Union, NJ – This spring, The Theater Project (TheTheaterProject.org) offers another virtual opportunity for playwrights, directors, actors, and audiences from all over the country to experience and participate in live theater from home. In the annual THINK FAST competition – a pillar of The Theater Project’s spring season – playwrights vie for a $500 Judges Prize, and audience members have the chance to vote for their favorite pieces. Now in its ninth year, THINK FAST is part of The Theater Project’s mission to serve as an incubator for rising talent and a showcase for new work in New Jersey and beyond.
THINK FAST takes place Friday, March 4th through Sunday, March 6th. This year’s selected short plays will be pre-recorded and broadcast on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 PM and Sunday at 2 PM. Tickets are $15 and include a link to a live, post-broadcast Zoom meet-and-greet after each performance, where audience members can chat with the actors, directors, playwrights, and event organizers. The prizes, including commendations for best actor, actress, and director, are announced at the Virtual Cocktail Party following the Sunday matinee.
The Theater Project invited THINK FAST submissions this past fall; and eight plays were chosen by a committee of playwrights to be showcased in competition. This year’s finalists are Jenny Lyn Bader (NYC), Kevin Brofsky (NYC), Alli Hartley-Kong (Arlington, VA), Susan Masters (Panama, NY), Colleen O’Doherty (Omaha, NE), Marc Paykuss (Pittsburgh, PA), Larry Rinkel (Bay Shore, NY), and Jack Rushton (Newbury, MA).
But only one play and playwright will be singled out for the $500 Judges’ Pick award. “It’s never an easy decision,” says Artistic Director Mark Spina, “and we like to remind everyone who participates that a competition is just an excuse to bring talented people together.”
The event is part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s Stages Festival, the state’s largest annual theatre festival, which provides free and discounted theatre events for all ages throughout the months of March, April, and May.
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The New Jersey Theatre Alliance 2022 Stages Festival is made possible by support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; Bank of America; The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey; OceanFirst Foundation; the George A. Ohl, Jr. Trust; New Jersey Historical Commission; and Fund for the New Jersey Blind. A full calendar of events is available at www.njtheatrealliance.org/stages.
“The Alliance is grateful that The Theater Project is participating in the Stages Festival,” said John McEwen, Executive Director of the Alliance. “For more than 20 years, The Stages Festival has provided theatrical experiences for thousands of residents across New Jersey. These efforts would not be possible without the wonderful help of partners such as The Theater Project.”
Gaining recognition for its ongoing projects during the pandemic—including its annual Young Playwrights Competition, ARK (Actors Reading with Kids) program and its recently launched “The Theater Project Thinks About” podcasts—The Theater Project was just one of 22 organizations in New Jersey receiving prestigious National Endowment for the Arts grants in 2021. The company’s virtual production of DRACULA was named Best Streaming Performance in BROADWAY WORLD’s 2021 Regional Awards, with cast members Kevin Sebastian and Anna Marie Sell winning Best Performer and Best Supporting Performer in a Streaming Play awards.
To learn more about the company’s work, visit https://www.thetheaterproject.org/
WHAT: THINK FAST: authors of eight short plays compete for a $500 prize
WHO: The Theater Project, a professional company in Union, NJ
WHEN: March 4-6
Friday and Saturday at 7:30 PM, and Sunday at 2 PM
Virtual meet-and-greet follows each performance
TIX: $15 at TheTheaterProject.org
INFO: 908 809-8865
PHOTO: Eight playwrights/finalists in THINK FAST one-act play competition.
Related: Calling NJ High School Playwrights