Arts & Entertainment

Congressman Lance Visits Paper Mill Playhouse's 'Theatre for Everyone' Program

f2e901125a1cf79a11b5_fce2994e4835a6fe7922_IMG_0986.JPG
Leslie Fanelli, Teaching Artist, with students at the Paper Mill Playhouse. Credits: Fred Smith
9562296562f5a315220e_cef3b35d8985def301be_IMG_1023.JPG
Congressman Leonard Lance Credits: Fred Smith
07e3bae2f2cd23457797_25607ee05301e5f34564_IMG_1014.JPG
Mark S. Hoebee, Producing Artistic Director of the Paper Mill Playhouse Credits: Fred Smith
3139cbf46cb701f2b22c_25a1ca07e17c10789b31_IMG_1018.JPG
Todd Schmidt, Managing Director of the Paper Mill Playhouse Credits: Fred Smith
178d6fb70df0edc725db_ea00d89d0c8c71975241_IMG_0991.JPG
Lisa Cooney, Director of Education at the Paper Mill Playhouse Credits: Fred Smith
7a08ba70e70cfce5d984_0db9bb0ce2ca5dd5af0e_IMG_1032.JPG
Credits: Fred Smith
e995c1651f04c1f6aac1_a18394f06fe1464eeddf_4bbeb89223517144a5df_IMG_0937.JPG
Credits: Fred Smith
aac01422a256503c3f7b_85afd5d2e5c3d88564f2_IMG_0989.JPG
Leslie Fanelli and students at Paper Mill Playhouse. Credits: Fred Smith
f2e901125a1cf79a11b5_fce2994e4835a6fe7922_IMG_0986.JPG

MILLBURN, NJ - On Monday afternoon, April 17, the weekly class held in the Black Box Theatre at the Paper Mill Playhouse had a special visitor: Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-7). Lance was there to observe the direct impact of National Endowment of Arts (NEA) funding for the "Theatre for Everyone" program, which provides classes to students ages 7 to 18 with all types of disabilities. 

About a dozen young people attended the class, along with their parents and caregivers, under the enthusiastic direction of teaching artist Leslie Fanelli. Fanelli spoke about the history of the class, which is in its 36th year, and explained that it is possible to offer it free of charge to students thanks to funding received from the NEA. 

In addition to the weekly program at the Paper Mill Playhouse, classes are also offered to additional students at other locations throughout the year, including for the past four years at the Horizon School in Livingston. The Horizon School produces three shows a year, explained Fanelli, and students from other classes at the Paper Mill Playhouse assist these students in learning their parts, and when necessary, will speak the lines for some students who are non-verbal.

Sign Up for E-News

Mark Hoebee, Producing Artist Director at the Paper Mill, explained that while the Paper Mill is mainly known for its Main Stage productions, it also has a very important and active education component. Just recently the Paper Mill was one of five organizations invited to the National Meeting of the NEA, and was the only one selected to speak about Theatre for Everyone.

Hoebee also applauded the efforts of  Lisa Cooney, Director of Education at the Paper Mill. Todd Schmidt, Managing Director of the Paper Mill, emphasized that the class is possible because of a direct grant from the NEA, and that their support shows the importance of the class.

Schmidt introduced Congressman Leonard Lance, who had just observed the Theatre for Everyone class, and is Co-Chair of the the Congressional Arts Caucus, a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.

Congressman Lance stated, “I’m in favor of maintaining the funding for the National Endowment of the Arts, the National Endowment for Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.”

Lance further explained that the proposed budget is a “blueprint” from which the work begins to develop the actual budget. The total for the three programs he mentioned is $150 million, which is .003% of the $3.7 trillion total budget.

Lance pointed out that there is a multiplier effect of 9 to 1 on these funds, and that he believes because of this that they makes sense for the community and the betterment of the population. Lance mentioned that he grew-up with Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11), and are friends and neighbors, and that Frelinghuysen will lend his support to include funding to these programs in the final budget. 

Lance added, "I was lobbied by others earlier today, however the best lobby was these young people’s performance. I’m sure these programs will be continued to be funded by the U. S. government."

In a post-program interview, Lance mentioned that the Paper Mill's education programs, and especially these for students with special needs, are known all over the country, and supporting them makes good economic sense.

Lance said that he hopes that his colleagues in the house and senate see that it does make good economic sense to continue these vital programs, adding that it is important that all citizens speak with their members of congress asking them to support this funding.

