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THE BUZZ...

THE BEAUTIFUL DARK (September 2013):
"The Beautiful Dark won Premiere Stages’ 2013 Play Festival, over 400 or so other submissions, and it is deserving… John Wooten, Premiere Stages’ producing artistic director, has guided his actors with panache."
— Anita Gates, The New York Times

"A cautionary and dramatically explosive exploration of a frightening and difficult societal phenomenon" that "could become a widely produced, influential play."
— Bob Rendell, Talkin' Broadway

"[The Beautiful Dark] is simultaneously beautiful and dark... involv[ing] stellar acting, a frustratingly real storyline and terrific direction."
— Susan Dougherty, The Westfield Leader

"This year, they hit the jackpot. The Beautiful Dark is a dark play, a beautiful play, a topical play - the work of a passionate and talented playwright and a worthy production for the esteemed Premiere Stages to present."
— Ruth Ross, NJ Arts Maven

"Premiere Stages has produced another humdinger with The Beautiful Dark by Erik Gernand, an engrossing, well-written new play."
— Simon Saltzman, Curtain Up

"An outstanding play with an excellent cast and a haunting story... an impressive production."
— Rick Busciglio, New Jersey Footlights

"This is a thought-provoking production, with much to say about the way we deal with
those we love."
— Liz Keill, The Alternative Press

"...an exploration of when to allow someone to maintain personal freedom and when they become a threat to others. Where is that line? Starting that conversation may be the most valuable takeaway from the production."
— Ronni Reich, The Star-Ledger


CLYBOURNE PARK (July 2013):
"Poignant" and "bitingly comical… Wes Grantom, the director, has staged this New Jersey premiere with a steady hand and a capable company of seven actors."
— Michael Sommers, The New York Times

"Deftly orchestrated," featuring a "strong ensemble cast."
— Ronni Reich, The Star-Ledger

"I did not see Clybourne Park on Broadway, but I doubt that award-winning performance was one iota better than the polished, riveting production now making its New Jersey premiere."
— Ruth Ross, NJ Arts Maven


FARRAGUT NORTH (September 2012):
"The air of the intimate Zella Fry Theatre fairly crackled with snappy dialogue… Farragut North is just the theatrical ticket."
— Ruth Ross, NJ Arts Maven

"Farragut North is an excellent compelling drama, well directed and features a superior cast;
this is a four star event. The most common word from fellow theatergoers as we exited was ‘Wonderful.’ Once again we thrilled to the realization that theater is alive and well in New Jersey."
— Rick Busciglio, Examiner.com

"If you want to see the fireworks that happen behind the scenes on the fictional road to the White House then venture out to Premiere Stages' latest play offering Farragut North... Great theatre."
— Susan Dougherty, The Westfield Leader

"Entertaining... A very well acted account... which briskly unfolds in two acts and over two snowy days during an Iowa caucus campaign in 2008."
— Michael Sommers, The New York Times

"Perfectly timed for this fall's elections, Premiere Stages' Farragut North is energetic, engrossing and informative."
— Bob Rendell, Talkin' Broadway


HANDICAPPED PEOPLE ON THEIR FORMAL ATTIRE (July 2012):
"The Premiere Stages production is the best work that I yet have seen from this ambitious, socially conscious theatre...The most entertaining new play seen in New Jersey this season."
— Bob Rendell, Talkin' Broadway

"Civility Breaking Down? Let the Cocktails Flow... Good acting... effectively staged... intriguing."
— Michael Sommers, The New York Times

"The team of Grant and Wooten is a winning one presenting a play that tells us to listen for music that others do not hear and dance when the world says you can’t."
— Susan Dougherty, The Westfield Leader

"You will be rewarded with an engrossing drama... heartbreakingly honest... marvelous… Having admired Grant’s previous play, The Good Counselor... I am again impressed with her gift for weaving deeply interpersonal problems through unsettling and contentious social issues. If there is always something new to reveal about the embittered family member who has sacrificed and relinquished everything in the care of one in need, then Grant has revealed it with a passion."
— Simon Saltzman, CurtainUp


HANNAH (September 2011):
"So powerful a drama that, from the beginning to its conclusion, Sunday afternoon's audience seemed stunned and pinned to their seats, reluctant to leave."
— Worrall Newspapers

"Impressive Portrait…Hannah is a model for all of us."
— NJ Arts Maven

"Dramatically compelling…Hannah can not help but remind us how so often in the midst of the most horrific events and times, there will be those who will step up and perform the kind of incredible acts of courage that will inspire a nation."
— Curtain Up

"A fine example of historical fiction…enlightening, educational and entertaining."
— The Westfield Leader

"Inspirational..."Hannah" is a compact 90-minute work that effectively sketches the biographical outlines of a heroine."
— The New York Times

"One of the most poignant moments that the New Jersey stage has seen in some time…He's (John Wooten) able to show how this era in European history dehumanized most everyone, because most everyone was suspected and very few were trusted."
— The Star Ledger


