Tuesday, July 6, 2010



Premiere Stages, celebrating its sixth year as the professional theatre in residence at Kean University, announces the première of The Good Counselor, by Kathryn Grant.

The Good Counselor is a new drama about a chosen son’s quest for truth. A bright, young public defender, hounded by his community and haunted by his past, struggles to defend two neglectful mothers: one his client, the other his own. A thought-provoking and beautifully written play, The Good Counselor literally prompts the audience to serve as the jury to determine what it means to be a good parent.

The play opens Thursday, July 15, in the Zella Fry Theatre on the Kean University campus in Union and continues through Sunday, August 1. The richly diverse cast features Edward O'Blenis, Erik LaRay Harvey, Susan Louise O'Connor, Socorro Santiago and Geany Masai.

A jury box has been incorporated into the audience seating, and patrons who arrive early have the opportunity to sit as jurors to hear Vincent, the young defender, deliver his opening and closing arguments directly to them. It is a fun way for audiences to feel like they are part of the action while watching and considering the unique events surrounding the case.

The Good Counselor is the winner of the 2010 Premiere Stages Play Festival and was selected from more than 300 submissions. The Festival features “a uniquely accelerated process” in which the region’s most promising new plays are developed and fully produced within a year of submission. Playwrights are also afforded the opportunity to retain the coveted “world première” brand.

“In many professional theaters, the time span between meeting a writer, staging a reading and producing the play can be years,” notes artistic director John Wooten. “When we discover a dramatist we believe in, our play festival process allows Premiere Stages to fully commit the time, talent and resources necessary to share that writer’s work with a broad regional audience.”

Standard tickets are $25 with special rates for seniors, students, Kean Alumni and groups. The Premiere Package (a new subscription series) saves patrons up to $30.00 and includes discounts on restaurants and free admission to staged readings and other special events. For reservations (highly recommended) or to receive a brochure, please call the Kean University Box Office at (908)-737-SHOW (7469), or visit Premiere Stages online at www.kean.edu/premierestages.

All performances take place on the Kean University campus, located at 1000 Morris Avenue, Union, NJ, in the Zella Fry Theatre in the Vaughn Eames Building. Saturday and Sunday matinee performances begin at 3:00 PM; Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening performances begin at 8:00 PM.

Premiere Stages offers affordable prices, air-conditioned facilities and free parking close to the theatres. Premiere Stages provides free or discounted tickets to patrons with disabilities. All Premiere Stages facilities are fully accessible spaces. Please call for a list of sign-interpreted, audio-described or open-captioned performances. Assistive listening devices and large print programs are available upon request. Publications are available with advanced notice in alternate formats.

Premiere Stages is made possible in part through funding from The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Kean’s Quality First Initiative, The Westfield Foundation, The Gleason Family Foundation, The Provident Bank Foundation and through the generous support of individual patrons.
  • For information about special events and Premiere Packages, please call Erica Nagel at 908.737.4092.
  • For group and dinner theatre packages, call Paul Whelihan at 908.737.4077.
  • For specifics of the season, please contact Artistic Director John Wooten at jwooten@kean.edu or 908.737.4360.