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On Stage: From the Page to the Stage

Area theaters are spotlighting new plays from writers of all ages

Theaters in North Jersey not only perform plays and shows, a lot of them offer writers forums to work on or present brand-new plays. And writers of all ages will see their works presented in the next few weeks.

will present its annual Madison Young Playwrights Festival on March 17. The program will feature plays by student writers from Madison.

Meanwhile, the Growing Stage children's theater in Netcong is offering its Stages Festival, March 14 to March 18. The festival will feature four play readings, with one of the new works being chosen to become part of Growing Stage's 2012-13 season. The festival also gives theatergoers the chance to hear playwrights talk about their works.

And if you've been working on a play yourself, time's running out to submit to Jersey Voices festival. Submissions in any genre, style and length up to 20 minutes can be submitted until March 15.

There are also plenty of plays, musicals and concerts to see. So read the On Stage Scoop for your weekly dose of theater news. The Scoop runs every Tuesday.

Ringo Starr Tickets on Sale March 14: Tickets for Ringo Starr and His All-Star Band's June 27 concert at go on sale to members/subscribers on March 14 and 15, and the general public on March 16. Tickets cost $100 to $200. The Mayo Performing Arts Center is located at 100 South St. in Morristown. For tickets and information, call 973-539-8008 or visit MayoArts.org.

Dust Bowl Drama: are performing Frank Galati’s Tony-winning adaptation of John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” through March 17 at the Chatham Playhouse, 23 N. Passaic Ave. The classic story is set during the Great Depression as the Joad family leaves Oklahoma for California, hoping a better life awaits them. The cast is led by Dale Monroe from Hackettstown as Tom, Debbie Bernstein from Maplewood as Ma and Tom Hodge from Denville as Pa. Tickets cost $20, $18 for seniors and youths. For tickets and information, visit ChathamPlayers.org or call 973-635-7363.

They've Got the Write Stuff: will host the 26th Annual Madison Young Playwrights Festival on March 17, from 1 to 4 p.m. The festival showcases works written by young playwrights who finished a play as part of a 10-week playwriting program with the theater. Plays to be performed are: "It’s Hard to Get a Halo" by Katerina Rettino; "Crime Scene Disaster" by Kelly Notine; "She’s Actually Pretty Cool" by Ellie Culin; "Is It A Dream?" by Kevin Espiritu; and "From Geek to Chic" by Mollie Sullivan. The festival will take place at the Madison Junior School, 160 Main St. in Madison. Tickets cost $10, $5 students. For more information, call 973-514-1787, ext. 34.

Piano Man: The Danny Mixon Trio will perform a jazz concert at Centenary Stage Company's David and Carol Lackland Center in Hackettstown on March 18 at 4 p.m. Pianist Mixon will be joined by Bryce Sebastien on bass, Chuck Ferruggia on drums and feature a special appearance by blues singer Vinnie Knight. Tickets cost $22.50, $17.50 in advance. For tickets and information, call 908-979-0900 or go to CentenaryStageCo.org.

Crazy as a Fox: is performing “Sly Fox” through March 18 at the Players’ Playhouse, located at 689 Amwell Road. The comedy by Larry Gelbert is about greed in the Old West as a miser pretends to die in an attempt to fleece his phony friends of their goldl. Tickets cost $15, $13 for seniors and students. For more information, call 908-369-7469 or visit SVPTheatre.org.

Not Quite Pure as Snow: Pax Amicus Castle Theatre will end its run of “Slush,” a very adult version of Snow White, on March 17 at 8 p.m. All tickets cost $15. For reservations, call the box office at 973-691-2100.

Laughing It Up in Dover: Ken Ludwig’s “Moon Over Buffalo” is on stage at Dover Little Theatre through March 17. The farce is about Charlotte and George Hay, a less-than-legendary acting couple who come to Buffalo for a performance and find out that the great Frank Capra is headed to see the show. The cast features Claire Bochenek, Judy Bornstein, Lauren Einzig, Dana Matano, Tara Moran, Tim Murphy, Mark Phelan, Thomas Reissner, Brenna Singman and Miguel Vega. For more information, visit DoverLittleTheatre.org.

Looking Back: The Women’s Theatre Co. is staging “The Last Five Years” through March 18 at the Parsippany Playhouse, located at 1130 Knoll Road in Lake Hiawatha (enter Boonton on your GPS). The one-act musical explores the relationship between a rising novelist and a struggling actress. For more information, call 973 316-3033 or visit WomensTheater.org.

