Wednesday, November 1, 2023



Bergen County Players (BCP), one of America’s longest-running little theater companies, is excited to present the intense and powerful Tony Award-winning 

Master Class
by Terrence McNally

WHEN: through November 18 (Friday and Saturday evenings at 8pm, and Sunday afternoons at 2pm)
WHERE: Little Firehouse Theatre, 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell
$25 on Fridays and Saturdays and $23 on Sundays
Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling 201-261-4200 or by visiting the box office at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during regular box office hours.

Under the direction of Alan Demovsky, this dramatic and profound play by Terrence McNally, one of America’s preeminent playwrights (Love! Valor! Compassion!, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Ragtime, The Full Monty), is regarded as “rich, vivid,” and “satisfying” by The New York Times 

Terrence McNally is a distinguished American playwright and the winner of four Tony Awards, two Guggenheim Fellowships and a Rockefeller Grant, among other distinctions. 

Regarded as a “total triumph” by the Star-Ledger, Master Class is based on a series of Juilliard School master classes taught by the great opera singer Maria Callas, one of the most compelling and controversial artists of our time. Vividly and often comically, McNally’s play captures the essence of Callas as she alternately destroys and inspires three eager Juilliard opera students with her brutally honest critiques, recollections of her illustrious career and turbulent life, and unwavering commitment to the sacrifices artists make for their creations. During the sessions, the music of the arias drop her into memory, and she relives her bitter childhood in wartime Greece, phenomenal acclaim at the great opera houses like La Scala, her triumph over her enemies, and her tumultuous and tragic love affair with another giant, Aristotle Onassis. Onassis, who was married to Athina Mary Livanos, had a nine-year affair with opera singer Maria Callas. Onassis later left Callas for Jackie Kennedy, the widowed first lady.

The play was originally staged by the Philadelphia Theatre Company in March 1995, the Mark Taper Forum and the Kennedy Center. The play premiered on Broadway at the John Golden Theatre on November 15, 1995, and closed on June 29, 1997, after 598 performances and 12 previews. 

Master Class is directed by Alan Demovsky of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who has directed 25 plays, musicals and dramas in the New York/New Jersey area in as many years. “My objective was to showcase the importance of Maria Callas and to ensure that her career is remembered front and center,” said Demovsky.

“The play is about how a person who has courage and perseverance can overcome any obstacle in order to achieve their God-given talents to succeed in their dreams.”

The talented cast of Master Class includes veteran performers Joanne Guarnaccia (top image) of Englewood Cliffs, Christian Davakis and Elizabeth Marino of New York City, and Grace Callahan and Rich Ciero of Oradell.

The production team is comprised of Alan Demovsky (Director), Vicki Casella (Vocal Coach), David Maiullo (Accompanist), David Luke (Producer), Geri Berhain (Assistant Director), Jacqueline Poquette (Advisor to the Director), Michele Roth (Stage Manager), Gerard Bourcier (Set Designer/Lighting Designer/Projection Design), Lynne Lupfer (Décor), Rich Ciero (Props), Bunny Mateosian (Costumes), Ray Poquette (Lighting Designer), Allan Seward (Lighting Operator), Tim Larsen (Sound Designer), Barry Reed (Sound Operator), Richard Frant (Photography), Christopher Nelson (Programs), Marci Weinstein (Program Notes), and Janica Carpenter (Member-at-Large).

Those interested in Group Sales or benefit theater parties can call (201) 261-4200 (option #6).

BCP offers seating to accommodate patrons who are mobility impaired and can transfer from a wheelchair. These seats can be purchased by calling the box office at 201-261-4200 and will be released for public sale two weeks prior to performance.

BCP's popular Questions & Artists talkback session with cast and crew will be held following the performance on Friday, November 3

Advance discount tickets for students aged 25 and under with proper ID are available for $18 by phone or walk-up at every performance, pending seat availability. Not available online. There is a limit of one discount ticket per student ID.

'Rush' discount tickets for students aged 25 and under with proper ID are available for $5 at the box office window, starting 30 minutes prior to curtain. There is a limit of one Rush ticket per student ID and cash is the only payment method accepted.

A new program is now available for qualified non-profit organizations to use one performance of each production as a fundraising event. The group will book all 200 seats at a deeply discounted price and then resell the tickets at a price of their choosing, with the difference in price kept by the group. The available date is the Thursday of each show’s final weekend. Interested groups can email for more information.

Parking is free for our patrons at the Park Avenue municipal lot, across the street, one-half block north of the theater, as well as street parking on Kinderkamack Road and various side streets, all within easy walking distance.

Further information can be found at

The Bergen County Players, Inc. is a non-Equity, non-profit community theater company dedicated to presenting quality productions for the enrichment of the community.

Photo by Richard Frant