Saturday, May 19, 2018



La Strada Ensemble Theater presents

Rainbow Festival 2018: A Celebration of LGBTQ+ Theater

WHEN: June 1-3
: Jersey Shore Art Center, 66 South Main Street, on the 3rd Floor, Ocean Grove
TICKETS: $18 adults/$12 students and senior Citizen.  A festival pass can be purchased for $45 adults and $25 for students and senior Citizens. 
For more information and to purchase tickets please visit us at

Three programs of varied, cutting edge one-act plays created by playwrights from across the United States, a production directed and performed by our youth company, and a Cabaret—right after the gay pride march in Asbury Park.


WHEN: Friday, June 1st, at 8pm and Saturday, June 2nd, at 2pm. 

MY LAST DAY ON EARTH by artistic director and local NJ Toms River resident A.J. Ciccotelli and directed by founding member Donna Ault Jacobson tells the story of Benjamin who decides after being called by his doctor about a pending diagnosis and hereditary condition that he will die before the day's end, so how does a man who has lived a life time of restraint cram in everything he wants to do in his final hours?  A New Jersey Premiere. 

SUNNI SIDE UP by Chicago resident and founding member Gerry Ringwald and directed by Ensemble Member Gary C. Walter: Blind gay dates are awkward enough, but what if one gal's phone app turns the evening into an unexpected threesome?  That's the dilemma in this world premiere. 

BREAKING POINTS by Jersey City Resident Brad Forenza and directed by Ensemble Member Gian Carlo Durland:  Two roommates cope with the suicide of their friend amidst the backdrop of a small college town. Sometimes coming of age also means coming to grips.

WORDS IN HER HEAD, PEOPLE IN HER HEART written and directed by Jackson resident Emma Cornine:  Sawyer, a teenage aspiring playwright, struggles with trying to come up with the perfect story, balancing what the world wants to read and what she wants to write in.  A finalist in the Young Playwrights competition of New Jersey.

BEA AND MAY by internationally renowned New York State resident and honorary member Edwin Sanchez and directed by A.J. Ciccotelli:  A serial bride's wedding caterer makes one last attempt to win her back in this New Jersey premiere.

NED by Ensemble Member and New York City resident W. Allen Wrede and directed by Founding Member Donna Ault-Jacobson:  A lead role on a new break through television series means full time work for a once Hollywood Golden boy who has long faded.  Will Ned jump at the chance of playing an aged gay detective in a Murder She Wrote type of show when he hasn’t even come out of the closet yet?  A world premiere.

AFTER BRUNCH by legendary and honorary member and Los Angeles resident Robert Patrick and directed by A.J. Ciccotelli:  a hilarious play-let about the joys of love, partnership and brunch, of course.  

COPE by Ensemble Member and Neptune resident Gian Carlo Durland and directed by A.J. Ciccotelli:  sometimes it only takes the events of one night to change your life. Two men are forced to confront their lives, the politics of the day and most importantly their relationship with each other in this world premiere. 

With:  Evan Black, Doug Bollinger, A.J. Ciccotelli, Zack Caruso, Gian Carlo Durland, Candy Fox, Eric Hackler, Marissa Harding, Yolanda Hamilton, Joseph Iozzi, Phil Korz, Rebecca Lettice, Nathan Magno, Benjamin McGowan, Evan Merk, Rudy Palma, Alexandria Puscucci, Melissa Melisa Pascucci, Sherri Rase and Madison Wicker


WHEN: Saturday, June 2nd, at 8pm.

DOG SEES GOD: CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE BLOCKHEAD by Bert V. Royal is a reimagining of the Charles Shultz’ characters and who doesn’t love the peanuts?  CB’s dog dies from rabies triggering him to question the existence of an afterlife.   He meets an artistic kid who is the target of bullying and offers him a friendship that pushes teen anxiety to its fullest levels.  A haunting examination of drug use, suicide, eating disorders, teen violence, rebellion and sexual identity.   Directed by Ashley Friedman and assistant directed by Joseph Iozzi.  It stars Michael Aaron, Emma Casertano, Hannah Drew, Emma Harken, Griffin Holland, Aiden Lupo, Alexa Spinowitz and Madison Wicker.  Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead is performed with special permission from the Dramatist Play Service.


WHEN: Sunday, June 3rd, at 3pm.

RAINBOW 2018 CABARET, an afternoon of sketches, singers, comedians and odd talent!  And the ever-popular Auction of Strange and Wonderful Items!  We guarantee some strange and wonderful items especially on Pride Sunday!  Don’t miss this special event with tremendous talent and hosted by Frank Calo who has been hosting these Fantabulous shows for two decades.  Reception is part of the admission!  So, before you hit the town drinking and partying come party with us and maybe take home some strange and wondrous!