Eagle Theatre heads out of town for the 1st Official Tour of their Barrymore Award Nominated, john & jen, opening April 27th 2018, with a co-production at Cape May Stage.
Jen and her younger brother, John, are growing up in mid-century America. From secret handshakes to hidden family bonds, John & Jen are always there for each other. But, as the country becomes divided over the war in Vietnam, so does the family, and battle lines are drawn between the once-close siblings. When John joins the war, Jen is left to reconcile his memory, along with her son and brother’s namesake, who is trying to do anything he can to find the true meaning of home.
Set against the background of a changing America between 1950 and 1990, this 97 minute tour-de-force follows the love of one family over the course of forty years, as two actors take on a multitude of roles, shedding a heart-warming light on the power of family.
Eagle Theatre’s 2017 production of john & jen became an instant hit with critics and creatives, garnering a Theatre Philadelphia Barrymore Nomination for Outstanding Direction of a Musical. Eagle Theatre’s production ofGodspell was also honored that same year with a Barrymore Nomination for Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical.
Artistic Director Ted Wioncek III, who served as director for Eagle Theatre’s original production of john & jen,claims “I have long awaited the opportunity to take Eagle Theatre’s Mainstage productions far beyond the theatre walls. Whether it be locally or nationally, sharing our work is vital. Touring affords us the opportunity to make connections outside our immediate reach and therefore helps further enrich our diverse region.”
The Eagle Theatre and Cape May Stage’s co-production of Andrew Lippa and Tom Greenwald’s spirited musical will feature vintage costuming; from letterman jackets to bellbottoms, as well as a counterculture montage, featuring The Beatles, Woodstock, and television broadcasts of the 1960s.
Deemed a “powerhouse” by The Philadelphia Inquirer, Kimberly Suskind, who recently appeared as Jo in Eagle Theatre’s Barrymore Recommended production of Little Women: The Musical, will reprise her highly celebrated portrayal as Jen in the touring production. Suskind adds “I’ve been extremely fortunate to portray two women, [Jen, john & jen; Jo, Little Women: The Musical] consecutively, who are strong, determined and independent. Against all odds, these women pursue their passions and won’t allow anyone or anything to hold them down. These two characters continue to motivate and empower women from all generations!”
Will Connell, recently seen on stage as Laurie Lawrence in Eagle Theatre’s Little Women: The Musical, will be stepping into the role of John.
Producing Director Ed Corsi concludes “Cape May is the perfect backdrop for a sentimental gem that centers around the love, connection and commitment of family. What better message could we hope to share far and wide?”
For More Information of Season Passes: www.eagletheatre.org
[READ Philly Life & Culture’s Editor-in-Chief’s review of john & jen.]
ABOUT THE EAGLE:
The Eagle Theatre, South Jersey’s only year-round professional Equity theatre, is dedicated to redefining regional theatre through innovation, enlightened production techniques and the development of eclectic theatrics.
Under The Direction of Ted Wioncek III & Ed Corsi, this nationally recognized, award-winning regional theatre produces more than 160 live performances each year, including full-scale Broadway caliber World Premieres and re-conceptualized revivals; New Works Development Series, a play reading series dedicated the nurturing local playwrights; a traveling Theatre for Youth Audiences program, specializing in providing arts education to schools in under served communities; an Annual Fringe Festival, a 3-day street fair and theatrical marathon, featuring multiple eclectic productions, a beer and wine garden, pop-up art, food, live music, and street performers; Innovations Factory, a core of theming artist dedicated to experimental storytelling through medium advancing technology; and Eagle Theatre Conservatory, a year-round tuition based theatrical institute for all ages and levels of professionalism. In addition, Eagle Theatre is serves on Facebook’s inaugural SMB Council for Small Business.
The Eagle Theatre’s beginnings were humble, with just a simple announcement printed in the local newspaper in June of 1914, stating that “Mr. Litke will put up a concrete building on his lot on Vine Street, for his moving picture winter theatre.” From that, the Eagle Theatre was born.
Eagle Theatre originally opened its doors in 1914 as a silent movie theatre and playhouse from 1914 until 1944, when it was then sold to the Pentecostal Assembly of God and converted into a church. The church occupied the building for 15 years, then sold it to Harry and Evelyn Hitman in 1959. The Hitman’s used the building for storage until 2006. By that time, the old building was on the verge of being demolition. Tracy Petrongolo, the head of the Hammonton’s arts and cultural committee, researched the building’s history and determined that it was worthy of preservation. What followed was a remarkable example of dedication by a devoted base of volunteers who were intent on seeing the theatre restored.
The theatre was restored in 2009 to serve as a performing arts center. Since the reopening, Eagle Theatre has quickly grown into a nationally recognized non-profit producing organization.
Today, this award-winning culturally diverse epicenter boasts state of the art technical equipment, a free parking lot, Sharrott Winery’s on-site Wine Lounge, and is located within walking distance of several boutiques and acclaimed dining destinations in beautifully revitalized Downtown Hammonton, serving patrons from New Jersey, Philadelphia, New York, and beyond.
john & jen:
a new musical
Eagle Theatre is set to open a new musical, JOHN & JEN on March 10th, 2017. Set against the background of a changing America between 1950 and 1990, this truly original musical sheds a heart-warming light on the power of family. With a cast of only two people, JOHN & JEN is a tour-de-force, taking them from playful childhood, through awkward adolescence, and far beyond.
Including one 15 Minute Intermission
CAPE MAY STAGE
405 Lafayette St
Cape May, New Jersey 08204
April 20th – May 5th
Friday, Saturday | 8:00pm
Sunday | 3:00pm Matinee
Run Time: 97 minutes, including one 15 Minute Intermission
Tickets can be purchased at www.capemaystage.org
Or contact the box office at 609-704-5012.
Artistic Director/Director: Ted Wioncek III^
Producing Director: Ed Corsi
Music Director: Jason Neri
Production Stage Manager: Rick Trovato
Technical Director: Ernie Jewell
Lighting Design: Chris Miller
Scenic Design: Chris Miller/Ted Wioncek III
Video Design: Brian Morris
Sound Design: David Pierron
Costume Design: Ashleigh Poteat
Scenic Artist: Brooke Murray
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association
^Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society
REMAINING PERFORMANCES IN THE EAGLE’S 2018 SEASON:
MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS
By Ron Hutchinson
Directed by Ted Wioncek III
Runs Now – April 29, 2018
THE LAST FIVE YEARS
Music and Book by Jason Robert Brown
Directed by Ed Corsi
Music Direction by Jason Neri
Previews May 30 & 31, 2018
Runs June 1 – July 1, 2018
NOIR: THE 3D/4D SEMI-CINEMATIC SATIRICAL THRILLER
An Eagle Theatre World Premiere Production
Written by Tim Rinehart and Ted Wioncek III
Directed by Ted Wioncek III
Previews September 12 & 13, 2018
Runs September 14 – October 14, 2018
THE SPITFIRE GRILL
Book and Music by James Valcq
Lyrics and Book by Fred Alley
Based on the 1996 Film by Lee David Zlotoff
Directed by Ed Corsi
Music Direction by Jason Neri
Previews November 14 & 15, 2018
Runs November 16 – December 16, 2018