Arts & Entertainment

Press Releases

College Colors to Premier at Crossroads Theatre Company, Feb. 4-14; Play explores race, identity, inclusion and friendship through prism of comedy

c2ea4b65fd88bbeaeed8_Rehearsal2.jpg
Gillian Mariner Gordon as Julie, left, and Wakeema Hollis as Tanya rehearse a scene from "College Colors," premiering at Crossroads Theatre Company, New Brunswick, Feb. 4-14. Credits: Marshall Jones III
c2ea4b65fd88bbeaeed8_Rehearsal2.jpg

NEW BRUNSWICK – Race, identity, inclusion and other issues that beset American campuses are viewed through the prism of comedy in Stacie Lents’ new play, “College Colors,” premiering at Crossroads Theatre Company, February 4 through 14.

Performances will be at 8 p.m., Feb. 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13; 10 a.m., Feb. 10 and 3 p.m., Feb. 7, 13, 14. Opening night is Feb. 6.  Tickets are $25, $45 and $55.

In “College Colors,” two sets of college roommates paired on a northeastern campus 52 years apart confront a familiar palette of anxieties as they navigate the perils of freshmen life. But coming from different races, each pair has even more to handle.

Sign Up for E-News

Tanya, who is black, and her white roommate Julie are fully logged into the present 21st century, but quickly discover they are not in synch with each other. Meanwhile, in 1964, Michael, who is white, is clearly unprepared to spend his freshman year with Aaron, one of the first black students on the newly integrated campus. Comic missteps, serious snubs and questions of identity lead to laughter and tears, as history plays out in the background.

“I love the fact that Stacie has tackled a very sensitive subject – racial identity,” said Marshall Jones III, Crossroads’ producing artistic director. “It’s a subject we’re familiar with at Crossroads, but she uses humor and situational comedy in a very clever way.  The show is also very timely as college campuses throughout the nation are attempting to cope with the tension-filled issues of racial strife.  It is my hope that plays like ‘College Colors’ can serve as a starting point for healthy and productive dialogue.”

Lents, who earned her bachelor’s degree at Yale and her MFA in acting from Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts, began working on “College Colors” for her students to perform at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she is director of acting and the Barn Theater.  

“To me, the play is really about friendship, and what racial constraints and ideas about identity do to that friendship,” Lents said. “I’m interested in ways in which we’ve come really far and the ways we haven’t.”

During its development, “College Colors” was given staged readings in Crossroads’ Genesis Festival and at Luna Stage.

Lents began writing plays while teaching at Rutgers and was looking for appropriate material for her senior acting students. Her first published play, “Laugh Out Loud (cry quietly)” was about internet dating, and received critical praise. She also wrote “Henry’s Law,” a play about bullying that has been included in backstage.com’s list of “15 Must-Read Plays for Tweens  and Teens.” Her play, “Daisy in Disguise” was produced off-Broadway through Vital Theatre Company. As an actor, Lents has performed regionally and in New York.

Kevin Kittle, associate head of the MFA/BFA acting program at Rutgers, is directing “College Colors.” He has worked as Joseph Chaikin’s assistant director and with Arthur Miller and Sam Shepard. His recent directing credits include “Hot Season” at The Sheen Center, “Blood Potato” at the Harold Clurman Theater and “In God’s Hat” at Playwrights Horizons.

The cast features Gillian Mariner Gordon as Julie; Wakeema Hollis as Tanya; Andrew Manning as Aaron; Matt Maretz as Michael and Kevis Hillocks in supporting roles.

Marshall Jones III, who directs the undergraduate BA in theater program at Rutgers, is Crossroads’ producing artistic director. Amie Bajalieh, a Mason Gross MFA graduate, is associate producer

Founded in 1978 by Ricardo Khan and L. Kenneth Richardson, Crossroads Theatre Company embraces the vision that African-American theater is intended for a broad-based, diverse audience.  As a major force in the development of new ideas and the introduction of formerly marginalized writers, Crossroads produces works that enrich and diversify the representation of African American culture on the American stage. 

Last year, Crossroads Theatre Company won the Gold Award in New Jersey Stage magazine’s annual competition as the “Best Place to See a World/NJ Premiere.”

