Arts & Entertainment

Press Releases

World Premiere of Beyond the Oak Trees Celebrates Harriet Tubman At Crossroads Theatre Company, Feb. 16-26


Past and present, history and a touch of fantasy converge on stage in the world premiere of Beyond the Oak Trees, by Kisha Bundridge, at Crossroads Theatre Company in New Brunswick, Feb. 16-26. The play offers a dramatic retelling of the daring story of  Harriet Tubman, former slave and fabled abolitionist who led hundreds of slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad in the years leading up to the Civil War.

Set in the present at the Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged in Auburn, N.Y., (designated a National Historical Park on Jan. 10, 2017), and in the past on the treacherous route to freedom. Beyond the Oak Trees brings audiences into the heart and mind of Tubman.

Two college students, Joseph and Hodari, visit the home for a history project and discover their own history embedded within its walls, inhabited by an ethereal woman named Jessica who seems to know more than the average guide. The history they are studying comes to life as Tubman leads a group of vulnerable, frightened slaves north from Maryland on her last journey as “the Moses of her people.”

Sign Up for E-News

The play continues Crossroads’ “celebration of a woman’s gift,” the season’s theme honoring the power, glory and struggles of women in its mainstage productions. 

“This play gives a very intimate account of the humanity and burdens that Ms. Tubman carried,” said director Marshall Jones III, who also is the theater’s producing artistic director. “It also offers a unique glimpse of history from a modern perspective. Kisha has created an exciting tableau that portrays the complex nuances of cultural identity against the backdrop of American history. A must see!”

Beyond the Oak Trees features Ademide Akintilo as Hodari and Sampson, Elijah J. Coleman as Joseph and Jasper and Abigail A. Ramsay as Jessica and Harriet Tubman. Sampson and Jasper are two of Tubman’s “passengers” who rely on her for guidance and strength.

Akintilo holds a BFA and Coleman an MFA degree from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Coleman also holds two BFA degrees from Buffalo University in acting and dance.

A duel U.S. and Nigerian citizen, Akintilo also trained at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Interlochen Arts Academy. Coleman has performed with the Buffalo City Ballet, Broadway Dance Center and Zodiaque Dance Company in addition to acting.

Ramsay holds a BA from Brown University and trained in theater at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. A versatile actor, she has performed at the Public Theater and many other venues in New York as well as regionally and internationally on stage, film and on BBC Radio.

Performances are Feb. 16, 17, 18, 23, 24 and 25 at 8 p.m.; Feb. 19, 25 and 26 at 3 p.m.; and Feb. 22 at 10 a.m. Ticket prices range from $25 for the 10 a.m. matinee to $55 for opening night on Feb. 18.

For tickets, go online to or call (732) 545-8100. Crossroads is located at 7 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick.

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. Crossroads was the winner of the 1999 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater in the United States.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Fri, March 23, 2:30 PM

Canela Grocery and Deli, Plainfield

Canela Grocery to Host Healthy Corner Store Event

Food & Drink Health & Wellness


Sat, March 24, 9:00 AM

Plainfield High School, Plainfield

2018 Community Empowerment Expo


Sat, March 24, 10:15 AM

Cedar Brook Park, Plainfield

Easter Egg Hunt

Arts & Entertainment

Holy Savior Academy Storm Varsity Basketball News

The Holy Savior Academy Storm Varsity basketball team concluded a very successful season by capturing two championships over the weekend.  The Storm continued the basketball program’s winning ways when the team captured the school’s fourth consecutive Diocese of Metuchen CYM Varsity White Division Championship on its home court on Saturday evening.  The team then secured the ...

Freiman & Downey Bill Ensuring Homeowners who Prepaid Property Taxes Get State Income Tax Credit Advanced by Panel

March 22, 2018

Bill Will Require State to Recognize Prepaid Property Taxes for 2017 Returns

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Roy Freiman and Joann Downey introduced to ensure homeowners who prepaid property taxes last year because of federal tax law changes will get credit for doing so under 2017 state income taxes was advanced Thursday by an Assembly panel

The bill (A-2650) requires the ...


March 17, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 16, 2018 – Despite her rhetoric, U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-12, failed Wednesday to deliver on her promise to make schools safer for our children.

The two-term congressperson was one of only 10 representatives that voted “nay” Wednesday afternoon on the STOP School Violence Act of 2018.

The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives on a ...

Retro Fitness in Manahawkin Calls Stafford Police to Remove Man for Praying for Another Member

March 21, 2018

STAFFORD, NJ - Retro Fitness club member and Long Beach Township resident Craig Fasler was escorted by a member of the Stafford Township Police Department out of the gym because an employee accused him of sharing his faith in public. 

TAPinto Stafford-LBI was contacted by a Stafford Township resident about the incident that took place on Wednesday, March 21 around ...

La tienda de comestibles Canela de Plainfield acogerá el evento de la tienda Healthy Corner

March 19, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ - EZ Ride y la ciudad de Plainfield se han asociado una vez más con Canela Grocery and Deli para organizar un evento gratuito para los residentes que ofrece muestras gratis de bocadillos saludables, cupones, una rifa saludable de canastas e información nutricional. Atlantic Health también estará en el evento con una unidad móvil para proporcionar ...

Celebrando el Mes de la Historia de la Mujer

PLAINFIELD, NJ - Estimados Plainfield,

Yo fui criado por dos mujeres poderosas e generosas, y me pasaron principios y valores que me han guiado durante mi vida entera. Mi mama persiguió la oportunidad y busco una manera de proveer para su familia. Ella dejo la isla de Barbados para poder trabajar en los hogares de los Estados Unidos, creando e allanando un camino para que sus hijos lo ...

Innovador Plainfield

Estimados Plainfield,


El crecimiento requiere evolución, la evolución implica cambio, y el cambio conduce a la innovación. Plainfield está evolucionando. Nos estamos adaptando para cumplir con los requisitos del renacimiento que está formando el futuro. No podemos esperar cambio positivo y sostenible si continuamos con el mismo ritmo de las ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...

Queen Mary and the Cruiser

Queen Mary and the Cruiser by David A. Thomas and Patrick Holmes (Naval Institute Press, 1997)

“Had the forenoon watch and after eating went out onto the fo'c'sle. Just arrived at the top of the ladder by the PO's heads when the wave hit me---waist high---and knocked me over. Looking astern---through the bulkhead door which was open, saw the stern of a ship sticking up out of ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...

Lilli DeJong by Janet Benton

Lilli De Jong by Janet Benton (Doubleday, 2017)


“It's said that every woman's painful labor is God's punishment. Eve ate an apple, and God pours wrath on every mother. So the Bible tells it.” (p.320)

The story of Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden, which is the Biblical explanation for the extreme pains of childbirth, casts women in the role of ...

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb (Altria, 2015)


Years later, after the tragedy, someone remembered the Dumb Supper and what had happened there. That was the cause of it, they said, because the ritual wasn't a game after all. It really was magic, but magic has rules, and she broke them. Even when they call it a 'senseless tragedy,' people always try to find a ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...