Tuesday, February 22, 2011


clip_image001The New Jersey Theatre Alliance presents


FREE and discounted tickets to performances, workshops and events are offered state-wide by New Jersey’s Professional Theaters throughout the month of March. The Stages Festival includes the fourteenth annual Family Week at the Theater from March 5 - 12.

Family Week at the Theatre started 14 years ago, but since then, the program has proven to be so popular—and not just among young people, but teens on up to seniors—that there is a constant demand for more programming,” says John McEwen, Executive Director of the Theatre Alliance. 

This unique state-wide program provides the opportunity for young people ages 3–18 to receive free tickets to performances and special events throughout the state including classes, workshops and more – while offering free and/or deeply discounted ticket prices to parents and adult friends.  Events are held at member theaters, but also in local libraries, schools, hospitals and senior centers.  For the fourth year in a row, the Theatre Alliance is also sponsoring a private event for service men and women and their families on McGuire Air Force Base in Burlington County

Since its original inception as Family Week at the Theatre, in the program has served over 140,000 young people and their parents with professional theatre performances and activities. 

Older children will appreciate the dynamic programming provided by some of the most exciting companies in the region, while younger children will delight in the experience of seeing many familiar fairy tales and fables enacted in a live format.

Classes and workshops have always been a popular aspect of the program, and for the fourth year in a row, Bank of America’s Beyond the Stage programs offer theater lovers a chance to participate in a variety of workshops under the guidance of professional artists

Examples of workshops from north to south include: 

  • Actors Shakespeare Company (Hudson County) offering a stage combat workshop for young people and a Shakespearian centered acting workshop for the whole family;
  • Two River Theater Company (Monmouth) offering acting workshop for high school and middle school students;
  • Cape May Stage (Cape May County) offering four different acting workshop exclusively for elementary, middle and high school students, as well as adults.  
  • Other members will be offering acting workshops, pre- and post- show discussions, backstage tours and more for all ages.

The highlights listed here are only a sample of the diversity of this years’ schedule of events, and reservations are necessary for most of them.  For an up-to-the-minute schedule of The Stages Festival and Family Week at the Theatre, please visit the website at

Some highlights of this year’s Stages Festival and Family Week at the Theatre include:

FOR THE YOUNGER SET: Familiar stories told with laughter and adventure serve as a wonderful way to introduce children to the delights of live theatre, while keeping their parents happily entertained.

  • Pushcart Players will be performing throughout the state—in Morris, Ocean, Cumberland, Gloucester and Burlington counties among other—with several productions, including Red Riding Hood & Other Stories; Stone Soup and Other Stories; and the popular bi-lingual Cuentos del Arbol (Tree Tales)
  • The Growing Stage (Warren) will be offering a performance of James and the Giant Peach, an adaptation of the popular book by Roald Dahl.
  • Tri-State Actors Theater (Sussex) will offer Hey Ho, Pinocchio, a musical retelling of the story of the puppet who became a real boy, with a lively twist.


  • Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s (Morris) Shakespeare LIVE! Company will bring the best of the Bard to audiences in a fast-paced and exciting productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Julius Caesar (both adapted for young audiences), at their Madison, NJ theatre/home, and at other locations throughout the state including Ocean, Salem and Cape May counties.
  • Surflight Theatre's touring company will perform the popular Schoolhouse Rock LIVE!—with songs and laughs for kids that many parents may recall from the Saturday morning television of their youth, in Bergen, Gloucester, Atlantic and Ocean counties.
  • Centenary Stage Company (Warren) presents 1000 Cranes, the story of real-life Hiroshima survivor Sadako Sasaki's whose boundless optimism has inspired a worldwide movement for peace will be offered in their theater in Warren County.


  • Passage Theatre (Mercer) will present a reading of resident playwright David Lee White’s new thriller, Slippery as Sin, a play for theatergoers and mystery fans alike. Then stay after the show and talk with the playwright, director and the cast.
  • Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre (Essex) stages 2009’s Off-Broadway hit, Distracted, about living in an A.D.D. world at their South Orange location.
  • East Lynne Theater Company (Cape May) will offer several opportunities to see their popular “radio play” Sherlock Holmes’ Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle at their performance space in Cape May and in Bergen County.


Cuentos del Arbol (Tree Tales) will be performed by Pushcart Players in Cumberland County on March 19.  Sharing delightful stories with universal themes, this language-enriching show inspires an appreciation for other cultures. This performance is made possible by the support of the HMS Foundation.

The New Jersey Theatre Alliance is committed to making all of its programs and services fully accessible to the public.  Most venues participating in The Stages Festival and Family Week at the Theatre are wheelchair accessible.  Please call the venue directly for details regarding physical access (i.e. parking, wheelchair seating, rest-room access).  Any attendees requiring assisted services (i.e. sign language interpretation, assistive listening) may contact the New Jersey Theatre Alliance at 973.731.6582 x15 at least two weeks prior to the scheduled event. The Alliance will work with the venue to meet accessibility needs.