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Contact: Jette Englund

Premiere Stages Announces 2008 Play Festival Finalists
Patrons invited to participate in the new play selection process

UNION, N.J. – Premiere Stages at Kean University will hold its annual Spring Readings from April 9-11, at 7:30 p.m. each night in the University Center Little Theatre, located on Kean’s Central Campus at 1000 Morris Avenue in Union, N.J.

Three plays, selected from more than 350 submissions, will be given a professional reading and will be considered for expanded development as part of the Premiere Stages 2008 summer season.

Three plays will be read over two days. The public is encouraged to actively engage in the new play developmental process. Evaluation forms will be distributed, and patrons may participate in post-reading dialogues with the writers. One of the three plays will be selected for an Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) staged reading in June, and the most promising play will receive an AEA production in September.

The schedule for the readings is as follows: Wednesday, April 9, 7:30 p.m. A View of the Harbor by Richard Dresser. The fog is all too clear in Dresser's poignant new play, where the chickens come home to roost but never leave.

Thursday, April 10, 7:30 p.m. The Big Tent by Glen Merzer. The masters of spin seek an edge in the no-hold-barred game of politics that can be waged – and won – only under The Big Tent.

Friday, April 11, 7:30 p.m. Madison by Guillermo Reyes James Madison battles a divided delegation and a determined widow in this comic romp that leads us toward a more perfect union.

The Premiere Spring Readings are the catalyst for the Premiere Stages Play Festival, whose mission is to encourage and nurture emerging dramatists in New Jersey and the greater metropolitan area. The Premiere Spring Readings give participating playwrights the opportunity to explore their work in front of an audience and to discover the strengths and weaknesses inherent in their scripts.

“The public is afforded the unique opportunity to see three plays in a developmental forum, make suggestions and recommendations to the playwrights, and return a few months later to see two of the three plays produced under an Equity contract,” said John Wooten, producing artistic director of Premiere Stages. “Our patrons are an integral part of the process,” added Wooten.

“The aim of the Festival is to empower writers to make the transition from page to stage and the audience is crucial in helping writers make that leap.”

Admission and parking for the Premiere Spring Readings Series is free. Please call 908-737-4092 for more information or visit

Premiere Stages operates in part through funding from The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Bank of America, and through the generous support of patrons. Premiere Stages offers free or discounted tickets to patrons with disabilities. All Premiere Stages facilities are wheelchair accessible spaces. Please call for a list of sign-interpreted, audio-described or open-captioned performances. Assistive listening devices and large print programs are available at all times. Publications are available with advanced notice in alternate formats