Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Centenary Stage Company Announces 2024 Women Playwrights Series Finalists

PRESS RELEASE: HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. – Centenary Stage Company’s (CSC) Women Playwrights Series (WPS) returns this spring with three brand-new play readings. Readings will take place on Wednesdays throughout April at 7 p.m. in the Sitnik and Kutz Theatres of the Lackland Performing Arts Center at 715 Grand Avenue, Hackettstown, on the campus of Centenary University.

The WPS readings are free to attend with donations welcome. Advanced reservations have a $5 fee. CSC will also offer a live streaming option accompanying the in-person performances. Live stream access is free to participate in with donations appreciated. WPS live streams will be made available for viewing at centenarystageco.org. For more information, go to the company website or call the box office at (908) 979-0900. Every reading will also be followed by a talkback with each playwright.

The 2023-24 Women Playwrights Series selections include:

“Abigail” by Sarah Tuft – What happens when at out-of-town tryout of “The Crucible” – helmed by a once legendary director making his comeback and funded by his renowned actress wife – casts an arrogant veteran theatre actor opposite a beauty influencer with absolutely no experience? In 2024, the search for truth in the role of Abigail Williams puts Arthur Miller’s classic on trial. “Abigail” by Sarah Tuft will be presented on Wednesday, April 10, in the Sitnik Theatre.

“Wasabia” by Wendy Herlich – When fiercely independent Vivian gets a knock on her door from Carla, a young hospice volunteer desperate to shine, the two strike up an unlikely and unforgettable friendship. Ener Val (Valium) and Di (Digoxin), who lend a hand in exploring life’s choices. Through a series of red carpet rants, Lifetime interviews and a truly unique game show, Vivian and Carla help each other in making some life-altering decisions. “Wasabia” by Wendy Herlich will be presented on Wednesday, April 17, at 7 p.m. in the Kutz Blackbox Theatre.

“For A Brighter Tomorrow” by Sophia Naylor – In 1974, cosmonauts Dmitri and Yuri are aboard a secret Soviet space station, a tiny capsule, miles from earth. As the cosmonauts argue the mundane intricacies of life – particularly to woo Pat Nixon – they’re interrupted by an urgent radio message. Suddenly the fate of the world rests in the hands of these two unlikely heroes, who must do everything in their power to discover the truth and ultimately determine the right thing to do. “For A Brighter Tomorrow” by Sophia Naylor will be presented on Wednesday, April 24, at 7 p.m. in the Kutz Blackbox Theatre.

CSC’s Women Playwrights Series, since 1992, has featured the work of more than 80 emerging playwrights from around the country and helped to develop their work. The program has also taken over 20 plays to full production from the series, including more than 21 world premieres. Led by program director Catherine Rust, for over 30 years, and now helmed by Mikaela Kafka, WPS offers playwrights the opportunity to work with professional actors and directors in a workshop rehearsal process, and to hear their work in front of a live audience. The program has provided a working platform for the under-served voices of women writing in the theatre. Lively talkbacks with the playwright and cast follow each presentation, and one play is selected each year as the winner of the Susan Glaspell Award and receives a full production in the following main-stage season with CSC.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit centenarystageco.org or call the Centenary Stage Company box office at (908) 979-0900. The CSC box office is open Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and two hours prior to performances. The box office is located in the Lackland Performing Arts Center on the campus of Centenary University at 715 Grand Avenue, Hackettstown.

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