Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Vivid Stage Announces 2023-2024 Season!

Vivid Stage, in residence at Oakes Center at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit, announces its new season. 

This professional company will bring three productions to the stage in addition to improvisational comedy, cabaret, play readings, and educational programs for teens and adults. As always, the Vivid Stage Resident Acting Company and their guests will tell stories that reflect our shared experience of being human with heart and humor.

Vivid’s fall mainstage production is the World Premiere of Grief at High Tide by Richard Willett. When struggling New York photographer Jennifer Evers tells her husband Christopher that the photo she took of him by his mother’s deathbed—the one he never gave her permission to take and asked her not to show anyone—was secretly entered in a very prestigious competition, it doesn’t go well. To try to investigate the role that art plays in real-life relationships, Jennifer goes out on assignment to California, to create a piece on a Pulitzer Prize−winning photograph, Grief at High Tide, which changed the lives of everyone involved. Grief at High Tide will open on October 5 and will run until October 15.

The second mainstage production of the season, opening in February, is the New Jersey Premiere of Gone Missing. With book by Steve Cosson and music and lyrics by Michael Friedman, this wry and whimsical documentary musical of loss was devised from interviews with real-life New Yorkers by The Civilians, the acclaimed New York-based company. This collection of very personal accounts of things “gone missing” —everything from keys, personal identification and a Gucci pump to family heirlooms, your dog and your mind—creates a unique tapestry of the ways in which we deal with loss in our lives. A flexible company of six performs more than thirty characters, intertwining these stories of lost objects with tales from some unusual “finders,” ranging from a retired NYPD cop to a pet psychic. Set against eclectic and tuneful songs by Michael Friedman, GONE MISSING is about the little things in life —seen largely. Gone Missing runs February 22 through March 3.

The final mainstage production of the season will be the New Jersey Premiere of Kodachrome by Adam Szymkowicz. Welcome to Colchester, a small town where everybody knows each other, and the pace of life allows the pursuit of love to take up as much space as it needs. Our tour guide is Suzanne, the town photographer, who lets us peek into her neighbors’ lives to catch glimpses of romance in all its stages of development. A play about love, nostalgia, the seasons and how we learn to say goodbye. Kodachrome runs April 18-28.

Vivid’s improv comedy group The Flip Side will bring its own brand of silliness and spontaneity to life for three evenings during the season. The fall TFS show, The Afterlife, will be on Saturday, November 4, 2023. On Saturday, December 2, 2023, TFS will celebrate Holidays with The Flip Side in a unique variety show with comedy and music. The last improv performance, Ancient HIstory, will be Saturday, March 9, 2024.

There are two special series of play readings in the spring and summer months. In May, Vivid presents the Meet the Artist series, a forum that showcases new theatrical works. The series provides audiences an opportunity to experience new shows and participate in discussions with playwrights, directors and actors. In July, the Summer Solos series includes four one-person shows performed on the lawn at the Visual Arts Center of NJ in Summit. These casual, intimate evenings allow audiences to enjoy the summer evening and their own picnics or snacks.

Improv classes for teens and adults are available throughout the season, with four sessions enrolling now. A bilingual improv class for teens is offered in collaboration with Summit’s Empowering Kids organization. Vivid also offers improv training for corporations and non-profit organizations in such subjects as teambuilding, creativity and communication.

Vivid Dreamers, the three-week summer program for students entering grades 5-12, will culminate in its annual production on Friday, July 26, an original family show that always draws on the creativity of its young actors to shape the piece. Each year, the youth company creates a one-of-a-kind piece that has ranged from fairy tale quest to Shakespeare adaptation to musical revue.

Vivid’s podcast, LOCAL with Laura Ekstrand, runs throughout the season featuring conversations with guests in the creative community of New Jersey and beyond. LOCAL can be found on itunes and through the Vivid Stage website.

Throughout the year, Vivid Stage offers internships for high school and college students and many volunteer opportunities. In addition, the theatre provides a menu of outreach programs for students and seniors that travel to other venues. All of Vivid’s activities center on the collaborative nature of theatre and creating a comfortable environment for artists and audiences of all ages to explore and grow together. The company’s work is supported by grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Summit Foundation, and several other corporate and individual donors that believe in the power of the arts to bring people together and promote understanding between them.

Season passes may be purchased that provide substantial discounts to all events, and special rates for groups are also available. The theatre at Oakes Center is wheelchair accessible, and such access services as large print scripts, assistive listening devices, and audio description will be available by prior arrangement throughout the season. Performances will be held at Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901. For more information and tickets for any of Vivid Stage’s programs, please call 908-514-9654, and visit

About Vivid Stage:

Vivid Stage was founded in 1994 as Dreamcatcher Rep, and is a non-profit professional ensemble of actors who build community with the audience by sharing contemporary, life-affirming stories that challenge, energize and entertain. Our work has at its heart a belief in the essential goodness of people and the power of live performance to connect people through our shared humanity. We expose theatregoers to ideas and lives like and unlike their own with the intention of awakening their imaginations and creating empathy for others. We deepen the experience of all our patrons with personal contact through receptions, talkbacks, and interactive programs.

The company’s activities include mainstage productions, improvisational comedy and cabarets, new play readings and a variety of educational and senior outreach programs.

Vivid Stage’s programs are funded by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and many other corporations, foundations and individuals. Vivid Stage is an Equity Producing member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

Vivid Stage, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) corporation, incorporated under the laws 
of the State of New Jersey.