SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The Midtown Direct Rep theater company will present a reading of James Hindman’s play “The Drama Department,” which was a finalist for the Terrance McNally Award, in the Loft at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) on Sunday, July 14 at 7 p.m.  The reading is part of Midtown Direct Rep's “Theatre in the Loft” series, which focuses on developing new and innovative American theatre.

“The Drama Department” will be directed by Peter Flynn.  Performers will include MDR members Adam Dannheisser (Rock of Ages), Danielle Ferland (Into The Woods), Jim Ferris (Lion King), Christiane Noll (Tony Nominee for Ragtime), as well as Jason Little (Hair), Sainty Reid (Finding Nemo) and special guest, All My Children star, Eric Nelsen.  

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Hindman describes the play as being about “a mid-west high school that takes great pride in its Debate & Dramatics teacher until the son of the school board president isn’t cast as the lead in the school musical.  Slowly and insidiously rumors are spread to create dissent and scandal as we watch loyal friends, students, and teachers turn against him in this sharp and gripping comedy of suspicion and personal integrity.”

Midtown Direct Rep (MDR) successfully developed the play “Rated P (for parenthood),” and with their Theatre in the Loft series at SOPAC, they hope to do the same for other previously unseen material. MDR presents monthly readings or workshops of new plays and musicals one Sunday night a month in the SOPAC loft, with a cash bar and a post-show discussion with the casts and creative teams.