FOLLOW ME TO NELLIES (July 2011):
"The centerpiece of Joseph Gourely's set is a jukebox out of which sweet music plays.
The real music, however, comes from Dominique Morisseau's words."
— The Star Ledger

"…You may forget you are watching actors… Morisseau displays great skill and insight in the dialogue which provides the basis for such a high level of performance in scenes which engage our interest, as only superior playwriting can… "
— Talkin' Broadway

"A stunning representation... exceptional... outstanding... unforgettable."
Union County Local Source

"Dominique Morisseau's searing look at this tense and momentous period in our nation's history, Follow Me to Nellie's... is a first-rate production... with some of the finest actors delivering some of the most natural sounding dialogue I've heard on a stage this year..."
— New Jersey Arts Maven

"Ms. Morisseau transports the audience to a bleak time in history for African Americans… Fine characterization… overflows with ambiguity and pathos… Captures the flavor of the 1950s south and the despair of being black in a 'whites only' world… powerful theatre with characters you will care about…"
— Westfield Leader


LOST BOY FOUND IN WHOLE FOODS (September 2010):
"Endearing...intriguing...remarkably touching."
— The New York Times

"You'll lose your heart to this show."
— The Star Ledger

"This is a serious, uplifting drama with beautiful writing and incredible acting."
— The Westfield Leader

"Marvelous...powerful...an experience one will not forget for a long while...See it before it leaves the Zella Fry Theatre at Kean."
— The Local Source

"The entire cast is truly outstanding...[Kim] Zimmer, who lives in Montclair, should be declared a New Jersey treasure. Watch this talented woman demonstrate the art of acting."
— Examiner.com

"The most extraordinary experience in my 15-year reviewing career...magnificent."
— Essex Journal

"See. This. Play."
— Qonstage.com


THE GOOD COUNSELOR (July 2010):
"The Good Counselor is worth the trip to the Kean University campus."
— Worrall Papers

"Riveting performance... excellent characterization... fascinating."
— The Star-Ledger

"Erik LaRay Harvey is magnificent as Ray.... Susan Louise O'Connor...really nails the character of Evelyn Laverty. Her performance will break your heart."
— Worrall Papers

"Moving…Impressive…Excellent and evocative."
— The New York Times


DUCK CROSSING (July 2009):
"Brilliant."
— The Westfield Leader

"Wooten makes [the historical characters] into human beings with hopes and fears, doubts, ambitions, and real feelings."
— The Essex Journal

"Admirable...very satisfying."
— The New York Times

"Whether fact or fiction, Duck Crossing is not only about the "what if" of history, but also inspiration, courage and leadership. The audience is better for catching Mr. Wooten's glimpse of it."
— The Westfield Leader


ANY OTHER NAME (September 2009):
"Gripping and engrossing….Any Other Name was selected for production from over 300 submissions, and it is easy to see why."
— The Westfield Leader

"Ably directed by John Wooten, this is the world premiere of Mr. Brant's drama, which won the 2009 Premiere Stages Play Festival. It's clear why it was honored. The play is intelligent, cynical, disturbing and easy for 21st-century theatergoers to relate to."
— The New York Times

"Mesmerizing…Be prepared to be entranced by superior acting and insightful direction of this ingenious new play."
— The Westfield Leader

"The play is performed by such stellar acting that the audience is kept on the edge of its collective seat just to see how the puzzle plays out."
— The Essex Journal


RABBIT HOLE (September 2008)
"Perfect casting, superb acting and stellar directing make this a production that will be long remembered."
— The Westfield Leader

"The Premiere Stages production of Rabbit Hole is seen to better advantage here than in its New York home."
— The Star Ledger


MADISON (July 2008)
"An always witty and often hilarious comedy…Madison deserves a bright future."
— The Star Ledger

"Madison tells the story with grace and emotion…a comic delight."
— Home News Tribune


Other Quotes:
"Patrons who have been longing for an eclectic mix of arts and style will find themselves satisfied by Premiere Stages' offerings."
— Worrall Newspapers

"We often cite the partnership between Premiere Stages and Kean University as a model of the ways in which a university and professional theatre can work together for the benefit of all."
— Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation

"An always witty and often hilarious comedy...Madison deserves a bright future."
— The Newark Star-Ledger

"Madison tells the story with grace, emotion...a comic delight."
— Home News Tribune

"Rabbit Hole [offers] an example of how, when approached properly, professional theatre companies' relationships with universities can benefit both."
— The New York Times

"Perfect casting, superb acting and stellar directing make this [Rabbit Hole] a production that will long be remembered."
— The Westfield Leader

"The Premiere Stages production [of Rabbit Hole] is seen to better advantage here than in its New York home... a top notch cast. Sue Cremin is astonishing as Becca."
— The Newark Star-Ledger

"In directing this sensitive piece [Rabbit Hole], Mr. Wooten has found a gentle tone that nonetheless firmly supports its central truth."
— The New York Times

"It can't get much better than this."
— Talkin' Broadway