New Play-Reading Festival

The Growing Stage Proudly Presents Our 5th Annual Festival!


ROUND 1 : November 13 – 15, 2015 & ROUND 2: February 26 – 28, 2016

About the New Play-Reading Festival:

Did you ever wonder how new plays are chosen for production? Here’s your chance to find out–and, if you wish, participate in the process!

In our New Play-Reading Festival, four brand-new plays for young audiences, chosen from 100 submitted works, will be read by professional and community artists in a casual setting.  Following each reading, the entire family can participate in discussion of the work with our professional team. One of the four plays will be selected to become a fully mounted production in 2016! Bring the family for this unique theatre event!

Our 2015 – 2016 New Play Selections:

Hope is the Thing with Feathers by Dorothea Cahan

Friday, November 13th at 7:30PM

Chloe finds Maggie’s hundred year old diary under the floor boards of her new home and is enthralled with the story of the servant who lived in the house in 1901. The diary evokes scenes of Maggie’s life, scenes of conflict, romance, tragedy, and hope.  Although the two teenagers live in different centuries, there are parallels in their lives; both have experienced traumatic loss. Chloe feels an emotional bond with Maggie, which leads her to reconnect with her own family.

Not Waving by Richard Manley

Saturday, November 14th at 4:00PM

Crandal lost her father in Afghanistan last year. Without much of an education, her mother works two jobs to make ends meet, and fears for her bright young daughter’s future in a world where the good guys seldom win. Fortunately, Crandal has a funny old grandmother with time on her hands, a house full of books, and lots of affection.  As Crandal starts the ninth grade, however, her grandmother’s health takes a very sharp turn for the worse, and Crandal’s forced to face the fact that she’s never learned to trust anyone but Nanna, not even herself.  Not Waving explores the difficulty of one teenager’s search for identity andconfidence amidst the trolls and trials of a modern American high school experience.

The Box of Stories by Jessica Puller

Saturday, November 14th at 7:00PM

Storytelling is the native language of all human beings.  But what would the world have become without stories?  As narrated by Shahrazad, THE BOX OF STORIES presents a world that might have been.  When the trickster gods Coyote, Loki, and Anansi steal the art of storytelling from mankind, sealing away stories into a magical box, it is a young girl without a name that rises to become a hero.  Upon finding the box, she uses the stories inside to reintroduce mankind to civilization.  Spanning the realms of Native American, Norse, African, Greek, Indian, Vietnamese, Celtic, and Middle Eastern mythology, THE BOX OF STORIES demonstrates the power of the spoken word and the ability of mankind to grow, learn, and survive.

The Summer of the Blood Moon by Jack McCleland

Sunday, November 15th at 2:00PM

This play is about a young boy kidnapped by pirates and hustled back to the 18th century.  Not only does he need to find a way to get back home in the future but avoid being hanged for piracy.  Along the way he meets a young girl who teaches him all he needs to know about being a pirate.

 Interested in attending the readings? 

Please contact the Box Office at (973) 347-4946 or e-mail: to request tickets!

 Past New Play Reading Selections include:
The Book of D (2015 WINNER, 2016 Main Stage Production) by Cody Daigle-Oriens
And Then Came Tango (2014 WINNER, 2015 Main Stage Production) by Emily Freeman
The Secret Life of Hubie Hartzel  (2013 WINNER, 2014 Main Stage Production) by Susan Rowan Masters
City of Ember (2013) by Merissa Stewart
What We Lost Along the Way (2013) by Corrine Esme Glanville
Julie of the Wolves (2013) by Brian Guehring
With Two Wings (2012 WINNER, 2013 Main Stage Production) by Anne Negri
Lizzie Bright and Buckminster Boy (2012) by Joan Cushing
Convivencia (2012) by R. N. Sandberg
Theatre For Your Mother – The Little Red Riding Hood Show (2012) by Russell Davis