Passage Theatre Company, Trenton’s Barrymore Award-winning theatre company, has been commissioned by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center to produce the first musical created under their Stage Exchange program. Currently titled Silueta, with music by Aleksandra M. Weil, lyrics by Eloise Govedare, and book by Erlina Ortiz, this musical will receive a partial reading at NJPAC on Friday, April 5, 2019, at 6:30pm. The reading is free to attend.

When an introverted Cuban woman fleeing her past moves in with a bubbly Syrian performance artist, it seems at first that they have very little in common. But as America careens toward the 2016 presidential election, and the mysterious ghost of Ana Mendieta haunts their lives, their unlikely sisterhood becomes the closest thing to home that they have.

In telling this story, Passage has worked to ensure that diverse voices are heard in the creative process and onstage. More than half of the recent workshop’s cast is Latinx, as is Erlina Ortiz, who wrote the book.

Ryanne Domingues, Passage’s Artistic Director, is excited to develop and produce Passage’s first musical since 2005. “We are grateful to have the opportunity to participate in the Stage Exchange program once again,” she says. “It is essential for writers to be able to hear their work read so that they can understand the rhythm and pacing of the piece. Readings such as these are particularly helpful in developing musicals, because the dramatic pacing that writers must use to lift a scene into song can be tricky. Developing and producing musical theatre is more expensive than regular plays because it requires additional skill sets (and therefore people) to be in the room. Because of this expense, so many new musicals never make it to the stage. We are thrilled that NJPAC and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance are helping us to bring this one to life!”

NJPAC’s Stage Exchange supports fledgling works, from script to spotlight. Jersey-based dramatists are placed under the wing of professional theaters that guide the play, from writing, to a dramatic reading and public discussion, to full production. Following the reading, NJPAC will host a conversation with the audience.

NJPAC will present a partial reading of Silueta on Friday, April 5 at 6:30pm. The reading is located in the Chase Room of NJPAC, at 1 Center Street, Newark, NJ, and is free to attend. For more information, please visit www.njpac.org.

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Passage Theatre’s mainstage season is made possible in part by the N.J. State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the NEA; the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; The City of Trenton; WIMG 1300; The Curtis McGraw Foundation; The James Kerney Foundation; PNC Bank; Janssen Pharmaceuticals; Mary O. Borden Foundation; Otsuka Pharmaceutical; The Garfield Foundation; The Bunbury Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation; NJ Council for the Humanities; The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey; The Shubert Foundation; and Mary G. Roebling Foundation