The Playground Theatre Project (PTP), an outreach program of the Actors Playground, will perform two plays in July as a showcase for young performers. The showcase, a co-production with Shadow Lawn Stage at Monmouth University, will feature “Bang, Bang – You’re Dead,” a play based on one of the first school shootings. The second play “The Gaggle,” featuring the group’s youngest performers, will be presented on July 20. All performances are at the Lauren K. Woods Theatre on the Monmouth campus.
“Bang, Bang – You’re Dead” is written by the award-winning playwright William Mastrosimone. After a school shooting, the ghosts of five victims demand answers from Josh, the shooter, now in jail. In this moving drama, Josh’s life is a portrait of bullying, self-loathing, and suicidal thoughts accompanied with what happens once he realizes that he has stolen the future, both from his victims and from himself. It will be performed at 7 p.m. on July 18 and 19.
“The Gaggle,” an original anti-bullying play, written and directed by Ralph Colombino, features the “Mini-Misfits” – the youngest theatre company in the world. It follows the story of a young girl named Phoebe who has to deal with the meanest girl who ever lived and her ‘gaggle’ of friends. It is designed for young audiences Kindergarten through 6th grade. It will be performed on Sunday, July 20, at 2, 3:30 and 5 p.m.
The Actors Playground is one of the most successful actor training schools for students and adults in New Jersey. Under the direction of Ralph Colombino, an adjunct professor in the Department of Music and Theatre Arts, the Playground Theatre Project seeks to educate and enlighten communities through performing arts that focus on equality, acceptance, understanding, and recognition of the dignity of every human being.
Tickets are $12 for the evening show on July 18 and 19, and $10 for the July 20 afternoon performances. For tickets, call 732-263-6889 or go online to www.monmouth.edu/arts.