NJ Theatre Alliances Stage Festival performances @ 15 OCL branches

New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s “Stages Festival” will present nine programs at 15 Ocean County Library branches in March.  These programs will mark the 17th anniversary of the library’s partnership with the Alliance.

The festival brings professional, Broadway-quality programs to communities throughout March and Ocean County Library presents them to the public free of charge.

Throughout the years the performances have touched people of all ages and this year will be no different.

Preschoolers can enjoy programs like “Stone Soup and Other Tales” and “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” Seniors and families will be entertained and educated by “Celebrating New Jersey” and “IRL: In Real Life.”

Registration is required for each of the presentations. Telephone the branch to register.

“If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” presented by Centenary Stage Company, is an adventurous, fun-filled performance complete with slap-stick comedy. In this family program an innocent milk-and-cookie snack time goes from mishap to calamity to catastrophe faster than the twitch of a whisker.

The performance will be held:

11 a.m. Sat. March 1 at the Waretown branch, 112 Main St., 609-693-5133.

10:30 a.m. Sat. March 8 at the Stafford branch, 129 N. Main St., Manahawkin, 609-597-3381.

6:30 p.m. Thur. March 13 at the Berkeley branch, 30 Station Rd., 732-269-2144.

“IRL: In Real Life,” presented by George Street Playhouse, examines the perils of cyber-bullying when four students encounter anonymous text message, secret photos, and threatened online conversations.

The program, for teens (ages 11-17) and adults, investigates how students can take an active role to end cyber-bullying.

It will be presented 6 p.m. Mon. March 10 at Manchester, 21 Colonial Dr., 732-657-7600.

“Stone Soup and Other Tales,” presented by Pushcart Players, is a charming blend of carefully selected folk tales from around the world. Supporting the literacy movement’s emphasis on the joy of reading, this dynamic and participatory program is not to be missed by young viewers and families.

The performance will be held 6:30 p.m. Tues March 11 at Point Pleasant Beach, 710 McLean Av., 732-295-1555.

“If You Give a Pig a Pancake,” presented by Centenary Stage Company, shows what happens when a young girl accommodates the demands of a quirky piglet after eating pancakes.  Their adventure is just beginning as they take a bubble bath, tap dance, take a photo, mail a letter, build and decorate a tree house, and of course, go back for more pancakes.

The performance will be held 6:30 p.m. Tues. March 25 at Brick, 301 Chambers Bridge Rd., 732-477-4513.

“Celebrating New Jersey,” presented by Pushcart Players heightens your appreciation of our state on its 350th anniversary. This delightful theatre piece used the art of storytelling to reach across more than three centuries, linking New Jerseyans to their past and breathes life into our history.

The performance will be held:

10:30 a.m. Sat. March 8 at Little Egg Harbor, 290 Mathistown Rd., 609-294-1197.

2:30 p.m. Sat. March 22 at Long Beach Island, 217 S. Central Av., Surf City, 609-494-2480.

“Victorian Magic,” presented by East Lynn Theater Company, brings actor Robert Aberdeen to the stage where he will delight audiences of all ages with his magical sleight-of-hand. Be careful, this family performance includes audience participation!

The performance will be held 2:30 p.m. Tues. March 18 at Plumsted, 119 Evergreen Rd., New Egypt 609-758-7888.

“Bullies in the Hall,” presented by Surflight Theatre, tells the story of a group of students at Woodruff High and how they learn to deal with the constant and mean-spirited bullying behavior that has become the norm, including cyber-bullying. Schools should be a safe place for everyone, and students have the power to make it so.

It will be presented 6:30 p.m. Mon. March 24 at the Island Heights Grade School, 115 Summit Ave., 732-270-6266.

“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” presented by Surflight Theatre, tells of Alexander’s day. Not only does He wake up with gum in his hair, but his mother forgets to pack him dessert, and his best friend decides he’s not his be friend anymore.  Alexander’s struggles with life’s daily dramas will not only entertain but will educate young audiences as they identify with him and the obstacles he encounters, encouraging them to share their feelings.

It will be performed:

7 p.m. Thurs. March 6 at Toms River, 101 Washington St., 732-349-6200.

3 p.m. Fri. March 14 at Lakewood, 301 Lexington Av., 732-363-1435

11 a.m. Sat. March 15 at Point Pleasant Borough, 834 Beaver Dam Rd., 732-295-1555.

2 p.m. Sat. March 22 at Lacey, 10 E. Lacey Rd., Forked River, 609-693-8566.

“Happily Ever After- A Cinderella Tale,” presented by Pushcart Players is based on the classic tale. This musical adaptation takes one on that sometimes happy, sometimes say, but always compelling journey, fueled by inner beauty, courage and kindness as they triumph over greed, arrogance and bully behavior.

It will be performed 2 p.m. Sat. March 29 @ Barnegat, 112 Burr St., 609-698-3331.

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