Friday, March 4, 2022

Up Next: Nikkole Salter & Jenny Mercein at Luna Stage (In Person!)




Join us in welcoming playwrights Nikkole Salter and Jenny Mercein for powerful play readings inspired by true stories of women's courage and the fight for bodily autonomy and family reunification.



About Torn Asunder:

Prince George's County, MD, 1860. Hannah, a relatively contented enslaved woman, has her world rocked when her master dies and she, for the first time, is separated from her family, new husband, and baby. But just as she begins to lose all hope to ever see her husband and child again, the seceded south falls to the Union, the enslaved are freed with the 13th Amendment, and Hannah has the opportunity to put her family back together...if she can find them. TORN ASUNDER dramatizes true stories of newly emancipated African Americans trying to overcome the ever-present vestiges of institutional slavery to reconnect with their families. Based on the research of Prof. Heather Andrea Williams.

About Two Elizas:

Two Elizas explores women's rights, motherhood, and loss. The piece juxtaposes the true story of Mercein's ancestor Eliza Mercein Barry's 1847 U.S. Supreme Court case Barry v Mercein regarding the custody of her daughter with Mercein's own complicated journey to motherhood. Two Elizas candidly explores the taboo topics of mental illness and miscarriage, aiming to spark conversation around women's rights, intergenerational trauma, and loss. Though separated by over 150 years, both women experience the pressure on women to marry, the pain of losing a child, and the resilience required of and inspired by motherhood.


Admission is free but reservations are strongly encouraged as seating is limited. Our theatre is equipped with MERV-11 filters throughout our HVAC system, as well as MERV-18 air purifier units and sanitizing stations. Proof of vaccination and masks are required.



Torn Asunder and Two Elizas are part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance 2022 Stages Festival, made possible by support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; Bank of America; The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey; OceanFirst Foundation; New Jersey Historical Commission.