Monday, March 4, 2013

BLACK BOX ASBURY PARK TAKES ON “TOMS RIVER”

black box logotombstoneTOMS RIVER ANTHOLOGY 
A new comedy by Alexis Kozak

WHEN: Sunday, March 10, at 2:00 PM
WHERE:
Pure Health Bar, 701 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ.
TICKETS: $5 suggested donation.
For more information log onto www.blackboxnj.org.

Consisting of four scenes, each set in a Toms River cemetery and centered around a different pair of characters (newlyweds, a gay couple, a brother and sister, and a divorcing husband and wife), the play creates an interwoven patchwork that is a meditation on death in New Jersey and toys with the question of why we pass through Toms River, but why Toms River won’t just goddamn die?!

The play takes its title from the iconic American classic Spoon River Anthology, a book of interrelated poems by Edgar Lee Masters.  “I spent a lot of time in Toms River as a kid at my aunt’s house, which I loved.  At the same time, I heard people around me trashing the town.  So, I grew up with, literally, a love-hate relationship with the place,” says playwright Kozak.  “I’m trying to do it justice—show both sides—and play with some existential dilemmas as well.” 

Kozak runs the New Play Initiative at the recently rebooted Black Box.  “We have monthly writers’ groups, one for writers of all genres, and one specifically for playwrights and screenwriters.  Toms River has been incubated in both of these forums, but this is the first time the entire thing is being read all together.” 

Black Box will be doing a full production of another of Kozak’s comedies, 0 Days Since Last Miracle, in June.  “That play is a bird of a different color. Two Catholic high school girls go out the night before instead of studying, and so they try to fake the stigmata with ketchup in order to get of their Spanish final.  Yeah, I had thirteen years of Catholic school.”