SUMMIT, NJ - The New Jersey premiere of 'Every Brilliant Thing', a solo show that is performed in the round, will occupy the lead-off position in Dreamcatcher's 2017-18 season line-up at the Oakes Center. This professional company will bring three productions, including the New Jersey premiere and two world premieres, to the stage in addition to improvisational comedy, a cabaret, new play readings, a holiday variety show and many programs for seniors and students.
Debuted in London and then having traveled to Off-Broadway in 2016. 'Every Brilliant Thing' introduces the audience to a man whose mother has struggled with mental illness since he was a child. In response, he begins to make a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world: 1. Ice cream. 2. Kung Fu movies. 3. Burning things. 4. Laughing so hard you shoot milk out your nose. 5. Construction cranes. 6. Me.
Gradually, the list takes on a life of its own. In this intimate, funny and moving conversation, the protagonist engages the audience by asking them to read items from the list and, occasionally, to help him tell his story. 'Every Brilliant Thing' will star Clark Scott Carmichael and open September 21 and will continue through October 8.
The second mainstage production of the season, opening in February, is the World Premiere of 'What Stays' by Dreamcatcher ensemble members Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta. Dorothy, the matriarch, has two days to finish packing up the family home and move to a new condo, so she’s called in her adult children to help with the task.
When several unexpected visitors show up as well, the job becomes even more complicated. What they don’t know is that in the course of their visit, she plans to reveal to them something that she’s kept hidden for decades. What she doesn’t know is that nearly everyone in the house has secrets of their own. Ultimately, the family will discover the cost of hiding the truth and the cost of telling it. Together they’ll decide what stays with them and what will be left behind. What Stays runs February 8 through March 25.
Dreamcatcher’s final mainstage production of the season will be the World Premiere of 'Continuing the Conversation: An Evening of Short Plays' Inspired by Current Events'. A follow-up to Dreamcatcher’s 'Evening of Short Plays in Response to the Election', 'Continuing the Conversation' presents an opportunity to check in with the community -- in real time -- on what’s important. Suzanne Bradbeer, Richard Dresser, Steve Harper, Dania Ramos, Lia Romeo and David Lee White will create original plays for an ensemble of six actors.
Written on a theme chosen by the writers in the months prior to the production, 'Continuing the Conversation' will be focused on the interaction between the stories told in the theatre and the lives being lived. It’s a chance to connect artists to audience in an immediate way, with several discussions following the performances throughout the run. 'Continuing the Conversation' runs from April 26 through May 13.
The improv comedy group Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) will bring its own brand of silliness and spontaneity to life for two evenings during the season. The first MPD show will be on October 14 and the second will be March 17, 2018.
Dreamcatcher will also present, from November 17 - 19, an original musical cabaret performance entitled 'Broadway by the Book'. On December 2, Dreamcatcher will offer up 'A Very Special (Holiday) Special', a unique and affectionate take on traditional television holiday variety shows. The 'Very Special Special' will include holiday songs, comic sketches and improv, and lots of good old-fashioned fun.
In the spring of 2018, two 'Meet the Artist' new play readings will be held on May 16 and 23, thought-provoking experiences which include the opportunity for audience discussion with the writer, director and actors after the performance.
Dreamcatcher Junior, the summer program for students aged 10-17, will culminate in its annual production on July 27, an original family show that always draws on the creativity of its young actors to shape the piece. Each year, the youth company creates a one-of-a-kind piece that has ranged from fairy tale quest to Shakespeare adaptation to musical revue.
Throughout the year, Dreamcatcher offers internships for high school and college students, classes for teens and adults, and many volunteer opportunities. In addition, the theatre provides a menu of outreach programs for students and seniors that travel to other venues. All of Dreamcatcher’s activities center on the collaborative nature of theatre and creating a comfortable environment for artists and audiences of all ages to explore and grow together. The company’s work is supported by grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and several other corporate and individual donors.
Season passes may be purchased that provide substantial discounts to all events, and special rates for groups are also available. The Oakes Center, located at 120 Morris Avenue, is wheelchair accessible, and such access services as large print scripts, assistive listening devices, and audio description will be available by prior arrangement throughout the season.