Wednesday, January 17, 2018

“A Good Farmer” debuts in American Theater Group’s inaugural mainstage production at SOPAC


See A Good Farmer at SOPAC

American Theater Group's

A Good Farmer
WHEN: WED, JAN 24 - SUN, FEB 4; Wed, Jan 24 and Thursdays Jan 25 & Feb 1 at 7:30PM, Fridays Jan 26, Feb 2 & Sat, Jan 27 at 8PM, Sat Feb 3 at 3PM & 8PM, Sun Jan 28 at 3PM 
WHERE: : South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), 1 SOPAC Way, South Orange
TICKETS: $25-$45  
To purchase tickets, contact SOPAC at (973) 313-2787 or visit     

What is the life of an immigrant worth? Are immigrants entitled to the American Dream? Explore these questions and more when you come to see this new play by Sharyn Rothstein. 

Ripped from today's headlines, this is the story of a farming community and its struggle with issues of immigration, loyalty, family survival and compassion.

Written by Sharyn Rothstein, directed by Kel Haney, featuring Janice Amaya, Todd Lawson, Brenda Withers and Ariel Woodiwiss.

See Janice Amaya in A Good Farmer

See Todd Lawson in A Good Farmer

See Brenda Withers in a Good Farmer

See Ariel Woodiwiss in A Good Farmer

Producer Jim Vagias notes “I had no idea when I read this play in October 2016 that it would become even more relevant a year later. Sharyn Rothstein puts a human face to all we are reading about, and she does so in a compelling, compassionate way.”

As an additional value to further explore the topics addressed in A Good Farmer, there will be a panel discussion following the SUN, JAN 28, 3PM performance. The Immigrant Experience: Escaping the Shadows, moderated by esteemed immigration attorney Michael Noriega, features leaders on the front lines of this complex situation who experience first-hand the hurdles immigrants face as they engage with the difficulties of modern day America.

SOPAC, known for presenting music, comedy, dance and other genres in its intimate theater, is partnering with American Theater Group as its theater company in-residence. A Good Farmer is the first of two full productions this season. It will be followed by Small Town Story, a musical about a small town that is divided by a controversial high school production, presented May 30-June 10, 2018.

Sharyn Rothstein is a playwright and television writer, whose plays and musicals have been workshopped and produced around the country, as well as internationally. Her play By The Water was first produced by Manhattan Theater Club and Ars Nova in 2014 and was the recipient of the 2015 American Theater Critic’s Association Francesca Primus Prize for a play by an emerging woman playwright. Her play All The Days was the recipient of the Edgerton Foundation Award and was produced at the McCarter Theater Center in 2016, directed by Emily Mann. In addition to playwriting, Sharyn is a writer for the USA Network drama SUITS.  She holds an MFA in dramatic writing from NYU and a Masters in Public Health from Hunter College, with a concentration in Urban Health.

Her unique background helps her to see the humanity in many situations. She says, “I believe that theater does its job best when it’s full of heart and full of complexity and, usually, has a nice helping of funny to go along with it. I’m driven by questions of social responsibility, of what we owe each other, and by strong, dynamic characters that don’t take easy “no’s”.”

Director Kel Haney will lead a cast that includes Janice Amaya, Todd Lawson, Brenda Withers and Ariel Woodiwiss. Ms. Haney’s credits include several regional theatres in the New York area and beyond including Atlantic Theater Company, Cherry Lane, Keen Company, Labyrinth, The Lark, Ma-Yi, Naked Angels, New Dramatists and New Georges. In addition to her work with American Theater Group directing the hugely successful The Way We Get By by acclaimed playwright Neil LaBute, New Jersey audiences may remember her productions of Deborah Brevoort’s My Lord What a Night and James Christy’s At Liberty Hall at Premiere Stages.