by John Morrison
directed by Darren DeBari
WHEN: Friday September 25 & Saturday September 26 at 8pm, Sunday September 27 at 3pm (Q & A with Cast and Director after the performance), Friday & Saturday October 2 & 3 at 8pm and Sunday October 4th at 3pm
WHERE: JERSEY SHORE ARTS CENTER (the former Neptune High School building), 66 South Main Street in Ocean Grove
TICKETS: $18 for adults and $12 for Students & Senior Citizens.
More information can be found and tickets can be purchased online at www.LaStradaEnsemble.org or at the door (at no additional cost).
Biloxi had its blues, Buffalo is often mooned over… and now Mantoloking gets its “stage-day in the sun” in the late Brick playwright John Morrison’s heralded DIVINE RIGHT.
This storied, sandy getaway (a vacation destination for both James Gandolfini and Katherine Hepburn) is the silent co-star of Morrison’s epic and often emotional play… enjoying its Monmouth County premiere.
DIVINE RIGHT revolves around a family devastated by the loss of its matron, and showcases father and war hero Jack and his daughters, Kieran and Riley… each seeking an outlet for their grief and redemption. Kieran has left college to gravitate toward a religious cult run by the charismatic Jim Jones/David Koresh amalgam/prototype, RAY ALLMAN, who seeks to have Kieran become more than just a follower. The plot then powerfully explores a family wishing to regain its former love and glory. The production stars Doug Bollinger, A.J. Ciccotelli, Carina Duffy, Lisa Siano and Thomas Ryan Ward and is directed by Darren DeBari. PHOTO: Riley Keating (Carina Duffy) looking away, Jack Keating (A.J. Ciccotelli) looking at his other daughter Kieran Keating (Lisa Siano) who in turns looks at the religious cult leader Ray Allman (Doug Bollinger). Photo credit: Thomas Ryan Ward
In creating DIVINE RIGHT, the late prominent and prolific New Jersey playwright, John Morrison, deftly tapped into the emerging, national zeitgeist of religious cults and unquestioned devotion. Far before Waco and after Jonestown, Morrison’s DIVINE RIGHT initially received critical resistance which turned immediately into awe-inspiring respect for a playwright whose career was far too short-lived.
Morrison’s other greatly lauded, THE SHANNON DOYLE INCIDENT and THE LUSTY AND COMICAL HISTORY OF TOM JONES, have been produced throughout America and toured England – garnering a National Professional Playwrights Award, N.J. Council on the Arts Fellowship, and placement as one of 5 plays selected for Middle Atlantic States Kennedy Center, American Collegiate Theatre Festival. Photo: Portrait of the late playwright John Morrison. Photo appear courtesy of the estate of John Morrison.
“John’s widow and La Strada supporter, Beth Morrison, and my personal friend and artistic contemporary, writer/director, Darren DeBari, gifted this incredibly powerful piece… not only to La Strada but more so to the people of New Jersey. DIVINE RIGHT is both an insightful investigation into the human condition but also, in many ways, a love letter to the wonder of the true Jersey Shore,” shared La Strada Artistic Director, A.J. Ciccotelli.