Arts & Entertainment

Randolph Student's Play Presented in Roxbury Theater Saturday

Emma Baxter

RANDOLPH, NJ – At 17-years-old, Randolph High School Senior Emma Baxter has already won numerous playwriting awards and had her plays produced by professional theaters in three states but now she’s bringing her latest play, “Nearly Famous” back home to Morris County.

On July 16, Writers Theatre of New Jersey, in partnership with Philadelphia Young Playwrights and The Found Theatre Company, will bring “Nearly Famous” to the Roxbury Performing Arts Center in Succasunna to give New Jersey audiences the opportunity to see this young playwright’s latest play.

Directed by Jay Gilman and featuring the actors from The Found Theatre Company - Emily R. Johnson, Joe Wozniak and Joe Palinsky - Nearly Famous deals with notions of how young creative people can be exploited in their quest to find legitimate outlets for their art. 

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The play was developed with mentor Jacqueline Goldfinger, and subsequently worked with The Found Theatre which presented the play in May of this year.

The July 16 performance is a re-mounting of that production. A recounting of her experience developing Nearly Famous can be found on WTNJ’s blog pages at .

A resident of Randolph, and a rising senior at Randolph High School, Baxter has taken every dramatic writing opportunity offered to her, both in the classes she’s chosen to take at school and in extra-curricular classes, like summer playwriting classes with Writers Theatre.

Not content with writing only for the stage, Emma has also started experimenting with screenwriting, having turned multiple plays into films. One script that won honorable mention in the New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival two years ago is now an almost hour-long film, which she shot, edited and directed with the help of some friends serving as actors. Her films are available to the public on her YouTube channel.

A New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival winner in 2012, Baxter has continuously turned out new works since she was 12, often writing more than three plays a year.

This past fall, she was selected to be a fellow in Philadelphia Young Playwrights’ Paula Vogel Mentors Program - the first year that out-of-state playwrights were included - and was awarded the Sam Mortorelli Literature Award in Playwriting by the National Society of Arts & Letters in June of this year.

Baxter will be participating in a New York University Tisch School of the Arts playwriting program this summer, and plans on pursuing a playwriting degree in college in the fall of 2017.

“Emma’s work has been an important part of the Writers Theatre community for a number of years,” said Writers Theatre Artistic Director John Pietrowski. “When we saw the opportunity to bring a fully realized production to that community, we could not let it pass. We are grateful to the Philadelphia Young Playwrights Program and Found Theatre for providing the production.”

“Nearly Famous” will be presented as a fully realized workshop production featuring professional actors at the Roxbury Performing Arts Center, in the Investors Bank Theatre at 72 Eyland Ave., Succasunna. Admission is free with a $10 recommended donation and can be ordered via the Writers Theatre of New Jersey website at:

For more information on any of Writers Theatre’s programs, please visit, or contact Writers Theatre at P.O. Box 1295, Madison, NJ, 07940, 973-514-1787 x20 or

For more information on The Philadelphia Young Playwrights Program:

For more information on The Found Theatre Company:



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