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Premiere Stages at Kean University Launches Liberty Live


Premiere Stages is proud to announce Liberty Live, a new producing partnership with the Liberty Hall Museum, located on the campus of Kean University. Liberty Live dramatizes and celebrates the history that helped to make New Jersey what it is today. The event features a professional production of a new play about New Jersey, a tour of the Museum grounds and interactive programing and displays. The 2012 event will focus on Westfield and be held at the Liberty Hall Museum Carriage House from November 1st through 4th.

Liberty Live will feature the world premiere of the family-friendly Talking to Westfield. In this engaging new play, Trevor and his father visit the Westfield Museum. After setting out on his own into the living history Museum area, Trevor finds himself thrust into the past where, along with Westfield’s most famous historical figures, he makes history. Literally! Talking to Westfield is written by award-winning playwright, EM Lewis. Her play, Song of Extinction, won the 2009 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and her drama Heads was awarded the 2008 Primus prize. A 2010 Hodder Fellowship in playwriting at Princeton University brought her to the Garden State. 

Designed as an interactive event that is fun for the whole family, the production will feature participatory post-show programs. Following each performance, Premiere Stages, in partnership with Liberty Hall Museum, the Westfield Historical Society, and accomplished teaching artists, will present interactive programming that further explores the historical events in the play and showcases Westfield’s rich history.

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For the November 1st and 2nd performances, Premiere Stages will partner with Westfield’s Miller-Cory House to offer a Native American Medicine Pouches workshop, following the performance, held in conjunction with tours of the Museum grounds. There will also be displays in the Carriage House, including “Memories of Westfield” – Residents of Westfield are encouraged to send their memories of an event that happened in Westfield to Clare Drobot, Premiere Stages at Kean University, 1000 Morris Ave, Union, NJ, 07083. There will also be workshops exploring history through ensemble storytelling and improvisation.

For the November 3rd and 4th 3:00 pm performances, Premiere Stages will partner with Westfield’s Miller-Cory House to offer an “18th Century Toys and Games” workshop, following the performance, held in conjunction with tours of the Museum grounds. There will also be displays in the Carriage House and additional workshops exploring history through ensemble storytelling and improvisation. Through a donation from Westfield’s Cold Stone Creamery, children will have the opportunity to sample “Black Cows” – an old-fashioned root beer drink that would have been served in a soda fountain shop in Westfield at the turn of last century.

The Liberty Live project is part of the Premiere Stages Play Festival, which is dedicated to the development of emerging dramatists in the region. Each year, Premiere Stages commissions a one-act script from a New Jersey playwright that explores the history of a city or township located in New Jersey. “We are extremely pleased to expand our new play development programs to include Liberty Live,” said John Wooten, producing artistic director of Premiere Stages.  “The project empowers local dramatists to create compelling plays about how New Jersey has evolved.  And the Liberty Hall Museum is the perfect partner to help bring these unique and important stories to life.”

Liberty Live runs Thursday, November 1st at 10:00 am; Friday, November 2nd at 4:00 pm; and Saturday, November 3rd and Sunday, November 4th at 3:00 pm. Admission for all tickets is $15.00. Groups of 10 or more can discounted $10 tickets. To make reservations call Kean Box Office at 908.737.SHOW (7469) or visit All performances take place in the Carriage House at the Liberty Hall Museum.

Premiere Stages will also hold a special VIP Celebration of Liberty Live! on Saturday, November 3rd beginning at 5:30 pm. All tickets are $100 and proceeds from the event will support Premiere Stages artistic and educational endeavors, with a special focus on school residency programs for students living in underserved districts. The evening includes admission to the November 3rd pre-show Party at 5:30 pm at the Liberty Hall Wagon Shed  - featuring music, wine and carefully selected hors d’ oeuvres  representing the evolving cuisine of New Jersey; a complimentary ticket to the performance of Talking to Westfield at 7 pm in the Liberty Hall Carriage House, a post-show candlelight tour of the Museum grounds at 7:45 pm and a champagne toast, dessert and music at 8:15 pm in the Liberty Hall Wagon Shed. For more information and to reserve tickets, please call 908-737-4092. Call now. Seating is limited!

The 2012 pilot program of Liberty Live is made possible through funding from The Westfield Foundation and The New Jersey Historical Commission. Premiere Stages is also made possible in part through funding from The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Shubert Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Provident Bank Foundation, The Northfield Bank Foundation, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance, The National Science Foundation and through the generous support of individual patrons.  For further information, call Premiere Stages at 908-737-4092.

Premiere Stages offers affordable prices, air-conditioned facilities, free parking and discounted tickets to patrons with disabilities. Please call for a list of sign-interpreted, audio-described or open-captioned performances.  Assistive listening devices and large print programs are available at all times.  Publications are available with advanced notice in alternate formats.


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