Oh the Things You’ll See and Hear: The Growing Stage children’s theater is staging “Seussical” through April 1. The musical features characters from several Dr. Seuss books, including “Horton Hears a Who” and “The Cat in the Hat.” Tickets cost $18, $14 seniors and children. The theater is located at 7 Ledgewood Ave. For tickets and information, call 973-347-4946 or go to GrowingStage.com

All You Really Need is Heart: is presenting the musical classic “Damn Yankees" through April 1. The show, based on the novel “The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant,” is about Joe Boyd, a middle-aged fan of the hapless Washington Senators who makes a deal with the devil that turns Joe into a power-hitting machine so that he can turn his favorite team’s fortunes around. Its songs include “Heart” and “Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets.” For tickets and information, call 973-376-4343 or visit PaperMill.org.

School is Cool (and Funny): will host “The Paper Bag Players Laugh, Laugh, Laugh” a musical about the first day of school on March 13 at 4 p.m. Tickets cost $12. The Mayo Performing Arts Center is located at 100 South St. in Morristown. For tickets and information, call 973-539-8008 or visit MayoArts.org.

The Stages Festival at Growing Stage: The Growing Stage children's theater in Netcong will host the Stages Festival, March 14 through March 18. The Growing Stage and the Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey collaborate on the program, which will feature four play readings. One of the plays will be chosen to receive a full production as part of Growing Stage's 2012-13 main stage season. The four plays to be performed are: "Convivencia" by R.N. Sandberg (March 14, 7:30 p.m.); "With Two Wings" by Anne Negri (to be performed March 15, 7:30 p.m.); "Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy" by Joan Cushing (March 17, 1 p.m.) and "Theatre For Your Mother – The Little Red Riding Hood Show" by Russell Davis (March 18, 1 p.m.) Each playwright will be in attendance for each reading and will hold talk-back discussion. Reservations are encouraged. Readings will take place at the Growing Stage, 7 Ledgewood Ave., in Netcong. Admission is by "pay what you can" donation. For reservations, email boxoffice@growingstage.com or call 973-347-4946. When making reservations, include name, telephone number, number of people in your party and the reading you want to attend.

Open Mic Night: Morris County Center for the Arts is hosting a Coffee House Jam Open Mic Night on March 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Darress Theatre in Boonton. The show will be hosted by Tommy Mahoney. Tickets cost $10. For more information, call 973-334-9292 or go to DarressTheatre.com.

Operatic Laughter: will perform Ken Ludwig’s “Lend Me a Tenor” March 16 through April 1. The farce is set in 1934 as the Cleveland Grand Opera company welcomes the great tenor Tito Morelli, “Il Stupendo,” for one night. After the star passes out, the company’s general manager convinces his assistant to dress up as Morelli and fool the audience, a plan that goes less than smoothly. Performances on March 16, 24, 30, 31 and April 6 and 7 begin at 8 p.m. Performances on March 17-18, 25 and April 1 begin at 2 p.m. For more information, visit BarnTheatre.org.

French Farce: Villagers Theatre will perform “A Flea in Her Ear” March 16 through April 1. In the play, Raymonde, suspects her husband, Victor Emmanuel, of infidelity. With the help of her best friend, Lucienne, she concocts a plan involving a perfumed letter in order to expose Victor’s dalliance at the Hotel Coq d’Or and confirm her suspicions. Tickets cost $16, $14 for seniors and students. For more information, call 732-873-2710 or go to VillagersTheatre.com.

Just in Time for St. Patrick’s Day: The Women of Ireland will present traditional Irish music and step dancing, March 17 at . There will be two performances, beginning at 3 and 8 p.m. Tickets cost $32 to $57. The Mayo Performing Arts Center is located at 100 South St. in Morristown. For tickets and information, call 973-539-8008 or visit MayoArts.org.

International Sounds: will present “Italian Giants and American Icons” on March 18 at 2 p.m. The evening will feature performances of classical and popular music by such Italian and American composers as Puccini, Verdi, Richard Rodgers and Jerome Kern. They will be performed by singers Brian Ernstes, Justyna Giermola, Adelmo Guidarelli, and Risa Renae Harman. Tickets cost $30. The Bickford is located at the Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Road in Morris Township. For more information, call 973-971-3706 or visit MorrisMuseum.org.

It’s Magic: "The Magic School Bus—Live!" is coming to on March 19. There will be three performances, beginning at 10 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 4 p.m. In the show, Ms. Frizzle takes her students on a musical adventure in which they learn about climate change, the environment, conservation and recycling. Recommended for kids in kindergarten to third grade. Tickets cost $12. The Mayo Performing Arts Center is located at 100 South St. in Morristown. For tickets and information, call 973-539-8008 or visit MayoArts.org.

Making Magic Out of Math: “MatheMagic! Starring Bradley Fields” is coming to on March 20 and 21. "Math-magician" Fields captivates students with illusions, tricks and comedy that engage children in math skills and creative problem solving. There are two performances for grades four through seven on March 20 (beginning at 10 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.) and one for kindergarten through third grade on March 21 at 10 a.m. Tickets cost $8. The Mayo Performing Arts Center is located at 100 South St. in Morristown. For tickets and information, call 973-539-8008 or visit MayoArts.org.

