(SUMMIT, NJ) — Vivid Stagein residence at the Oakes Center at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit, will present a world premiere production of Soft Animals by Erin Mallon from September 29 through October 9. Soft Animals is a comedy with heart that asks, what would your life be like if you couldn’t feel physical pain? What if your body had a mind of its own? What if you never fell asleep? How about if you remembered every single thing you’ve ever felt, thought or experienced? Photographer John Posada was on hand to take photos.
Four medical misfits sign up for a three-day workshop to tackle their issues. Can a former male nurse and self-professed “woo-woo” guide them toward healing? Or… perhaps they aren’t the ones most in need of a cure.
Directed by Laura Ekstrand (Livingston), the cast includes Vivid Stage ensemble members Daria M. Sullivan (Montclair), Jason Szamreta (Rahway) and Emaline Williams (Hackettstown) and guests Darin F. Earl II (Union), Stephanie Windland (NYC). and Christopher John Young (Hackettstown).
Soft Animals will appear at Vivid Stage at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit from September 29 through October 9. Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:00pm. Special dates: Thursday, September 29, is a preview performance; All tickets are $25. Sunday, October 2, is Senior Sunday; seniors age 65+ pay $25. Young Professionals night, featuring a craft beer and snacks reception, is on October 6. Talkbacks follow the October 2, 6 and 9 performances.
Tickets range from $25 to $39, with special rates for subscribers and groups. For touchless advance ticket purchases, go to www.vividstage.org. For more information, call 908-514-9654. The theater at Oakes Center is wheelchair accessible. The parking lot is accessible from Ashwood Avenue, behind the theater. All audience members will be asked to wear a mask while at the theater.
Erin Mallon is a playwright, author, and narrator of over 550 audiobooks with a special affinity for the romance genre. She is a six-time Earphones Award Winner and a five-time Audie Award Nominee. Her audio play These Walls Can Talk is a 2021 Independent Audiobook Award Winner for Humor. The Natural History Series is Erin’s debut trio of romantic comedy novels: Flirtasaurus, Lovebug, and Sharkbait.
Along with writer Bixby Elliot, Erin is the founder and co-curator of The Brooklyn Generator (a playwriting engine that creates “plays in less-than-30-days”) and one half of The Theater Husband / Theater Wife Project. Currently, she is partnering with Blackstone Audio to bring Pale Blue Dot(s), an otherworldly piece about an all-female astronaut team (with special appearances by Elon Musk and David Bowie) to audio. Erin lives in a little yellow house on the outskirts of NYC with her husband and Three J’s.
Here are more photos from the production.
Vivid Stage was founded in 1994 as Dreamcatcher Rep, and is a non-profit professional ensemble of actors who build community with the audience by sharing contemporary, life-affirming stories that challenge, energize and entertain. Their work has at its heart a belief in the essential goodness of people and the power of live performance to connect people through our shared humanity. They expose theatergoers to ideas and lives like and unlike their own with the intention of awakening their imaginations and creating empathy for others. They deepen the experience of all our patrons with personal contact through receptions, talkbacks, and interactive programs.
The company’s activities include mainstage productions, improvisational comedy and cabarets, new play readings and a variety of educational and senior outreach programs.
John Posada is a New Jersey based photographer specializing in live theater and music performances. For more than 10 years, John has photographed live music events where he mastered the techniques of timing and capturing fast moving action under challenging lighting conditions to capture that perfect moment that tells a story in a single image. Currently, John has photographed productions for over 30 different theaters. Click here for John’s website.
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