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  • GSP to honor The Actors Fund and its President & CEO Joseph P. Benincasa


    The Actors Fund and its President & CEO Joseph P. Benincasa to Receive Thomas H. Kean Arts Advocacy Award at George Street Playhouse Annual Gala Benefit on May 22

    Black-Tie Fundraiser to Feature Performances from Stars of Stage and Screen

    Joseph P. Benincasa
    Joseph P. Benincasa
    (Courtesy The Actors Fund)
    New Brunswick, NJ--New Brunswick’s George Street Playhouse celebrates the end of another successful season on Sunday, May 22, with its Annual Gala Benefit. As part of the celebration, the Thomas H. Kean Arts Advocacy Award will be conferred upon The Actors Fund and its President and Chief Executive Officer, Joseph P. Benincasa, by the former Governor himself. The inaugural award was given to Governor Kean in 1990 and was named in his honor to pay tribute to an individual, corporation or foundation whose dedication to the arts enhances the cultural life of the citizens of New Jersey. 

    “This year, we are elated to honor The Actors Fund and its President and CEO, Joseph Benincasa, with the Thomas H. Kean Arts Advocacy Award,” said George Street Playhouse Artistic Director David Saint. “He is a long-time friend and supporter of the Playhouse with strong ties to New Brunswick, and The Actors Fund has been invaluable to so many of those who work in the performing arts and entertainment industry.”

    The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that helps everyone — performers and those behind the scenes — who works in performing arts and entertainment.  Serving professionals in film, theatre, television, music, opera, radio and dance, The Fund’s programs include social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and employment and training services.  The Actors Fund has been — for 134 years — a safety net for those in need, crisis or transition.

    Mr. Benincasa, who joined The Actors Fund in 1989, oversees innovative programs, including comprehensive social services, health care services, employment and training, and affordable, supportive and senior housing. He is also President of the Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation which builds affordable, supportive and senior care residences for artists in major urban centers.

    He serves on the boards of directors of several organizations, including Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Learning Ally, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, among others. He has been recognized with several honors, including The Actors Fund Medal of Honor, Tony Honors Award, New Jersey Legislature Excellence in Arts Award and inaugural Made in New York Award. 

    Kenneth M. Fisher, Jr. of Hillsborough serves as Benefit Chair. Commemorative Journal Chairpersons are Jocelyn Schwartzman of East Brunswick and Lora Tremayne of Somerset. James Heston of Metuchen and Penelope Lattimer of New Brunswick serve as co-chairs of the Sponsorship Committee, and Janice Stolar of East Brunswick is Tables Chair.

    Janice Haggerty of Bedminster and Gabrielle Vajtay of Somerset serve as Auction Co-Chairpersons. The silent auction is one of the highlights of the Playhouse’s Annual Gala, and offers luxury vacation trips, home furnishings, tickets to hard-to-get Broadway shows, fine dining experiences, top sports venues and much more.  

    Patrons attending GSP’s Gala have come to expect stellar performances during the evening’s Cabaret and this year should prove no exception. Past performers have included Constantine Maroulis, David Hyde Pierce, Rita Moreno, Bernadette Peters, Tyne Daly, Sandy Duncan, Kelly Bishop, Brian d’Arcy James, Alison Fraser, Penny Fuller, Anne Jackson, Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller, Lauren Bacall and Chita Rivera, among others. This year’s performers will be announced at a later date.

    The Black Tie affair at The Heldrich (located on Livingston Avenue directly across the street from George Street Playhouse) begins at 5 pm with a cocktail reception and silent auction. Dinner follows at 6:30 pm with the Cabaret performance commencing at 7:30.  Sponsorship opportunities, tables of 10, and individual tickets are available. For further information contact Jacqueline Brendel at (732) 846-2895, ext. 141.

    About George Street Playhouse
    In the 42 years since its founding, George Street Playhouse has become a nationally recognized theatre, presenting an acclaimed mainstage season while providing an artistic home for established and emerging theatre artists. Its leadership consists of Artistic Director David Saint, Resident Artistic Director Michael Mastro and Managing Director Kelly Ryman. Founded in 1974, the Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and off-Broadway – recent productions include the Outer Critics’ Circle Best Musical Award-winner The Toxic Avenger; the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated production of The Spitfire Grill; and the recent Broadway hit and Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at GSP during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays. In 2015, George Street Playhouse has been represented by two productions in New York: the recent Broadway production of It Shoulda Been You, and Joe DiPietro’s Clever Little Lies, which opened off-Broadway in October. Both shows received their premieres at the Playhouse. In addition to its mainstage season, GSP’s Touring Educational Theatre features three issue-oriented productions that are seen by more than 40,000 students annually. George Street Playhouse programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.


