PHOTOS: Maplewood Teen Actress Makes Professional Debut at Luna Stage

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Lucy Schmidt-Tall Girls

Columbia High School senior Lucy Schmidt is a little busier than your typical senior this fall: She’s starring in a professional theater production of The Tall Girls by Meg Miroshnik at Luna Stage in West Orange.

The Tall Girls opened to previews on October 8 and runs Thursdays through Sundays through November 1. Opening night was Saturday, October 10.

Here’s a synopsis of the story:

The tiny hamlet of Poor Prairie doesn’t see a lot of folks coming into town – least of all men – so when one gets off the train, everybody talks, especially since he has the only inflated basketball in town. Set in the historic 1930s Dust Bowl in the rural Midwest, The Tall Girls explores class, gender, and the history of women in sports, and asks just who can afford the luxury of play.

The Tall Girls received its world premiere in 2014 at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, and was revived at the Washington Ensemble Theatre in Seattle in May of 2015. The Luna Stage production is the East Coast Premiere of the play.

The Luna Stage production features a cast of six, including Schmidt and two other NJ high school students. The production is directed by Luna Stage founder Jane Mandel.

L to R: Lucy Schmidt, Daisy Chase

L to R: Lucy Schmidt, Daisy Chase

Besides Schmidt, three other young actresses from New Jersey are making their professional debuts in The Tall Girls: Montclair State University Junior Vanessa Cardenas, West Windsor Plainsboro High School South junior Daisy Chase, and Montclair High School Junior Brigie Coughlin.

Rounding out the cast are Mike Mihm who has worked with the Flux Theatre Ensemble, The Lark, New Dramatists, the PTTW Festival and the Cincinnati Playhouse; and Emily Verla, a company member with Theatre East who has performed at the New York Classical Theatre, Theatre for the Heart and The Writer’s Room.

Los Angeles based playwright Meg Miroshnik is the recipient of a 2012 Whiting Award, the 2011-2012 Alliance/Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Award, and was a finalist for the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Her work has been developed or produced by the La Jolla Playhouse, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Center Theatre Group, South Coast Rep, the McCarter Theatre Center, among others. She holds an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama.

Director Jane Mandel founded Luna Stage and served as artistic director of the company for 20 years. She holds an MFA from New York University and has had a career in the theatre as actress, director and teacher.

Luna Stage, a proud member of Valley Arts, is located at 555 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ 07052. The theatre is handicapped accessible and offers assistive listening devices.

Select performances are followed by Talkbacks with the Creative Team. Tickets range from $27-$37 dollars.  Group sales available. $10 Student Rush tickets available one half-hour before curtain. Individual tickets can be purchased at, or at the box office Tues.-Fri. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (973-395-5551).

Click on any image below to see a slideshow of publicity shots from the production.

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