Passage Theatre Company, the professional theatre company located in the heart of Trenton, New Jersey, is bringing in its 2021-22 season with a return to in-person theatre at Mill Hill Playhouse (205 E. Front Street, Trenton). Embracing the company’s Mercer County roots, Passage’s year of programming is themed “Trenton Makes.” All shows presented during the 2021-22 season have been created by the Trenton community–artists and residents–for the Trenton community. These world-premiere productions have been developed through Passage Theatre Company’s innovative PlayLab Program, which provides emerging and established artists a platform for sharing diverse perspectives on complex and important issues.
“This is going to be a really special season of programming for Passage,” notes Passage’s Artistic Director C. Ryanne Domingues. “Not only are all of the shows set in Trenton, but they are all world premieres that were developed at Passage over the past several years. Each show is completely different, but they all reflect the heart and hope found in this community.”
The company’s 2021-22 season features:
The OK Trenton Project (February 3-20, 2022)
Passage returns to live, in-person performance with The OK Trenton Project written by David Lee White, Richard Bradford, and members of The OK Trenton Ensemble. Five years ago, a group of Trenton students spent their summer creating a sculpture entitled “Helping Hands.” They learned the skills necessary to build something out of nothing with the promise of their work being publicly displayed in their community. Four days after installation, the sculpture was removed due to anonymous complaints that the piece too closely resembled a gang symbol. Based on a true story and composed entirely of verbatim interviews from those directly involved, The OK Trenton Project is an experience that explores the role art plays in our community and the consequences we face when it’s taken away. This world-premiere production is directed by C. Ryanne Domingues.
Group! (May 5-May 22, 2022)
The world premiere of its new musical Group! comes to Passage in the spring. With music by Aleksandra M. Weil, lyrics by Eloise Govedare, and book by Julia B. Rosenblatt, Group! tells the story of six women from vastly different worlds who come together to battle the great equalizer: addiction. Group! explores the moments of fear, celebration, and everything in-between as these women grapple with their mental health in the face of sobriety. Who will make it? Who will fall off of the proverbial wagon? And can the current mental health care system really support a path towards long-term recovery?
Junior High #2: The Hedgepeth-Williams Story (Theatre for Families and Young Audiences Show, March 30-April 3, 2022)
Passage’s popular Theatre for Families and Young Audiences is back in a new and exciting premiere. This year, two of Passage’s playwrights, Rich Bradford and David Lee White, will team up with students at Hedgepeth Williams Middle School to create a play that tells the story of the 1940’s historic court case that changed the middle school and community forever. In Junior High #2: The Hedgepeth-Williams Story, Gladys Hedgepeth and Berline Williams challenged the Trenton school formerly known as Junior High No. 2 and its policy of segregation after their children were not admitted due to their race. After a historic legal battle, the New Jersey Supreme Court struck down the widespread practice of segregation in New Jersey public schools. Junior High #2 shares Trenton’s local history with the next generation and shows us what can happen when you stand up for what’s right. This production will take place at Hedgepeth Williams Middle School.
On September 25, Passage will be presenting a Writer’s Roundtable where several of the season’s playwrights will be giving Audience members a behind-the-scenes look behind the creative process and creation of the shows this season. The presentation will take place at 7PM–audience members can reserve tickets at passagetheatre.org.
On December 11, Passage Theatre Company will be presenting their annual holiday fundraiser. What’s scarier than being visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve? Trying to put up a production of A Christmas Carol featuring only two actors! Utilizing theatrical storytelling (and a whole lot of props), guests will be drawn into another world as you experience this lively and heartwarming adaptation of Dickens’ classic tale. Time and further details will be announced at a later date.
Season “Passports” (subscriptions) and tickets for the 2021-22 Season are now on sale. for more details about membership and program information, visit Passage’s website at passagetheatre.org, or call 609-392-0766.