Saturday, April 7, 2018


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WHEN: Wednesday evenings, April 11, 18th and 25th at 7:30 PM. 
Lackland Center, 715 Grand Ave., Hackettstown
TICKETS: Admission to the WPS is by donation and reservations are requested, as seating is often limited.
For information and reservations, call the CSC box office at 908 979 0900, or log on to

The popular Women Playwright Series is back at Centenary Stage, with three exciting new plays about Cuba, the 1936 Berlin Olympics and a transformational moment in American history. The Centenary Stage Company announces the 2018 Women Playwrights Series (WPS) line-up, with the works of playwrights Darrah Cloud, Vita Patrick Morales and Jacqueline Bircher. The playwrights will be in residence for the Series, featuring a cast of professional actors and directors.

In the heart of 1930s Newark, and in the midst of a national depression, a group of scrappy young women began to train in backyards gyms for what would become the experience of a lifetime.  Inspired by local resident Ada Lunardoni and the stories of the 1st U.S. Women’s Gymastics team and the controversial 1936 Berlin Olympics, “Turning” by Darrah Cloud, will open the 2018 Playwright Series on Wednesday, April 11 at 7:30 PM in the Lackland Center. Part of a collaboration with NJPAC and NJ Theatre Alliance, “Turning” has been in development since fall, 2017. The April 11 performance will be the 2nd draft of the entire play, previously seen at CSC in preliminary scenes. Former Hackettstown resident and team member Ada Lunardoni Hutcheon had told stories to her grandchildren of her trip across the Atlantic on the USS Manhattan, meeting such luminaries as Jack Dempsey and Jesse Owens on board the ship as the team trained, readying for their competition.  With the help of Ada’s grandchildren, Judy Bosco and Bill Stoughton Jr, and additional historical research by Centenary University historian Ray Frey, along with personal interviews by Cloud and Rust, the personal stories of the team—previously lost to history—are coming to life in the play. Other members of the 1926  team included Consetta Caruccio, Jennie Caputo, Margaret Duff, Irma Haubold, Marie Kibler, Adelaide Meyer, and Mary Wright.

DARRAH CLOUD  pics 058Playwright Darrah Cloud has had over 10 movies-of-the-week produced on CBS and NBC to her name.  Her recent work for the theater includes the play, OUR SUBURB, which premiered at Theater J in Washington, DC in 2014 and Center Stage in Rochester. Her play for teens, JOAN THE GIRL OF ARC, premiered at Cincinnati Playhouse in January, 2014, then toured. Other plays produced in New York, Europe and across the U.S. include WHAT’S BUGGING GREG?, THE STICK WIFE, THE MUD ANGEL, DREAM HOUSE, BRAILLE GARDEN and THE SIRENS. Her musicals include HEARTLAND, (Goodspeed Opera, Madison Repertory Theatre, The Majestic Theatre/Dallas, TheatreWorks Palo Alto) THE BOXCAR CHILDREN (Theatreworks USA), HONOR SONG FOR CRAZY HORSE (TheatreWorks Palo Alto) and the stage adaptation of Willa Cather’s O PIONEERS!  which has received over 100 productions in the United States and was filmed starring Mary McDonnell for American Playhouse.  Her work is published by Dramatic Play Publishing.  Cloud’s awards include the Macy’s Prize for Theatre for Young Audiences, an National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship,  and a Rockefeller.  She is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and an alum of the Iowa Writers Workshop and New Dramatists. She co-directs The Howl Playwrights Lab in Rhinebeck, NY and teaches at Goddard College.

Led by Catherine Rust, the CSC Women Playwrights Series celebrates its 27th year in 2018, having featured the work of more than 75 emerging playwrights in the developmental WPS process, and having taken 17 plays to full production from the series, including “The English Bride” by Lucile Lichtblau, which later transferred from CSC to a sold-out run at 59E59 Theatres in New York City, and this year’s “Hitlers Tasters” by Michelle Kholos Brooks, which will transfer to NY in fall, 2018.   The WPS program offers playwrights the opportunity to work with professional actors and directors in a workshop rehearsal process, and to hear their work in front of a live audience – a critical part of the development process. Lively talk-backs with the playwright and cast follow each presentation, and one play is selected each year as the winner of the Susan Glaspell Award, which promises a full production in the main-stage season at CSC and a monetary award for the playwright.

The WPS receives support from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation,  The Shubert Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Zonta Club of Morristown, and season sponsor Heath Village. Additional support comes from a Grand Producer grant from the House of the Good Shepard. 

Coming up in WPS : 

On April 18,Havana Orthodoxy” by Vita Patrick Morales, a harrowing story of courage and commitment by one family embroiled in the political turmoil of 1950s Cuba– torn between idealism and survival, and inspired by a true story.

On April 25, “Another Revolution” by Jacqueline Bircher, a humorous but compelling story of two diametrically opposed scientists from opposing disciplines and very different backgrounds, thrown into a lab together in the midst of a campus devolving into political chaos in 1968. As the turmoil of the outside world threatens to intrude, they each discover what it’s truly like to be thrown into someone else’s orbit.