Centenary Stage plans young performers workshop

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Centenary Stage Company’s critically acclaimed Young Performers Workshop returns with their annual Spring Festival of Shows running May 25 through June 3. These talented young thespians between the ages of 8 and 18 fill the Little Theater with musical theatre favorites including Hello Dolly!, Damn Yankees, Charlotte’s Web, and South Pacific.

Hailed as a “state treasure” by Peter Filichia of the Star Ledger and bringing in youth from Morris, Warren, Hunterdon and Sussex counties, Centenary Stage Company’s Young Performers Workshop is one of the few young actor training programs in the country that combines formal training with practical application. Performances of Hello, Dolly!, Damn Yankees, Charlotte’s Web, and South Pacific will be held in the Little Theatre located at 400 Jefferson Street, Hackettstown.

Based on Thornton Wilder's 1938 farce The Merchant of Yonkers (which Wilder revised and retitled The Matchmaker in 1955), Hello, Dolly! is a 1964 musical with lyrics and music by Jerry Herman and a book by Michael Stewart. The show follows the story of Dolly Gallagher Levi (a strong-willed matchmaker), as she travels to Yonkers, New York, to find a match for the miserly "well-known unmarried half-a-millionaire" Horace Vandergelder. In doing so she persuades his niece, his niece's intended, and Horace's two clerks to travel to New York City. Performances are Friday, May 25 at 8pm, Sunday, May 27 at 4pm, Saturday, June 2nd at 8pm, and Sunday, June 3 at 1pm.

Based on the novel, The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant by Douglass Wallop, Damn Yankees the Broadway mega-hit and winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, hits it out of the park! The winning score by Adler and Ross and a devilish book by George Abbot have made this sporty musical comedy a true American classic. It tells of the middle-aged baseball fanatic Joe Boyd, trades his soul to the Devil, also known as Mr. Applegate, for a chance to lead his favorite team to victory in the pennant race against the New York Yankees. As young baseball sensation, Joe Hardy, he transforms the hapless Washington Senators into a winning team, only to realize the true worth of the life that he's left behind. Joe ultimately outsmarts Applegate, returns to his former self and shepherds the Senators to the World Series. Light, fast-paced and devilishly clever, Damn Yankees is a homerun hit, featuring all-American subject matter and an irreverent sense of humor. Performances are Saturday, May 26 at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 27 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, June 3 at 4 p.m.

Tickets to the YPW Spring Festival of Shows are $12.50 for adults and $10 for children under 12. Tickets may be purchased online at centenarystageco.org or by calling the CSC Box Office at (908) 979-0900. Performances for Hello, Dolly!, Damn Yankees, Charlotte’s Web, and South Pacific will take place in the Little Theatre located on the campus of Centenary University at 400 Jefferson Street in Hackettstown, New Jersey.

Centenary Stage Company’s Young Performers Workshop is sponsored in part by Panther Valley Pharmacy. Centenary Stage Company is sponsored in part by season sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community and series sponsor The House of the Good Shepherd.

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