SUMMIT, NJ - Audience engagement will take center stage at The Oakes Center when Dreamcatcher presents its 'Meet The Artist' free new play reading series May 17 and 24, beginning each evening at 7 p.m.

The series is an opportunity for the audience to participate in the development of new works, both to hear the play read by professional actors and also to discuss the project with the playwright, director and actors afterward.

Designed to provide a fun and lively way for the audience to interact with the creative process, and to receive a preview of plays that may be performed on Dreamcatcher’s mainstage in the future,the series' elicits feedback that helps the playwrights to further refine their scripts and also gives them a first-hand experience of how the audience will respond to the finished work.

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May 17 - 'The Net Will Appear'

Playwright Erin Mallon tells the story of Bernard, a man who has been beaten down by loss in his seventy years of life. Rory is nine, and searching for a friend. They discover, across the gap between their rooftops, that they are exactly what the other needs. This fresh and surprising story of connection across the generations is funny and heartbreaking with dialogue that snaps and a pulse that beats with compassion and warmth. The play will be directed by Laura Ekstrand and features Frank Licato and Oona Callender.

May 24 - 'The Messenger'

Both fantastical and rooted in reality, Phoebe Farber introduces the audience to Anat, a transplant from her native Israel, where she has fled her family and a terrible accident for which she feels responsible. Her nursery school is in disrepair; moreover, her manner seems harsh and uncaring to the families she serves. Trish, a teacher whose soft heart hides a deep loneliness, is trying to help her save the school from ruin. One day, an unusual man appears who may hold the key to their redemption. Featured are Laura Chaneski, Jason Szamreta and Harriett Trangucci, and the reading is directed by Laura Ekstrand.

Admission is free and no reservations are necessary. The Oakes Center is located at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit, with the parking lot accessible from Ashwood Avenue, behind the theatre.

For more information, call 908-514-9654 or visit DreamcatcherRep.org.