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“Opening Doors Initiative” Provides Free Space for Community Artists
Sponsored by Valley National Bank
Luna Stage is thrilled to announce Opening Doors, a new
initiative to provide artists in the Valley Neighborhood with cost-free
access to the professional theatre’s spaces, resources, and staff. The
program is sponsored by Valley National Bank.
“Opening Doors will celebrate the diverse voices that
surround our theatre, eliminate barriers to participation, support the
development of new plays, and nurture the next generation of artists,”
said Luna Stage Artistic Director Ari Laura Kreith. “Playwrights will be
able to workshop and develop new plays. Actors will have the
opportunity to rehearse and receive feedback on their work, prepare
auditions, and develop solo material. Schools and community groups will
have access to performance space for year-end projects and special
Luna Stage is a professional Equity theatre dedicated to
developing and producing vibrant plays about local and global
experiences. Founded in Montclair over 30 years ago, the professional
regional theatre moved to the Valley Arts District in West Orange to
become an arts anchor of the community.
“We are excited to be Opening Doors with Luna Stage, an
anchor of revitalization in the Valley Arts District, to provide local
theatre artists with access to the community based creative resources
that Luna offers,” said Chris Forno, a Senior Vice President at Valley
National Bank who also serves as a member of the Luna Stage Board.
Access to studio space is essential to theatre artists.
”We are frequently approached by local playwrights seeking development
space and time, local actors seeking studio opportunities to polish
audition material and develop their craft, and community groups and
schools seeking performance space for projects and showcases,” said
When possible, Luna makes rehearsal spaces available to
artists during the daytime when its administrative office is open.
During the pandemic, the company continued to make the building
available to local artists to support community resilience and
creativity. Community members shot independent films, recorded
performances to live stream, and did development on new plays while our
building was closed for public performances. The theatre also offered
space free of charge to an arts education program that had lost its
“As we emerge from the pandemic, we find that the need for
affordable community arts space has increased as other local
organizations dedicated to arts practice have closed. To meet the needs
of emerging artists, we needed to find a way to open our space on
weeknights and on weekends. We are deeply grateful to Valley National
Bank for supporting this initiative,” said Kreith.