Friday, July 30, 2010


Musicals galore fill the schedule of the annual Summer Festival of Shows at the Centenary Young Performers Workshop with a cast of talented young thespians from Morris, Warren, Hunterdon, and Sussex counties. The Centenary YPW has been hailed as “a state treasure” by Peter Filichia of The Star Ledger. (Left: The Rink Rehearsal photo: Tommy Wright (Sparta), Gillian Eichler (Long Valley), Hunter Gross (Blairstown), Kali Wright (Sparta), Daniel Marion (Lafayette), Jenna Black (Hackettstown), Scott Abbondanzo (Califon)

The festival, which will feature the musicals The Rink, A Day In Hollywood, A Night In The Ukraine, and Godspell, as well as Clarence Day’s Life With Father and One Act Plays, will run August 6–15 at the Little Theatre on the campus of Centenary College, Hackettstown, NJ. And because there are so many performance dates and the tickets are so reasonably priced, these productions are a great way to introduce children and teens to the magic of the theater without breaking the bank! And Hackettstown is eminently reachable via Route 80 and is so quaint that you'll be glad you came!

The YPW is led by Broadway, film and television veteran, Michael Blevins, and is the educational arm of the Centenary Stage Company, which includes professional Equity Stage Company productions and a season of professional concert events throughout the year.
  • The Rink is a dilapidated roller rink on the boardwalk of an ocean resort that has been sold to developers. The owner, Anna, and her daughter, Angel, must come to terms with the past and move forward with their lives. The original Broadway musical featured Tony Award-winning actresses Chita Rivera and Liza Minnelli, was written by the Tony Award-winning American playwright Terrence McNally, with musical scores by John Kander and Fred Ebb. Performances are Saturday, August 7, at 2 PM; Sunday, August 8, at 7 PM; Friday, August 13, at 8 PM; Saturday, August 14, at 2 PM; and Sunday, August 15, at 7 PM.
  • A Day In Hollywood, A Night In The Ukraine, book and lyrics by Dick Vosburgh and music by Frank Lazarus, is a musical comedy loaded with classic Hollywood songs and tap routines of the 1930’s with a second act that mimics the comedy style of a Marx Brothers' movie. Performances are Friday, August 6, at 8 PM; Sunday, August 8, at 4 PM; Saturday, August 14m at 8 PM; and Sunday, August 15, at 4 PM.
  • Godspell, based on the Gospel according to St. Matthew, is considered one of the largest off-Broadway and Broadway successes of all time, featuring a sparkling, seminal score by Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin). It presents a whimsical view of Jesus, his followers and disciples as they re-enact parables and scenes from Jesus' life with great energy. Performances are Saturday, August 7, at 8 PM; Sunday, August 8, at 1 PM; Saturday, August 14, at 5 PM; and Sunday, August 15, at 1 PM.
  • Clarence Day’s humorous autobiographical book, Life with Father, adapted to stage by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, depicts the life a tyrant father dealing with his beloved family’s daily antics. Performances are Tuesday, August 10, at 7 PM; Wednesday, August 11, at 7 PM; and Thursday, August 12, at 7 PM.
  • The One Acts Playhouse is free to the public with performances on Saturday, August 14, at 11 AM and Sunday, August 15, at 11 AM.
Tickets for the YPW Festival of Shows are $10 for adults and $8 for children under 12, and are available at the Centenary Stage Company Box Office at 908.979.0900 and online at

Interviews for the YPW Fall Session, September 11-December 12, will be held on Saturday, August 7, at 12 noon and Saturday, August 14, at 12 noon. All new applicants must be interviewed prior to acceptance into the program. Interview reservations may be made through the CSC Box Office at X2.

The YPW is the educational arm of the professional Centenary Stage Company, an Equity theatre in residence on the campus of Centenary College. Programs at the Centenary Stage Company are made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts and CSC members and sponsors.