Crossroads Theatre Company is located at 7 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick. For tickets, call (732) 545-8100 or purchase online at crossroadstheatrecompany.org.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Piscataway

Valeski: Placing Police Officers in Schools was Planned for Two Years

February 21, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - In the midst of a media firestorm today, Dr. Victor Valeski, East Brunswick Superintendent of Schools, fielded questions from local and national journalists regarding the placement of armed police officers inside each of the district's K-12 buildings.  The move seemed to many as a "knee-jerk" reaction to the fear generated by the massacre of ...

Obituaries

Christina C. Sweet (Diaz) 79 years, died Monday January 1, 2017 at Robert Wood Johnson University ...
Read more
- Nov 15, 2017
Phillip A. Petracca, also widely known as Filippo Neri in the Italian-American Radio and ...
Read more

Wreath Laying for Local Vietnam Hero Lost 50 Years Ago Today Held in Piscataway

February 18, 2018

Childhood friends of Soldier & Family Join Mayor Brian C. Wahler, Township Councilmembers, RU Army ROTC Cadets, Local American Legion & Lake Nelson Residents Today at Park Named After Veteran

PISCATAWAY, NJ – On Feb. 18th, the 50th anniversary of the passing of Jeffrey R. Byrne, a Piscataway-raised 19-year-old who died serving in Vietnam, childhood friends of him and his family ...

South Plainfield Middle School Student Council Thanks Supporters

The South Plainfield Middle School Student Council would like to express our thanks for the support of local businesses and organizations in our fundraising efforts.  A spaghetti dinner was hosted by the South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298 on January 13th.  Mrs. Sharon Reuter and members of her Youth Committee and kitchen crew provided dinner for family, friends and staff of South ...

RU's Heatter Earns Big Ten Freshman of the Week

PISCATAWAY, NJ - After a memorable collegiate debut, Eric Heatter of the Rutgers baseball team earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week in an announcement from the league office on Monday. The left-handed pitcher struck out eight in four shutout innings of relief to beat a nationally-ranked Miami squad in the series finale.

“This is a well-deserved honor for Eric,” ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, February 22, 12:00 PM

American Legion, South Plainfield

Boy Scout Troop 207 Spaghetti Dinner

Food & Drink

Sat, February 24, 2:00 PM

Edison High School Auditorium, Edison

Free community viewing of "BAG IT" - Award ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sun, February 25, 1:00 PM

St. David's Episcopal Church, Cranbury

Organizing for the 2018 Mid-terms: Elections, ...

Education Giving Back Government

Carousel_image_3d7e35618f05795eb00f_omstbydesignnew_jpeg

Tue, February 27, 7:00 PM

Cranford Community Center, Cranford

“Olmsted By Design!” Free First-Person, Dramatic ...

Arts & Entertainment Green Home & Garden

Thu, March 1, 7:00 PM

Piscataway Public Library, PISCATAWAY

Empowerment for the Job Search

Business & Finance

Breaking News: Elizabeth Schools Report One Student Has Died from Flu Virus

February 19, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - The Elizabeth School District has reported that one student has died from Influenza (Flu).

“It is with great sadness that I must report to you that the Elizabeth School District has lost one of its own,”  Elizabeth Superintendent of Schools Olga Hugelmeyer wrote in a letter to parents over the weekend. The Superintendents letter is ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

Guest Column

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The ...

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  

 

The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...

The Best Way to Pay Your Child a Compliment

“Of course you’re good-looking.”  “You’re the best friend ever.”  “Who wouldn’t want you on their team?”  Is there a parent out there (including me) who hasn’t praised a child in order to make him or her feel better?  Sometimes it’s true, and sometimes we say it because we just can’t stand to see them ...

Height during childhood associated with increased stroke risk in adulthood

Researchers in Denmark studied the health records of more than 300,000 people born between 1930 and 1989 and found that those who were shorter than average height between ages 7 and 13 had a greater risk of stroke as adults. The results of this study were published in the February 15, 2018 issue of the journal Stroke.

Summary: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320922.php

Journal ...

Very Hot Tea Increases Cancer Risk

Researchers in China studying the consumption of “burning” hot tea, alcohol, and smoking habits of greater than 450,000 people ages 30 –79 for more than nine years found a five time greater risk of esophageal cancer in those who engaged in all three of the behaviors and a two time greater risk in those who either smoked or drank alcohol and consumed burning hot tea as compared ...