UNION, NJ – Aspiring and established playwrights are invited to submit new plays to Premiere Stages, the professional theatre company in residence at Kean University.  Liberty Live is the new program of Premiere Stages Play Festival, which will commission a one-act script from a New Jersey playwright.  The commissioned writer will be awarded $1000, and the script will be developed and produced in November 2012 at Kean University’s Liberty Hall Museum.  Local audiences, school groups and the public will be invited to attend.

Liberty Live will dramatize the history that shaped the state of New Jersey, while fulfilling Premiere Stages’ mission: to cultivate talented writers, support the development of new plays and bring high-quality, professional productions to diverse audiences.

“We are extremely pleased to expand our new play development programs to include Liberty Live,” said John Wooten, producing artistic director of Premiere Stages.  “The project empowers local dramatists to create compelling plays about how New Jersey has evolved.  And Liberty Hall Museum is the perfect partner to help bring these stories to life.”

For 2012, the focus of Liberty Live will be on the town of Westfield.  A partnership with the Westfield Historical Society adds a family and educational component.  Workshops and staged readings will culminate in public performances at Liberty Hall Museum in November of 2012.  Question and answer sessions with noted historians and guided tours of the Museum will be offered as part of the event.

More than twenty-five plays have been developed through Premiere Stages Play Festival.  The most recent works include the 2011 hit Follow Me to Nellie’s by Dominique Morisseau, James Christy’s Egyptian Song (2011 Runner-Up and a current National New Play Network nominee), and 2010 winner The Good Counselor by Kathryn Grant which was named as the runner up for the prestigious 2011 American Theatre Critics Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award.


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All entries are evaluated by a panel of theatre professionals and historians in consultation with Wooten and resident dramaturg, Clare Drobot.  Interested New Jersey based writers are encouraged to submit by the deadline of March 15, 2012.  There is no entry fee.  Please email [email protected] for guidelines or visit www.kean.edu/premierestages.

The Westfield Foundation has funded the 2012 pilot program of Liberty Live.  Premiere Stages receives additional funding from The New Jersey State Council on the Arts / Department of State, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Northfield Bank, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance and generous support from individual patrons.

Premiere Stages offers affordable prices, air-conditioned facilities, free parking and discounted tickets to patrons with disabilities.  All Premiere Stages facilities are fully accessible spaces.  Please call for a list of sign-interpreted, audio-described or open-captioned performances.  Assistive listening devices and large print programs are available at all times.  Publications are available with advanced notice in alternate formats.

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...