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Contact: John Wooten

Premiere Stages Announces 2009 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 on Thursday, March 12, Friday, March 13, and Saturday, March 14, at 7 p.m. in the University Center Little Theatre, located on Kean’s main campus at 1000 Morris Avenue in Union, N.J.

Three plays, selected from more than 300 submissions, will be given a professional reading and will be considered for expanded development as part of the Premiere Stages 2009 summer season. One new play will be read and discussed each evening and the public is encouraged to actively engage in the new play’s 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. The most promising play will be awarded a fully produced AEA production in September. The schedule for the readings is as follows.

Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods, by Tammy Ryan
Thursday, March 12, at 7 p.m.

Gabriel, an optimistic and hardworking “Lost Boy” from Sudan meets Christine, a suburban mother in desperate need of adventure. What begins as an unlikely friendship soon becomes an unbreakable bond that forever changes the pair and leads them toward a better understanding of their place in the world.

Visiting Ours, by David Caudle
Friday, March 13, at 7 p.m.

Is there a limit to a parent’s love? After a long and unexplained absence, Paul and his new girlfriend, Shelly, abruptly force their way back into the makeshift home of his estranged parents, Beth and Marian, threatening to destroy what remains of their fragile union.

Any Other Name, by George Brant
Saturday, March 14, at 7 p.m.

In 1860s London, a struggling poet visits his idol in search of inspiration but instead unleashes a madness that feeds his insatiable hunger for fame. As art and ambition collide, how far will he go to make a name for himself in a world where the truth cannot be trusted?

The Premiere Spring Readings are the catalyst for the Premiere Stages Play Festival, which has a mission 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 of 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. The aim of the festival is to empower writers to make the transition from page to stage. The audience is crucial in helping them make that leap."

Premiere Stages operates in part through funding from The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, TD Bank and Provident Bank, as well as 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.

Admission and parking for the Premiere Spring Readings Series is free. For more information, please call Premiere Stages at 908-737-4092 or visit the Web site at