Friday, July 30, 2021

Chatham Playhouse to Host 27th Annual Jersey Voices Festival Starting August 6

Evening of seven one-act plays enables writers to showcase original scripts while allowing directors and actors to experiment with new roles


WHEN: August 6, 7, 13 and 14 at 8 p.m. and August 15 at 7 p.m.
WHERE: Chatham Playhouse, 
23 North Passaic Ave Chatham
TICKETSAll Tickets are $15. 
To access the theater’s online ticketing service, simply go to 
For more information, call the box office at (973) 635-7363 or go to  
It is highly recommended that tickets be purchased in advance. Audience members who have not been fully vaccinated MUST properly wear a mask at all times while in the theater. Patrons with special needs requiring seating accommodations should contact the Playhouse at least 24 hours prior to the performance. Without prior notice, accommodations cannot be guaranteed.

We welcome you to join us as we explore the joys of live, original theater in The Chatham Playhouse, where Jersey Voices has provided a venue for New Jersey playwrights to showcase their work since 1995. There’s a risk in coming to see any author’s new work, whether you’ve heard of them before or not. It’s brave and courageous, and we’re grateful our audience trusts us enough to share the experience. Jersey Voices has presented the work of more than 90 authors in their 27 years.

“After a over a year of virtual theatre and plenty of Netflix, I could not be more excited to be bringing Jersey Voices back to life on the Chatham stage. As we got all the actors and directors together for our first read through, you could feel the excitement in the room as people prepared to create again” says producer Jessica Phelan of Montclair. “Beyond our normal production this year, we are also including one piece that has been workshopped by the director and playwright, and eventually actors, to take an early draft of the script and collaborate to make it more polished. We’ve been lucky enough to present original works for the past 26 years, and this year we hope to take it to the next level by including a playwright more closely in the development process.”

Each of the following pieces will be performed each night of the festival:

Bernice’s Birthday by Brigid Amos formerly of Montvale
A cantankerous husband takes his wife of many years out for birthday celebration. What to order? Outdoors? Indoors? The second he steps away, a young attractive musician steps in to serenade her. Trouble brews. This play features Fred Dennehy of Cranbury and Jean Kuras of Glen Ridge. Directed by Joann Lopresti Scanlon of Chatham, Assistant Directed by Eleanor Anderson of Florham Park

The Villager Photo by Charles Grayson of Netcong
In this absurdist comedy, a recent Pulitzer-prize winning photographer battles his conscience during a clandestine rendezvous with a high-level intelligence officer who demands the secret behind a viral photo. This play features Matt McCarthy of Chatham and David Romankow of Gillette. Directed by William Michael Harper of Roseland.

My Dad is Bald by Minjae Kim of Princeton
Two high school friends grapple with each other’s preconceptions about family, image, childhood loss, the evolution of relationships, the value of the present moment, and the cultural implications of a really short haircut - all during a half-court game of basketball. Starring Kyle Cao of Livingston and Wasif Sami of Hillsborough. Directed by John A.C.Kennedy of Springfield.

Cloud Illusions by Amber Kusching of Cherry Hill
A chance meeting between two people can have an effect on both of their lives. Starring Anna McCabe of Morristown and Chip Prestera of Stirling (left). Directed by Arnold Buchiane of Summit.

A Dave with Destiny by Ken Preuss formerly of Bloomfield
Dave and Destiny meet on a street corner and struggle to discover why they both recognize each other. Are they crazy? Have they met before? Is there a deeper connection? Perhaps all three. Starring Jason Kruk of Madison and Monica Ross of Bloomfield. Directed by Elizabeth Rogers of West Orange.

A Benevolent Alliance of Mourners by Ken Preuss formerly of Bloomfield 
Danielle, home from college for the funeral of a friend, and Ellie, hired to sing at the service, meet by chance outside the church, conversing, confessing, and connecting in unexpected ways. Starring Sarah DeVizio of Morristown and Megan Pereira of Morristown (left). Directed by Lionel Ruland of Parsippany.

Bigger Than Pretend by Robin Rice formerly of Ridgewood
A homeless couple uses their imagination to dream away their circumstances; but some challenges are too great, even for make-believe. Starring Lauri MacMillan of Rockaway and Gloria Lamoureux of Succasunna. Directed by Jackie Jacobi of Metuchen.

About the Chatham Playhouse
The Chatham Community Players has been entertaining residents of Morris County and the surrounding area since 1922. The organization’s mission is to produce high-quality theater for a diverse audience, while elevating its standard of excellence and providing a creative outlet with educational opportunities and outreach programs. For more information, including details of CCP’s upcoming 2021-2022 season, visit Funding has been made possible in part by Morris Arts through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Photos by Joe Devico.