Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A college graduate in Boston is “discovered” as “Cigarette Girl #2” in a modernized version of Carmen…set in the projects. Buoyed by this success, and eager to be cast even as a corpse above the opening credits of a Law and Order episode, the 20-year-old flees to the mecca of New York City.

I experienced this rite of passage myself, yet Trenton’s wealth of performing talent also includes many who, while appearing in movies and plays in New York and Philadelphia, are also attracted to our local stages.

As the spectacular SALT PEPPER KETCHUP by Josh Wilder comes to an end on Oct 14, be sure to check out the upcoming performances at Passage Theatre Company, the theatrical anchor of downtown Trenton, “…committed to the creation and production of socially relevant new plays”,  (http://passagetheatre.org).

TO MY UNBORN CHILD: A LOVE LETTER FROM FRED HAMPTON by Richard Bradford: (Feb 8 – 10, 2019). Murdered by Chicago Police at 21 as he lay by his pregnant lover, visionary Black Panther Fred Hampton preached a humane, compassionate revolution against racist brutality, child hunger, poverty, and capitalism. His critical voice for justice comes alive again in Rich Bradford’s play about change, love, and legacy.

BICYCLE FACE by Hannah Van Sciver: (Feb 15 – 17, 2019). Set in Philadelphia and framed by a feminist theory class taught one hundred and fifty years in the future, Bicycle Face is a multidisciplinary, multimedia theatrical joyride through the feminist movement and its unlikely relationship with the bicycle. The show employs live music, projections, and puppetry as it navigates the ever-changing landscape of feminism, censorship, and cycling.

MORIR SONYANDO by Erlina Ortiz: (May 2 – May 19, 2019). Genesis left her past behind long ago. But her mother’s release from prison forces them both to confront long-buried pain – and to wonder if they can ever become a family again. Erlina Ortiz’s play lovingly illuminates the blood ties that break and bind people.

Passage Theatre Company is introducing Theatre for Young Audiences, a new program, beginning this season with THE REAL LIFE ADVENTURES OF JIMMY DE LAS ROSAS by Ricardo Gamboa from Nov 2 – 3, 2018. This staged reading follows telekinetic thirteen-year-old Jimmy as he struggles to save his neighborhood from a rash of disappearances.

Supporting Trenton’s plays, films, concerts and festivals, gives residents and tourists alike the opportunity to experience art organically, independently, and up close. We ride along with the artist on their career journey to future fame in… New York? Los Angeles? Or, maybe as a new creative base right here in Trenton.