Cover artwork of the Season in review 2020/21: A group of friends open a time capsule labelled 2020.
New Jersey Season in Review 2020/21
New Jersey Banner for Season in Review 2020/21
Artwork by Bekka Lindstrom, Drawings by Ian Sklarsky

COVID-19 evoked a creative response from a number of our members. Some titles speak for themselves: Lockdown 2020 by Frank Avella, Viral Effect by Ann Mary Mullane, Stephanie Buckley’s Happy Vaccination Day and Zoom for the Holidays, and Six Feet Apart by Lyle Landon. Titles understood in context: Sitting and Talking by Lia Romeo, Now, Now, Now by Tom Cavanaugh, All You Can Say is Fresno by Alexis Kozak, and Deborah Brevoort’S The Gorn Galaxy. The collaborative team of Kait Kerrigan, Nathan Tysen, Rachel Axler, and Jason Howland also had their Murder Mystery Musical A Killer Party livestreamed.

Many members livestreamed with companies from Yasmine Beverly Rana’s Icarus and Amina in Canada to Sherri Heller’s My Mother, My Sister & Me in Florida. In Pennsylvania: Barry Putt’s Edmonia; New York City: Planet Alice by Jonathan Grupper; Frank Avella’s Godforsaken and Ganymede Revisted at The Tank; Raven Petretti’s Till There Was You at Strange Bird Productions. Rachel Rubin and Lisa Brigantino’s play with music, The Wickham Way, was produced as an online benefit for The Actors’ Fund, and the collaborative team of Jerry James, Laura I. Kramer, Cheryl Stern, and Ellen M. Schwartz saw their musical A Letter to Harvey Milk presented.

Nathan Christopher traveled the country with productions of Clairevoyant at the Thank You, 10! Festival in Anacortes, WA; EVE: A Palindrome Play in a workshop at The Tiny Theatre in Miami, FL; and A Man Walks into a Bar at the Jersey Voices One-Act Play Festival in Chatham, NJ. Thomas Elliott had two comedies, Keeping Right and Grudges, produced at Knowledge Workings Theater. Eric Sirota saw two of his musicals up: A Good Day, workshopped at The Shawnee Playhouse, and A Day at the White House, presented as a podcast.  Alexander Kuscma had The Park Bench presented at the County College of Morris in Randolph, NJ, and the collaborative team of Lisa Diana Shapiro, Julia Jordan, and Georgia Stitt had their musical Common Ground workshopped at TADA! Youth Theater.

And to end with awards, Alexis Kozak’s The Michaelson Model was one of the winners of the Urban Stages New Pages’ The Acronym Plays. And eight other NJ members have been presented with prestigious awards. Lloyd Suh has joined the ranks of Guggenheim Fellowship recipients, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts awarded highly competitive playwriting fellowships to Ian August, Justice Hehir, Stephen Kaplan, Joseph Sutton, Joseph Vitale, Mona Washington, and John J. Wooten.


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John Pietrowski

currently teaches at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He holds a BS in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, an MPA in Nonprofit Management from Seton Hall, a Masters Certificate in Creative Placemaking from the Bloustein School at Rutgers, and is working on his MFA in Playwriting from Goddard College. Mr. Pietrowski was also the Program Coordinator of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Theatre Program for Teachers and Playwrights from 1988-94.