  • George Street Playhouse Announces Casting for "Nureyev's Eyes"


    George Street Playhouse Brings Ballet & Hollywood Star Rudolf Nureyev and Famed Artist Jamie Wyeth to the Stage in David Rush’s NUREYEV’S EYES

    February 2-21, 2016

    William Connell to play artist Jamie Wyeth; Bill Dawes to play ballet & Hollywood star Rudolf Nureyev

    New Brunswick, NJ -- George Street Playhouse today announced the cast of David Rush’s Nureyev’s Eyes, which runs February 2 through February 21 at the New Brunswick theatre. Bill Dawes will portray Russian defector and star of ballet and screen, Rudolf Nureyev; William Connell will play painter Jamie Wyeth, the son of famed artist Andrew Wyeth and grandson of illustrator N.C. Wyeth. The production will be helmed by George Street Playhouse Resident Artistic Director Michael Mastro.

    “I am thrilled to welcome William and Bill to George Street Playhouse,” said Mastro. “Audiences can expect to see these two talented, versatile actors perform with the energy and passion necessary to truly bring these two perfection-seeking artists to life on stage.”

    Nureyev’s Eyes – the top prize winner at both Dayton Playhouse’s FutureFest and Firehouse Theatre’s Festival of New American Plays in 2012 -- is a riveting fictional account of the very real interaction between two great artists. Beginning in 1977 and lasting over a period of several years, Wyeth produced hundreds of paintings and drawings of Nureyev. Fighting personal demons and demanding perfection, the two developed a friendship that transcended their differences and lasted until the end of Nureyev’s storied career and too-short life in 1993. Struggling to capture the icon on paper and canvas, Wyeth is not satisfied until an unexpected breakthrough provides new inspiration – opening his eyes to what is right in front of him.

    Nureyev was a frequent guest of Wyeth and his wife at their family farm in Chadds Ford, Pa., where the Brandywine River Museum of Art features galleries showcasing works by the Wyeth family. Jamie Wyeth is still very active and appeared at the museum a year ago, in conjunction with a special exhibition of his work.

    Connell
    Individual tickets, starting at $25, are now on sale, as are 3-play-subscription packages. Contact the George Street Playhouse Box Office at 732-246-7717 or visit www.GSPonline.org for tickets and information. George Street Playhouse is located at 9 Livingston Avenue in heart of New Brunswick’s vibrant downtown dining and entertainment district, steps away from plentiful parking and dining options for every palate and pocketbook.

    Opening night, set for Friday, February 5, 2016, is sponsored by by The Merrill G. & Emita E. Hastings Foundation.

    William Connell’s New York City credits include A View from the Bridge (2010 Broadway revival); The Coast of Utopia (Lincoln Center); Alphabetical Order (Keen Company). Regionally, he has appeared in One Man, Two Guvnors (Berkeley Rep, South Coast Rep, Pioneer Theatre); Hamlet (Aspen Music Festival); The Hour of Feeling (Humana Festival); The Winslow Boy and The Mousetrap (Rep Theatre of St. Louis), The 39 Steps (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival); Bell, Book and Candle (San Francisco Playhouse); and The Importance of Being Earnest (Gulfshore Playhouse), among others. His film and television appearances include Manhattan Love Story, MA, Smash, Not Fade Away, Gossip Girl, Law & Order, and Guiding Light.

    Dawes
    Bill Dawes is a three-time Broadway veteran, most recently appearing as Mickey Mantle in Bronx Bombers. He has appeared in a dozen off-Broadway productions, and many more at esteemed regional theatres like Williamstown, Ford's Theatre and Dallas Theatre Center. His television credits include Law & Order, Criminal Minds, Damages, The Following, Royal Pains, Sex and the City, and many more. His fifth lead role in a feature film will be in the award-winning Before the Sun Explodes. As a comic, Bill has performed all over the world, including tours of Iraq and Afghanistan with the USO, and has his own channel of comedy videos at http://www.laughfactory.com/BillDawes and on YouTube.

    David Rush has written plays produced at such theaters as American Stage, Stage Left, Mark Taper Forum, GeVa Theater, and Manhattan Theater Club, among others. His work has won or placed in national contests and has earned a variety of awards, including several Chicago Jeffs, a Los Angeles Drama Logue and two Midwest Emmies. He has received Illinois Arts Council grants and was a writer in residence at the Inge Center in 2010. His books, A Student Guide to Play Analysis and Building Your Play, are used by many colleges and universities.