"I’ll continue to work with Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen who supported this funding in the past and will continue to lobby for the NEA," said Lance.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Plainfield

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_9f83f68274e587851440_volunteering_6_22

Fri, June 22, 2:30 PM

Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield

Volunteering

Carousel_image_26acfa8d783bf5d09f61_petra_6_22_library

Fri, June 22, 3:00 PM

Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield

Petra's Musical Zoo

Carousel_image_5805f638cda07d25a384_pool_openings_2018

Sat, June 23, 12:00 PM

Rushmore Pool, Plainfield

Pool Openings: Rushmore

Community Calendar Sports

Local at-risk youth celebrate year of achievements at Community Access Unlimited

June 18, 2018

Community Access Unlimited (CAU) last night celebrated the achievements of a number of at-risk youth who are members of the agency's Transitional Opportunities Program (TOP). Each of these youth are within New Jersey's child services system and faced a number of life challenges before coming to CAU and TOP and since then have made significant progress in plotting a brighter future with ...

Get Empowered to Help Prevent Suicide

June 9, 2018

Dear Editor:

Over the past week social media and the news have been filled with stories and articles encouraging people to seek help if they’re in emotional distress. There have been countless articles about the need to break the silence around the topic of mental health and suicide, and I am encouraged by the support people are extending to others.

Often, the death by suicide by ...

North Plainfield Mom Maggie Grabko Gets Life-Saving Liver Transplant, Warren Fundraiser Set for Sunday

June 18, 2018

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ — Maggie Grabko, a North Plainfield mom of two, underwent a successful liver transplant on June 13, according to an update on the family’s GoFundMe page by her husband, Shawn Grabko. The Watchung Hills Elks are hosting a fundraiser, the Maggie Grabko Dinner and Music Fundraiser, at 1 Elks Trail in Warren on June ...

SRO'S - ENSEÑANDO POR EJEMPLO

June 17, 2018

Hay un grupo de oficiales de policía que les dan un servicio a nuestra comunidad de una manera notable. Todos los días estos hombres y mujeres se levantan, van al trabajo, y aseguran que nuestros hijos aprendan en un ambiente seguro. Los llamamos Oficiales de Recursos Escolares, pero son mucho más. 

Si llegas a la oficina de los Oficiales de Recursos Escolares en la ...

Empleando Nuestra Juventud 

Querido Plainfield, 

Todos esperan el verano; los días son más calientes y largos, y la madre tierra se pone su mejor vestido mientras las frutas se maduran en el sol y las flores ondean un alegre "hola". La gente comienzan los paseos de la playa o piscina, y las juntas de barbacoa en los patios son necesarios en los fines de semanas.

Aquí en la ciudad de ...

Meet Toran Smith: Union County All Star

June 18, 2018

Plainfield resident, Toran Smith, age 16, has been selected to play on the 2018 Union County underclassmen all star team.  On June 10th, the Union County All-Stars played against the Hudson County All-Stars at Kean University.  Smith played third baseman. 

Smith, a junior at Union County Vo-Tech magnet high school, is a Junior infielder on the Plainfield Cardinals Varsity ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)

 

A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

When the Men Go Off to War by Victoria Kelly

When the Men Go Off to War by Victoria Kelly (Naval Institute Press, 2015)

Victoria Kelly's first published volume of poetry, When the Men Go Off to War, is a wonder in that poems can be written so beautifully about the subject of war. Each poem is a jewel, polished and colorful, glittering with elegant imagery, and rich in emotional wallop. The book, divided into three sections, ...

The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2005)

            The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani, a New York Times best selling author, was recommended to me by a young woman who actually came from the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania, the place where the novel is set. “The author did such a wonderful job of describing how the town actually is,” said the young lady.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press, 2018)

            What is the “final frontier” on the Earth's surface? Many people would say Alaska, the 49th state, which was added to the United States fifty years ago. Once one has traveled to that remote land, it is impossible to forget the magnificence of the terrain and beasts. Floating by ship in Glacier Bay, surrounded by ...

The Man in Room 306 at the Luna Stage, West Orange, NJ

            The Luna Stage, a Jersey theater gem, chose to revive its 1995 world premiere drama, The Man in Room 306, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the slaying of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Starring Jamil A.C. Mangan as Dr. King, this 90 minute production portrays Dr. King in the last hours of his life as he struggles to write a speech for the Poor ...

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead Books, 2017)

 

I wanted to like Into the Water by Paula Hawkins because I had enjoyed her previous novel, The Girl on the Train, which was a suspenseful thriller. However, when I finished reading the first part of the Into the Water, I realized that I had not absorbed anything that was happening in the story. I blamed myself for not paying ...