Arts & Entertainment

Madison Students Write and Direct Play Opening March 29

Back Row from left:  Samantha Paske, Evi O'Hara-Short, Kristin McManus, Rachael Cenicola, Co-Director Kathryn McManus, Tina Munter, Emma Voorhees, Script Writer Peri Munter,  Second row:  Zoey Ross, Keira Wilson (of Chatham), Vanessa Trimble, Grace Hughes, Fiona Doherty, Ella Nielsen, Danielle Cenicola, Katerina Rettino, Michelle Pepaj Front row:  Lily O'Hara-Short, Keira Munter, Elizabeth  McManus, Caroline Tracy, Louise Nielsen, Avery Benjamin, Susan Wilson, Poppy Ehrbar (of Chatham), Carolyn Bishop (of Convent Station) and Hope Pratt. Missing from Photo:  Caroline Baulig, Lily Bias, Molly Donald, Heather McCulloch, Julian McManus, Camille Miller, Natalie Mauro, Tyler Paske, Amber Perron, Henry Pratt, Emma Schuszler and Jasmine Weber of Madison; and Hannah Ten Broeck and Sarah Ten Broeck (both of Florham Park) Credits: Mary Lea Crawley

MADISON, NJ - A sophomore at Madison High School and an eighth-grader at Madison Junior School have teamed up to write and direct a play that will open in the borough this weekend.

After performing in the DOLL shows at the Madison Community House for the past four years, sophomore Kathryn McManus and eighth-grader Peri Munter have become two of its young leaders. McManus helped write and is directing the first of three skits in the show and Munter wrote the third skit in the show.   

"DOLL 5" will be performed on Saturday, March 29 at the Madison Community House at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The play lasts about an hour, and the 11 a.m. show is followed by an elegant tea. Doll accessories and girls’ clothing and accessories are part of the craft boutique which takes place before and after both shows. All the money raised for the show is for a scholarship awarded to a high school senior at Grace Church.

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"DOLL 5" features 39 girls and boys in grades 3 through 11 from Madison, Chatham, Florham Park and Convent Station. The girls got together and brainstormed the ideas for each of the three skits, which were written by McManus, Munter and Mary Lea Crawley, the director of Family Ministries at Grace Church.

“Both Peri and Kathryn have wonderful talent,” said Crawley.  “Peri spent a long time bringing a difficult plot idea to life, in a way that is understandable for a young audience. And Kathryn sketched out a poignant skit about peer pressure and secrets. It’s such a privilege to work with these girls.” 

In addition, Crawley praised McManus’ talent for directing and leadership.  “She has a wonderful way of bringing out the best in her actors," Crawley said. "And she oversees every aspect of the skit she is directing, from props to costumes to the mundane clean-up.”

McManus recently directed Anne of Green Gables, a fundraiser for the Madison Community House and Grace Church in early December.  The second performance of this production sold out and McManus raised $1,700 for the non-profits.

Although the 11 a.m. performance of "DOLL 5" has sold out, the 2 pm show, which is $10 per person, still has tickets available. To get seats, mail a check with your name and the number of 2 p.m. seats you would like to Grace Church, 4 Madison Ave., Madison, NJ  07940. Include a phone number on your check and make it payable to “Grace Church” with “Scholarship Fundraiser” in the memo field. 

At both shows girls have a chance to shop a craft boutique, which features handmade clothing and accessories for girls and their dolls.  

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