January 13, 2021

Pandemic Playhouse Entertainment From STNJ

PANDEMIC PLAYHOUSE ENTERTAINMENT: From left, Dino Curia, Jeffrey Marc Alkins, and Ellie Gossage star in George Bernard Shaw’s“Passion, Poison, and Petrifaction or The Fatal Gazogene.” The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will screen the play as part of a special virtual program. (Photo by Avery Brunkus)

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ) will screen several plays filmed on the company’s stage at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theater, with minimal scenic elements and full costumes. The only thing missing will be a live audience.

Called Pandemic Playhouse Entertainment (PPE), the program will be viewed via Vimeo. PPE was partly inspired by the television shows Playhouse 90, Philco Playhouse, and Masterpiece Playhouse from the late 1950s and early 1960s, all of which brought great scripts to life on a Hollywood sound stage, and then aired them for audiences across the nation.

The initial offering will be three short, rarely-performed, one-act plays by George Bernard Shaw. They were originally rehearsed and staged for live performance at STNJ’s new, outdoor Back Yard Stage this past fall, and they were presented under the umbrella title Shaw! Shaw! Shaw! While they were successful, only a small portion of STNJ’s audience base was able to view those shows in person. Many patrons wrote and told the company that they hoped there was a way to bring these shows to them online.

The first play up will be Overruled, followed by Shaw’s Village Wooing, and Passion, Poison, and Petrifaction or The Fatal Gazogene. All three shows have been directed by Bonnie J. Monte.

To order tickets and get specifics, visit shakespearenj.org.