(SUMMIT, NJ) — Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, in residence at Oakes Center at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit, is announcing productions and programs for the beginning of its 26th season, spanning September through December. This professional company will continue to provide its programming virtually through the end of the calendar year, with the health and safety of its audiences and artists as its first priority. Within these constraints, Dreamcatcher is producing a variety of performances that will continue to connect the community with stories that reflect our shared experiences. As always, the Dreamcatcher Resident Acting Company and their guests will challenge, energize and entertain audiences, using the paradoxically intimate medium of the internet.
Since mid-March, audiences have enjoyed play readings, improv performances, solo shows and classes online, providing a bridge between the past and the future, when we will be able to gather safely again. Not only have these presentations allowed New Jersey patrons to stay connected, but they have also drawn viewers from California to Iowa to North Carolina, something that would have been impossible under normal circumstances. As we expand what it means to create theatre, we welcome new audiences and investigate the best ways to tell stories in the current reality.
In September, Dreamcatcher kicks off the season with an interactive reading of A Certain Age, previously scheduled for March as a part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance Stages Festival. A Certain Age by Laura Ekstrand is a highly personal, honest and hilarious tour of what it means to be no longer young, but not yet old, as a woman today. The participatory experience will help women who are “in the middle” to sort through the many confusing messages coming at us from the media, our peers, and our own inner voices. This one-night-only event will take place on Friday, September 18 at 7:30pm on Zoom.
Ways to be Happy by David Lee White, originally scheduled for production in the spring of 2020, will come to life as an audio play which will be released in October 2020. This comedy about chasing our inalienable right will cover multiple locations using listeners’ imaginations and the lively sound design of Jeff Knapp. Darting from a convenience store to a cabin in the woods to a theme park, Maddie and the unusual people she meets are searching for happiness. Does it exist? Or is the world fundamentally rigged? Available in early October, the recording can be purchased for download on Dreamcatcher’s website.
November’s presentation will be Lia Romeo’s Sitting and Talking, a piece written during the pandemic that reflects on our human need to connect, no matter what the circumstances. Charles and Enid are in their sixties, and have never tried online dating before, especially not over video chat. But now that they’re confined to their homes, there’s a first time for everything. A love story for this moment, Sitting and Talking will be performed on Zoom on Thursday, November 12 at 8:00pm.
In time for the holidays, Dreamcatcher will present an evening of new short plays commissioned from our favorite playwrights. Six actors will perform six plays with themes that can include Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, the winter solstice, or anything that tickles the writers’ fancies. Holiday Bites will be performed live over two weekends, December 4 through December 13, online.
These presentations will be supplemented by three performances by Dreamcatcher’s improv comedy group The Flip Side: Back to School, Halloween and Thanksgiving. The 30-minute shows will be available each month via Facebook, the Dreamcatcher website, and our email blasts.
The third season of our podcast, LOCAL with Laura Ekstrand, will begin in September with guest Deonté Griffin-Quick, Manager of Programs and Services for the New Jersey Theatre Alliance. He is a leader in the New Jersey Arts and Culture Administrators of Color Network, a native New Jerseyan and an alumnus of Kean University. The podcast, chosen as one of the Top Ten Local Podcasts of 2019 by Podcast Business Journal, features members of the arts and culture ecosystem of the Garden State.
Dreamcatcher will also offer Improv Classes for Adults and Teens, both beginner and intermediate levels, and new after school classes for tween and teen actors and playwrights. These classes will be limited in size and will take place either in person or virtually, depending on the consensus of the students and teacher.
In addition, the theatre provides a menu of virtual outreach and training programs for non-profit organizations and corporations. 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 that believe in the power of the arts to bring people together and promote understanding between them.
Because of the improvisational nature of the upcoming months, each event will be sold separately, with no season passes available for the time being. Prices will be kept low to ensure that participation is comfortable and accessible. Registration for all programs, along with information about upcoming events, can be found at www.DreamcatcherRep.org. Dreamcatcher is based at The Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue, Summit, New Jersey.
Dreamcatcher was founded in 1994, and is a non-profit professional ensemble of actors who share contemporary, life-affirming stories that foster a deeper understanding of how we are all connected. We seek to expose theatregoers to ideas and lives like and unlike their own, to awaken their imaginations and create empathy for others. The company focuses on deepening the experience of our patrons by supplementing the performances with personal contact through receptions, talkbacks, and interactive programs.
Dreamcatcher’s core company of professional local actors performs contemporary work that entertains and challenges, and has at its heart a belief in the essential goodness of people. The company’s activities include mainstage productions, improvisational comedy and cabarets, new play readings and a variety of educational and senior outreach programs.
Dreamcatcher’s programs are funded by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Dramatist Guild Fund, The Summit Foundation and many other corporations, foundations and individuals. Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre is an Equity Producing member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.