Arts & Entertainment

NYC Playwright Marc Palmieri Visits Maplewood for Theater Project’s NJ Premiere of his play The Groundling

Landscaper Bob Malone (Jeff Maschi, standing center) has written a play about his bad marriage.  He’s putting it on in his garage, and he wants YOU to be in the front row.   Credits: Mary Iannelli

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Born in Elizabeth, raised in Cranford, NYC playwright, actor, director and professor Marc Palmieri returns to his Jersey roots to see the NJ premiere of his play, The Groundling, which runs April 14 to 24 at The Theater Project, Burgdorff Cultural Center in Maplewood.

The playwright will discuss the play and his career in a post-show audience talkback after the 8 p.m. performance on Saturday, April 23.

Palmieri recently directed the world premiere The Groundling at Axis Theatre in NYC. Theatremania called the show “One of the surprise downtown gems of the season." Other plays include Poor FellasCarl The Second, and Levittown. As an actor, he played the lead role in David Maquiling's critically acclaimed feature film Too Much SleepMarc wrote the screenplay for Miramax Films'Telling You, starring Peter Facinelli and Jennifer Love Hewitt. He currently writes and directs the web series The Thing.

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For The Groundling, Palmieri draws on his love of Shakespeare. In the play, a Long Island landscaper has been infected by the writing bug: after accidentally wandering into a low-rent production of Love’s Labor’s Lost, he feels compelled to write his own verse play about his troubled marriage. He pays a desperate New York director to make actors out of his landscape crew in order to present a single performance in the garage for friends and family – if only his angry wife doesn’t run them all over with the Land Rover first.

The comedy that ensues is unexpectedly laced with sharp insights about love and loss, life in and out of the theater, and about the power of drama to hold a mirror up to life -- even when the glass is slightly cracked. According to TALKINBROADWAY.COM, “The play has a lot to say about the power of theater to touch hearts and minds, and to give voice to feelings that cannot be expressed in any other way.”

Known for presenting off-Broadway-quality theater in an intimate environment, Theater Project’s production of The Groundling features a talented cast of actors including company veterans Dennis DaPrile, Jeff Maschi, Barbara Guidi, and Gary Glor. Lori McNally, Jeff Newman and Marissa Peragine are new to the company.

For more information and tickets, visit

WHAT: Meet The Author: Playwright Marc Palmieri discusses his play THE GROUNDLING.

WHO: The Theater Project

WHEN: Immediately following the 8 PM, Saturday April 23rd performance.

Production runs April 14 -24, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 PM; Sunday at 2 PM

Talk back with the actors after the Friday night performances.

WHERE: The Theater Project at the Burgdorff Center, 10 Durand Rd, Maplewood, NJ

TIX: $30 for adults, $25 for seniors, $15 for students.

$7 discount for NJ Education Association members.


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