Press Releases Index

January 7, 2011

Contact: Paul Whelihan

Kean Student Playwrights Kick Off Premiere Stages 2011 Play Festival

Audience members actively participate in the new play process

UNION, N.J. - Premiere Stages at Kean University will hold its annual Premiere Student Readings on Wednesday, January 26 and Friday, January 28, at 7 p.m. in the Little Theatre in the University Center at Kean University. The readings showcase the work of Kean University playwriting students, and the public is encouraged to actively engage in the new play development process. The readings feature a cast of professional Equity actors, and are directed by John Wooten, producing artistic director of Premiere Stages. Evaluation forms will be distributed and patrons may participate in post- reading dialogues with the writers.

The Premiere Student Readings are a part of the Premiere Stages Play Festival, now in its seventh year of operation. The mission of the Premiere Play Festival is to encourage and nurture emerging dramatists in New Jersey and the greater metropolitan area. It is one step in the development of the full season of original works presented each season. The Premiere Student Readings mirror the professional readings, allowing student playwrights to explore their work in front of an audience and to discover the strengths and weaknesses of their scripts, helping to bridge the gap between the academic and professional worlds.

The 2011 Play Festival is already in full swing behind the scenes where Premiere Stages has received over 200 submissions by professional playwrights for the mainstage. The next phase of the Premiere Stages Play Festival continues in March when the three professional finalists’ plays are presented in public readings on March 17, 18 and 19. Audience members will have the chance to participate further in the development of these plays during a staged reading of the runner up in June, and a full production of the winning play in July. In each phase of the process, the audience will have the chance to meet the playwrights and share their opinions and questions about the play.

“The public is afforded the unique opportunity to see new plays in a developmental forum and make suggestions and recommendations to the playwrights,” said Wooten. “Whether we are presenting work by student or professional playwrights, our patrons are an integral part of the process. The aim of the Festival is to empower writers to make the transition from page to stage, and the audience is crucial in helping them make that leap.”

Admission and parking for the Kean Student Readings is free. Kean University is located at 1000 Morris Avenue, Union, N.J. Visit or call 908.737.4092 for more information.

Premiere Stages is made possible in part through funding from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Provident Bank Foundation, The Gleason Family Foundation, The Westfield Foundation and through the generous support of patrons. Premiere Stages offers free or discounted tickets to patrons with disabilities. All Premiere Stages facilities are wheelchair accessible spaces. Please call for a list of sign-interpreted, audio-described or open-captioned performances. Large print programs and assisted listening devices are available upon request.