Centenary Stage Company begins its annual Women’s Playwright series

An annual tradition in live theater in New Jersey returned on Wednesday.

News 12 Staff

Apr 15, 2021, 1:01 AM

Updated 1,141 days ago


An annual tradition in live theater in New Jersey returned on Wednesday.
A rehearsal in preparation for a play Wednesday night took place at Centenary Stage Company in Hackettstown. Playwright Deborah Yarchun watched remotely as the actors gave voice to her words. She is one of four women whose plays will be read on stage as part of Centenary’s Women Playwrights series.
“I think a lot of women are writing from, in some ways, their perspective on the world which is often different from men. We come from a different walk of life. We experience the world differently,” Yarchun says.
The Women Playwrights series was created 29 years ago as an annual showcase of women writers. It was a time when fewer women playwrights were seeing their plays make it all the way to the stage.
Catherine Rust has shaped the program for all 29 years. She says that she is amazed at its impact on playwrights and audiences alike.
“The playwright can’t work in isolation. They have to be able to hear it with the actors’ voices, but also sit in the audience and feel the response of the audience as the play develops,” says Rust.
The plays are new productions. The audience will be socially distanced in the theater and will be able to watch a livestream from home. They are able to give feedback that influences changes to the play.
Yarchun’s play is a dark comedy about a couple whose high-tech life is driving a wedge between them. It is called “Atlas the Lonely Gibbon,” and is set in the near future. Yarchun says that she is hoping the opportunity in New Jersey will lead to a future for her play.
One play will be read per week for the next four weeks. Centenary Stage Company is located on the campus of Centenary University.

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