All That Jazz: ’s Starlight Series will present “Jazz in Starlight” on March 20 at 8 p.m. The performance will feature jazz arrangements of classic and contemporary pop songs performed by vocalist Brynn Stanley and guitarist Grover Kemble. Tickets cost $20. The Mayo Performing Arts Center is located at 100 South St. in Morristown. For tickets and information, call 973-539-8008 or visit MayoArts.org.

Take the One You're With to See Marrakesh Express: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young tribute band Marrakesh Express will be making a stop at The Newtown Theatre on March 23 for a concert starting at 8 p.m. The band performs such classics as "Suite" Judy Blue Eyes" and "Teach Your Children," as well as original songs. Tickets cost $25 to $28. For tickets and more information, call 973-383-3700 or go to TheNewtonTheatre.com.

Let's Be Frank: The John Pizzarelli Quartet will perform "Dear Mr. Sinatra" on March 23 at 8 p.m. at . The concert will feature Sinatra classics including “The Way You Look Tonight,” “You Make Me Feel So Young,” “Under My Skin” and “Witchcraft.” Tickets cost $47 to $67. The Mayo Performing Arts Center is located at 100 South St. in Morristown. For tickets and information, call 973-539-8008 or visit MayoArts.org.

Getting in Tune: Nine-Time Tony winner Tommy Tune will take stage at Centenary Stage Company's Lackland Center for the Performing Arts in Hackettstown on March 24, with performances beginning at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tune will take audiences through his 50-year career through song and dance, and will be backed by the Manhattan Rhythm Kings. Tickets cost $40, $35 in advance and are available at 908-979-0900 and CentenaryStageCo.org.  

If "Seussical" is the Show You Want to See, then Morristown is the Place to Be: TheatreworksUSA will present "Seussical" on March 26 at 4 p.m. at . The show for ages 4 to 10 features beloved Dr. Seuss characters including the Cat in the Hat and Horton the Elephant. Tickets cost $12. The Mayo Performing Arts Center is located at 100 South St. in Morristown. For tickets and information, call 973-539-8008 or visit MayoArts.org.

Audition Alert, "Smokey Joe's Café:" Centenary Stage Company will hold open auditions for New Jersey Youth Theatre’s production of “Smokey Joe’s Café," which will be performed at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, and then at Centenary's Lackland Center for the Performing Arts in Hackettstown. Auditions are scheduled for March 31, with an open dance call to be held from noon to 1 p.m. and an open singing call for 1-4 p.m. Both open calls will take place in the David and Carol Lackland Center.

Rehearsals will take place May 19 to July 17 at the NJPAC’s Victoria Theater.  Newark performances are set for July 18 to July 22. David and Carol Lackland Performing Arts Center rehearsals will run from July 24 to July 25, with performances scheduled for July 26 to July 29. For additional information, please call 908-233-3200 or 973-353-8009 or visit NJYouthTheatre.org or NJPAC.org.

A Cinderella Story, Literally: Villagers Theatre will present "The True Story of Cinderella," a concert-style "opera buffa" by Warren Martin on March 25, beginning at 6 p.m. Billed as fun for all ages, the show's characters include a blues-singing wizard and a prince with laryngitis. Ticket cost $20, including light fare and beverages. For more information, visit VillagersTheatre.com.

Let the Bluegrass Grow: The Del McCoury Band will take stage at , March 29 at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $32 to $57. The Mayo Performing Arts Center is located at 100 South St. in Morristown. For tickets and information, call 973-539-8008 or visit MayoArts.org.

Summer Camp at Brundage Park Playhouse: Registration is open for summer theater camps at Brundage Park Playhouse in Randolph. The camps offer three different groups: “Budding Stars” for kids 5 to 7, “Summer Stages” for kids ages 8 to 14, “Budding Stars” for kids 5 to 7, and an “Advanced Performers Workshop” for students in grades 7 through 11. For more information, go to BrundageParkPlayhouse.org.

Getting in on the Act: The is seeking original, one-act plays, short musicals and/or original dance pieces, written by New Jersey authors, for the 18th annual Jersey Voices presentation. Play submissions of any genre, style and length up to 20 minutes running time will be accepted through March 15. Selected pieces will be performed in the Players’ Black Box Theater in July and August. To email submissions or to request more information, go to jerseyvoices@chathamplayers.org.

Summer Camp at Playwrights Theatre: Registration is open for the ’s Creative Arts Academy summer camp for kids and summer theatre program for teens beginning June 25 and running all summer long in two-week sessions. Summer programs include a Full-Day Theatre Academy. Also being offered are a Half-Day Summer Camp, and a Getting Ready To Audition class for high school students. For more information, call 973-514-1787 or visit ptnj.org.

This post is shared across Patch sites serving Morris, Somerset and Sussex communities. Comments below may be by readers of any of those sites.

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