Friday, September 11, 2020

Passage Theatre Announces Its 2020-21 Season! 

Connection and Caregiving

Passage Theatre is thrilled to announce its 2020-21 season! In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Passage is committed to producing new and engaging work that meets its mission, while also ensuring that its programming is made available to the public in healthy and responsible ways. With this in mind, Passage has adapted some of its regular live performances and added a number of online programs that will ensure the safety of its audiences, artists, and staff. Passage will launch its 35th season with the digital streaming of play readings, artists interviews, educational learning labs, and exciting videos that will give an in-depth look at its new play development program, PlayLab. Passage will resume its live performances at the Mill Hill Playhouse in February 2021, pending CDC safety regulations for public gatherings.

Passage’s 2020-21 Season centers on Connection and Caregiving. Passage believes that theatre is an integral part of how communities connect with one another, whether this connection is online or in person. During this difficult time in the nation’s history, Passage plans to present both virtual and live programming that will connect its audience members through shared experiences, thus encouraging empathy and understanding within the community.

Passage’s Artistic Director, Ryanne Domingues, has also chosen shows that will inspire healing as we head into 2021. The shows will explore what it means to care for oneself, one's family, one's friends, or one's community. Two of Passage’s live shows planned for the coming season, Mother (and me) by Melinda Buckley and A Twister of Water by Caitlin Parrish, were originally planned for our 2019-2020 season, but were postponed due to the pandemic. Passage looks forward to finally bringing these shows to the stage this season, as their stories are even more relevant in our current climate. Passage also plans to produce its third Theatre for Families and Young Audiences show, Surely Goodness & Mercy by Chisa Hutchinson (which is appropriate for those ages 10 and up), and the in-person readings of two plays that are just emerging from our PlayLab program.

Ms. Domingues says, "This season's themes of connection and caregiving are reflective of where our country is right now and the issues that many of our community members are facing. In the time of COVID-19, many are struggling to find connection, and to redefine how to connect with and communicate with one another. Additionally, our country is grappling with enormous cultural and racial divides, and struggling to find out how we can better connect and listen to each other. All of this has resulted in a lot of physical and emotional trauma that is going to require caregiving. Whether this caregiving takes place within a hospital, a community, or a family, I wanted to explore the ways in which we can care for ourselves and each other as we navigate this difficult landscape."

2020-21 Season Schedule:

Online Play Readings: Passage Theatre will be producing two play readings via Zoom that will be read by professional actors. These events will be ticketed at $10 per viewing, and audiences can reserve their spots on our website. The shows are as follows:

  • Welcome to Matteson!: Written by Inda Craig-Galván & directed by Andrew Binger

    WHEN: Read live online with talkback to follow @ 7pm on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. Pre-recorded version available to view online from Sunday,
    Nov. 22 @ 7pm – Tuesday, Nov. 24 @ 11:59pm.

  • Babel: Written by Jacqueline Goldfinger & directed by Jill Harris

    : Read live online with talkback to follow @ 7pm on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. Pre-recorded version available to view online from Sunday, Jan. 24 @ 7pm – Tuesday, Jan. 26 @ 11:59pm.

Online PlayLab Previews: Passage’s PlayLab is a program that creates and develops new work in order to advance and diversify the art-form and our collective culture, affording emerging and established playwrights a platform for sharing diverse perspectives on complex and important issues. Our Online PlayLab Previews are videos that will include exclusive artist interviews and clips documenting Passage’s new play process. Audiences will get a sneak-peek into the shows we are planning to produce for our 2021-2022 season, and learn how we bring such new work to life! These videos are offered free-of-charge with a suggested online donation of $5

The following are our Online PlayLab Sessions:

       The OK Trenton Project: Written and devised by The OK Trenton Project ensemble    

WHEN: Available to view online from September 23, 2020 – June 30, 2021

      Group!: A new musical with music by Aleksandra M. Weil, lyrics by Eloise Govdare, and book by Julia B. Rosenblatt

Available to view online from March 3, 2021 – June 30, 2021    

Online Artists Interviews: These video interviews give our audiences the inside scoop regarding what it takes to work in professional theatre. Playwrights, directors, designers, and actors share their thoughts on recent and upcoming Passage productions, and give a sneak-peek into their artistic processes. These videos are offered free-of-charge with a suggested online donation of $5.

