages

In the Axelrod’s efforts to continue to keep the performing arts alive during these difficult times, these concerts are free to the public. All artists and staff are paid for their work, so your generous tips via Venmo or PayPal are much appreciated. Thanks for supporting the Arts in New Jersey!