    Michael Mastro will be directing his third mainstage production at George Street, after previously helming The Fabulous Lipitones in 2014 and The Subject Was Roses with Stephanie Zimbalist in 2011. He also directed a celebrity play reading of Matt Hoverman’s Thrillsville with a cast featuring Edie Falco, Richard Kind and Grant Shaud at GSP in late 2015. He has also appeared on stage at George Street in such productions as The Sunshine Boys, The Pillowman, The Fox on the Fairway and Inspecting Carol. Last season, he directed Ingmar Bergman’s Nora at Delaware Theatre Company and he appeared in Ayckbourn’s The Things We Do For Love at the Westport Country Playhouse. In recent years, he has helmed several NYC celebrity play readings to benefit various nonprofits, working with actors like Zachary Quinto, Bernadette Peters, Jean Smart, Beau Bridges, Michael McKean, Stockard Channing, Melissa Leo, Laura Benanti, Cynthia Nixon, John Slattery and Cecily Strong. He served as associate director of the recent first national tour of West Side Story, helmed by GSP Artistic Director David Saint, and has directed many new American one-acts for several NYC theatre companies. As an actor, he works regularly on and off Broadway, regionally, and in film and TV, where he is currently recurring on Law and Order: SVU. Member: Actors Equity, SAG-AFTRA, SDC, Naked Angels, The Actors Center.

    The set has been designed by Alexis Distler, who was an assistant on Broadway’s Act One, which earned a Tony Award for Best Scenic Design. The creative team also includes costume designer Esther Arroyo, lighting designer Christopher Bailey, and sound designer/original music composer Scott Killian – all of whom were part of the 2013 world premiere production of Joe DiPietro’s Clever Little Lies with Marlo Thomas at George Street Playhouse as well as the current off-Broadway production of that show at New York City’s Westside Theatre.

    About George Street Playhouse
    In the 42 years since its founding, George Street Playhouse has become a nationally recognized theatre, presenting an acclaimed mainstage season while providing an artistic home for established and emerging theatre artists. Its leadership consists of Artistic Director David Saint, Resident Artistic Director Michael Mastro and Managing Director Kelly Ryman. Founded in 1974, the Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and off-Broadway – recent productions include the Outer Critics’ Circle Best Musical Award-winner The Toxic Avenger; the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League nominated production of The Spitfire Grill; and the recent Broadway hit and Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at GSP during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays. In 2015, George Street Playhouse has been represented by two productions in New York: the recent Broadway production of It Shoulda Been You, and Joe DiPietro’s Clever Little Lies, which opened off-Broadway in October. Both shows received their premieres at the Playhouse. In addition to its mainstage season, GSP’s Touring Educational Theatre features three issue-oriented productions that are seen by more than 40,000 students annually. George Street Playhouse programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

    ###

    Nureyev’s Eyes
    by David Rush
    directed by Michael Mastro
    with William Connell and Bill Dawes

    February 2 – 21, 2016

    Opening night, sponsored by The Merrill G. & Emita E. Hastings Foundation:
    Friday, February 5, 2016

    George Street Playhouse
    9 Livingston Avenue • New Brunswick
    Box Office 732-246-7717 • www.GSPonline.org



  • Vote for GSP in the BroadwayWorld New Jersey Awards!



    George Street Playhouse has received 18 nominations in this year's BroadwayWorld New Jersey Regional Awards, honoring productions during our 2014-15 Mainstage season. Nominations were reader-submitted and confirmed for eligibility by BWW New Jersey staff.

    Listed below are the nominees representing George Street Playhouse, including GSP's Artistic Director David Saint, Resident Artistic Director Michael Mastro and Production Manager Chris Bailey.

    Best Actor in a Drama (Professional)
    • John Bolger (Outside Mullingar
    • John Tartaglia (Buyer and Cellar
    Best Actor in a Musical Theater Production (Professional)
    • Wade McCollum (Ernest Shackleton Loves Me
    Best Actress in a Drama (Professional)
    • Ellen McLaughlin (Outside Mullingar
    Best Actress in a Musical Theater Production (Professional)
    • Valerie Vigoda (Ernest Shackleton Loves Me
    Best Director of a Drama (Professional)
    • Michael Mastro (The Fabulous Lipitones
    • David Saint (Buyer and Cellar)
    • David Saint (Outside Mullingar
    • Seret Scott (The Whipping Man
    Best Director of a Musical Theater Production (Professional)
    • Lisa Peterson (Ernest Shackleton Loves Me
    Best Drama (Professional)
    • John Markus & Mark St. Germain (The Fabulous Lipitones
    • John Patrick Shanley (Outside Mullingar
    • Jonathan Tolins (Buyer and Cellar
    Best Lighting Design
    • Chris Bailey (Buyer and Cellar
    Best Musical Theater Production (Professional)
    • Ernest Shackleton Loves Me 
    Best Set Design
    • R. Michael Miller (Outside Mullingar)
    • Scott Killian (Outside Mullingar)
    • Ernest Shackleton Loves Me 


      Voting runs through December 31. Winners will be announced in early January!

      Don't miss out! Click on the link to vote today!

      CLICK HERE TO VOTE!


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