Sunday, October 1, 2023

World Premiere of "Grief at High Tide" at Vivid Stage in Summit this Weekend


Grief at High Tide: World Premiere
by Richard Willett
directed by Laura Ekstrand

WHEN: October 5 - 15; Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. Special dates: Thursday, October 5, is a preview performance. Sunday, October 8, is Senior Sunday; seniors age 65+ pay $28.
Oakes Center at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit
range from $25 to $42, with special rates for subscribers and groups. For touchless advance ticket purchases, go to our website. Season passes, which offer patrons a 20% discount, are available through October 15. For more information, call 908-514-9654.

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.

Directed by Artistic Director Laura Ekstrand (Livingston), the cast includes Vivid Stage ensemble members Noreen Farley (Clinton) and Daria M. Sullivan (Lyndhurst) and guests Andrew Binger (Montclair), André DeSandies (Englewood) and Gary Glor (Union).

Richard Willett was born in Hollywood but grew up in Vancouver, Canada. He lived for many years in New York City before moving back to Los Angeles a little more than ten years ago as an optioned screenwriter. He is the author of the plays Triptych, Random Harvest, The Flid Show, and Tiny Bubbles, among others, which have been presented off-off-Broadway and at theaters across the country. His new play A Terminal Event won ALAP's New Works Lab competition in 2021 as well as a Julie Harris Playwright Award and received its world premiere in May 2022 at the Victory Theatre in Los Angeles, and his play 9/10 received a New York production in 2023, a Covid-delayed commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of 9/11. Honors include an Edward F. Albee Foundation Fellowship and a Tennessee Williams Scholarship, as well as twice making the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Nicholl Fellowships Competition Top 50 (out of 7,000 scripts). Richard is the co-artistic director of New Directions Theater in New York:

Talkbacks follow the October 8 and 15 matinée performances. 

  • After the Sunday, October 8, performance, the talkback panel will include special guests from Good Grief and Imagine, as well as psychologist Dr. Liz Nissim
  • Before the October 15, matinée, guests Andrea Stein, author, and Lisa Brown, artist, will speak on the topic: “Truth Be Told: Whose Story Is It?,” which will investigate who has the right to tell private stories, and whether they can harm, heal, or both.

The theatre at Oakes Center is wheelchair accessible. Assisted listening devices are available at all performances. The parking lot is accessible from Ashwood Avenue, behind the theatre. 

For information on any of Vivid Stage's programs, please call 908-514-9654,

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, the Union County Department of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, 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.