Artists to be featured in the interviews include David Lee White (Panther Hollow and The OK Trenton Project), Inda Craig-Galván (Welcome to Matteson!), Jill Harrison (Babel), Chisa Hutchinson (Surely Goodness and Mercy), Aleksandra M. Weil & Eloise Govedare (Group!), Alyssandra Docherty (A Twist of Water), Michael Osinski & Marie Laster (A Twist of Water), An-lin Dauber (A Twist of Water), Wendi Smith (A Twist of Water and The OK Trenton Project) and Richard Bradford (The OK Trenton Project).

Online Learning Labs: Passage Youth Programs invite students and adults of all ages and backgrounds to explore, fully realize, and share their greatest creative potential and the potential of the community through the power of expression – onstage, in the classroom, and in their neighborhoods. 

Passage’s Online Learning Labs are interactive video lessons that students can view as a jumping-off point to not only learn about the art of live theatre, but also to gain valuable Communication and Language Arts skills. Each session comes with a suggested activity to make the students’ learning both fun and engaging, with Learning Labs Information Packets able to be downloaded from our website. Learning Labs can be viewed individually, or they can be viewed as a series, with each Lab supplementing the others. These videos are offered free-of-charge with a suggested online donation of $5.

     Learning Labs: Elementary Students (Appropriate for grades 1 & 2):

Session #1: Who is in my community? (Available to be viewed online from September 16, 2020 – June 30, 2021)

Session #2: How does my community help me? (Available to be viewed online from October 28, 2020 – June 30, 2021)

Session #3: How can I help my community? (Available to be viewed online from November 23, 2020 – June 30, 2021 

     Learning Labs: Middle School Students (Appropriate for grades 5 through 8)

Session #1: Caring for my community. (Available to be viewed online from November 9, 2020 – June 30, 2021)

Session #2: Uplifting my community. (Available to be viewed online from December 7, 2020 – June 30, 2021)

Online Special Events: Passage Theatre will be sharing two play performances via Zoom that will act as fundraisers for our 2020-21 season. Tickets to these events will be available on our website. The shows are as follows:

     Panther Hollow: A full production written and performed by David Lee White & directed by John Augustine

WHEN: Available for online viewing from Saturday, Oct 17, 2020 @ 7pm – Tuesday, October 20 @ 11:59pm

*The use and temporary distribution rights of the Panther Hollow video are being generously donated by David Lee White for the purpose of this fundraiser.  David Lee White was Passage’s former Associate Artistic Director for close to 10 years.

     Christmas 2.0: An online staged reading written by Donna Hoke & directed by Michelle Tattenbaum

WHEN: Read live online @ 7pm on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020. Pre-recorded version available to view online from Sunday, Dec. 13 @ 7pm – Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 11:59pm

Live/In-Person Shows and Readings: In February 2021, Passage will be returning to producing live, in-person shows and play readings at the Mill Hill Playhouse. However, in the event that COVID-19 escalates in the New Year, all in-person events will be converted to online presentations. The following shows and readings are planned to be presented live, with tickets available online and by calling our box office:

Solo Flights Production:

     Mother (and me), Written and performed by Melinda Buckley

WHEN: February 19-21, 2021

Theatre for Families and Young Audiences Production:

     Surely Goodness & Mercy, Written by Chisa Hutchinson & directed by  marcus d. harvey

WHEN: March 18-21, 2021

PlayLab Staged Reading:

  • Group!, A new musical with music by Aleksandra M. Weil, lyrics by Eloise Govdare, and book by Julia B. Rosenblatt

WHEN: March 27, 2021

Mainstage Production:

    A Twist of Water, Written by Caitlin Parrish & directed by Michael Osinski

WHEN: April 29-May 16, 2021

PlayLab Staged Reading:

    The OK Trenton Project, Written and devised by The OK Trenton Project ensemble

WHEN: June 19, 2021


Passage Theatre’s season is made possible in part by the N.J. State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the NEA; the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; The City of Trenton; Trenton Downtown Association; WIMG 1300;  The Curtis McGraw Foundation; PNC Bank; Trinity United Methodist Church, Ewing, NJ ; First Presbyterian Church of Ewing; New Jersey Manufacturers (NJM); Educational Testing Service (ETS) New Jersey Theatre Alliance; Janssen Pharmaceuticals; Philadelphia Indian Committee; I Am Trenton; Otsuka Pharmaceutical; Mathematica Policy Research; Thomas Edison State University; The Bunbury Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation; The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey; The Shubert Foundation; The MAP Fund, and Mary G. Roebling Foundation.