CHATHAM, NJ - The Chatham Community Players will host its 20th annual Jersey Voices One-Act Festival with six performances between July 25 and August 3.
This year’s production will include 10 original short plays written by New Jersey playwrights as well as two original dance pieces to represent the 20 years of “Jersey Voices.” They will be presented in repertory, with interlocking casts, in our black box theater in the Chatham Playhouse
Realizing that this was the 20th anniversary production of Jersey Voices made this year’s production very special from the start. No one would have predicted, twenty years ago that this one-act festival would be here today, so Chatham Community Players wanted to do something to commemorate the continued success of Jersey Voices over the years. With an average of 100 plays a year submitted for consideration; it appears that somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 plays over the 20 years have been received and considered.
As producer and artistic director since 2002, Bob Denmark
and Bob Lukasik
return to celebrate and present Jersey Voices to new audience and to those familiar with the pieces. Denmark and Lukasik agree that it is usually pretty easy to take the 100 submissions and have a group of readers agree on about a dozen, but then it gets pretty difficult to come up with 6 pieces that fit together and make for an enjoyable evening of theater.
However, after deciding to do a "best of" they found themselves with 112 plays none of which were, on their face, out of contention - they had all been picked as one of the best of their year in the past. Lukasik reflected, “I sometimes wonder was it really 20 years ago that Cliff Odle came to the Trustees of The Chatham Community Players and pitched the idea of doing original works at The Chatham Playhouse in the summer? We considered the enthusiasm that Cliff, and his young friends that he brought with him, and couldn't turn down their proposal. Originally proposed as a Repertory production, it's exciting that after 20 years that will finally happen.”
Denmark explained, “We read all 112 again but early on realized that we had no chance of getting to 6 "favorites" in any rational way. So when we got to the usual dozen, we decided that we'd do all of them, in repertory - 6 one night and the other 6 the next night and we'd rotate throughout the run.” They were fortunate to be able to choose 5 dramas, 5 comedies, and 2 original dance works, all of which had been well received by audiences in the past. “We expect both collections to be extremely entertaining and we expect that many Jersey Voices fans will want to come back to see both production”, added Denmark.
Performance dates for “Program A” are July 25 and August 2 at 8pm and July 27 at 7pm. Performance dates for “Program B” are July 26 and August 1 at 8 p.m. and August 3 at 7 p.m. All performances will be performed at the Chatham Playhouse 23 North Passaic Ave.
All tickets to each “Program” are $15, but if you buy one of the “Combo Tickets” for $25, it allows you entry for both Program A and Program B (one performance from each Program).
It is highly recommended that tickets be purchased in advance. Patrons with special needs requiring seating accommodations should contact the Playhouse at least 24 hours prior to the performance. Without prior notice, accommodations cannot be guaranteed.