NJPAC Stage Exchange: The 2016 Commissions


The NJ PAC Stage Exchange is in its second year and began as a partnership between Writers Theatre of New Jersey, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and Yendor Productions.  Last year, we produced five readings that were staged at NJ PAC’s Chase Room: IRONBOUND by Martyna Majok, LITTLE ROCK by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj, THE TALENTED TENTH by Richard Wesley, GENERATION T by Pia Wilson, and HOODWINKED by Emily Mann.

This year, the New Jersey Theatre Alliance has joined the project as another partner, along with two other theatres – Passage Theatre Company and the Luna Stage Company.  Over the next few weeks, three plays that were each commissioned by one of the three theatres will be read at NJ PAC’s Chase Room and then those plays will go on to have full, world-premiere productions by the three theatres in their seasons next year.

Each reading in the intimate Chase Room costs only $5 and all proceeds go toward the evening’s charity organization, selected for its mission’s connection to the play’s theme and issues. Following each reading, the playwright will be joined on stage by a panel of academics, activists, and professionals to discuss the issues addressed by the play.

Information on the three plays can be found below, along with links to where you can purchase tickets:

  • SANISM by David Lee White – Friday, April 29 at 7pm

A docu-play based on interviews with people who have suffered, or are currently suffering, from mental illness as well as their families, health care workers, and social service organizations.

Sponsoring theatre: Passage Theatre Company (Trenton)
Beneficiary: NAMI Mercer (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

  • INDIAN HEAD by Nikkole Salter – Friday, May 20 at 7pm

The story of a New Jersey woman taking up the charge of having an “Indian” mascot removed from a local high school, and the surprising division it causes in the community.

Sponsoring theatre: Luna Stage (West Orange)
Beneficiary: Newark Museum

  • SURELY GOODNESS AND MERCY by Chisa Hutchinson – Friday, June 24 at 7pm

Follows the unlikely friendship between a Newark elementary school student and the cantankerous lunch lady, as both lean on each other to navigate life in a system stacked against them.

Sponsoring theatre: Writers Theatre of New Jersey (Madison)
Beneficiary:  New Jersey SEEDS

Read more about NJPAC Stage Exchange on the New Jersey Theatre Alliance website HERE