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Vivid Summer Solos

(Reading Series Every Wednesday in July)

July 5, 12, 19, 26 @ 6:30PM

Visual Arts Center of NJ (on the lawn)

68 Elm Street, Summit, NJ 07901

Bring a comfy lawn chair and your favorite snack
to enjoy a summer eve with us.

Hissy Fits with Emaline Williams written by Jerico Bleu

Wednesday, July 5, 2023 at 6:30 pm

Hissy Fits by Jerico Bleu
Featuring Emaline Williams
Directed by Christopher Young

Hissy Fits introduces us to a mother fighting to understand her son as he blooms into his sexuality. We follow Leigha over the course of 30 years as she faces the challenges of raising a gay son in East Tennessee.

About the playwright.


Jerico Bleu is an actor/playwright originally from East Tennessee. He obtained his Bachelor's Degree from Columbia College Chicago. While in Chicago his documentary style solo show Biscuits & Bullshit was featured in MPAACT’s Solo Jamz Festival at the Greenhouse Theatre. His written work has been seen at The Barrow Group, Naked Angels, and Prop Theatre. In 2018 his horror short Kin-Dread was screened at Chicago's Music Box Theater as a part of their 24 hour film festival. Recently Jerico was a part of the Jackalope Theatre Playwrights LAB, while his piece Christian Ethics Committee was a part of the One Act Festival at Chain Theatre. Next, Jerico’s piece The Kids Are Seeing Lavender will be featured in the RIPPED Festival with American Blues Theater.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2023 at 6:30 pm

SNOW [Black man. White out conditions.] by Steve Harper
Featuring Steve Harper
Directed by Cezar Williams

During a mid-pandemic drive from Reno to L.A. a freak snow storm nearly turns deadly. Harrowing, absurd, thought provoking and funny, this confessional solo piece reveals sharp truths about modern life, death and meaning.

About the playwright.


Steve Harper is excited to return in the flesh to Vivid Stage where several of his plays have been performed including: Things Are (mostly) Crazy (2023), Many Happy Returns (2020), Special Counsel (2018), and Iggie Imagines Marriage (2001). He also contributed lyrics to the musical Brink of Life (2002) - book by Laura Ekstrand, music by Oliver Lake. His collection, A Few Short Plays to Save the World was published by Laughing Panda Press and won the 2023 Independent Press Award. Full length plays include: Black Lives / Blue Lives [co-written with Bill Mesce, Jr.] (The Theater Project), and Urban Rabbit Chronicles (Georgia Southern University). As an actor, Steve has appeared at The Guthrie, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Theater for the New City, as well as on TV shows like: Law & Order SVU and 90210. Steve serves as Co-Executive Producer for a new CBS series, Tracker, which premieres after the Super Bowl (and after the WGA writers strike ends). Education: Yale, the A.R.T. Institute at Harvard and the Juilliard playwriting program.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2023 at 6:30 pm

Everything's Fine by Douglas McGrath
Featuring Harry Patrick Christian
Directed by Laura Ekstrand

As Douglas McGrath remembers it, he had a pretty idyllic childhood. Growing up in Midland, Texas, in the 1970s, he rides his bike around town, hangs out with his best friend Eddie, and eats at Texas Burger every chance he gets. But once he starts eighth grade, his new teacher challenges his outlook on life and what he can expect from it. This moving, evocative memoir play explores how we grow up, how we understand each other, and how we offer grace to those who need it most.

About the playwright.


Douglas McGrath began his career at Saturday Night Live in what was incontestably the worst year in the show's history. He co-wrote BULLETS OVER BROADWAY with Woody Allen; their screenplay was nominated for an Academy Award. He has written and directed his own films: “Emma,” “Company Man,” “Nicholas Nickleby,” and “Infamous.” His documentary “His Way,” about the legendary music promoter and movie producer Jerry Weintraub, debuted on HBO. He also directed “I Don’t Know How She Does It” starring Sarah Jessica Parker. He has written frequently about the arts and politics for The New Republic, the New York Times, the New Yorker and Vanity Fair.program.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2023 at 6:30 pm

Brisé by Ian August
Featuring Jason Szamreta
Directed by Laura Ekstrand

Following a nasty fall, professional dancer Paul is diagnosed with a rare form of dementia. In a daily video diary, Paul details his day-to-day life with his new condition. But when his estranged mother arrives, Paul is forced to face hard family truths that had been buried for years, even as everything else slips away. Brisé is a one-man play about voice, about movement, and about holding on tight to the things we try our hardest to forget. 

About the playwright.


Ian August is a NJ based playwright and lyricist, whose works have been performed across the U.S., as well as in Canada, Australia, the UK, South Korea, and Bermuda. His plays have been developed at the PlayPenn New Play Conference, the Powerhouse Theatre Festival (Vassar / New York Stage and Film), the Great Plains Theatre Conference and elsewhere. Mr. August is a member of the American Theatre Group’s ATG PlayLab, and a graduated member of PlayPenn’s playwriting lab, The Foundry. Several of his short plays have been published by Sam French Inc., Smith and Kraus Publishing, the One-Act Play Depot, and Pipeline / Applause Books. He was a 2019 Playwright in Residence at the William Inge Center for the Arts in Independence, Kansas, and graduate of Goddard College’s Creative Writing MFA Program. In 2021, Mr. August was the recipient of an Independent Artist Fellowship from the NJ State Council on the Arts. He is also an adjunct professor of Playwriting at Stockton University in Stockton, NJ. Mr. August lives at a boarding school with one husband, three cats, and approximately 830 teenage children.

Directions to VACNJ

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