Studio B Skewers Reality in MILKWOOD at South By South Orange Festival

by The Village Green
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MilkwoodOn Saturday, June 27, audiences will get to do something they haven’t done in a long time: laugh at ourselves. Studio B, a Maplewood and South Orange-based arts organization known for producing unique, standing-room-only events with area artists, will be putting on an old-time radio soap opera aimed at popping a hole in the local political bubble.

“Maplewood and South Orange have been caught up in the drama of the old Police Station, the Gateway, Third and Valley, the Post House, and the Post Office for years, and – essentially – it’s the same story over and over: what kind of towns do we want to live in?” Says Marcy Thompson, Honcho of Studio B. “And – to a greater extent – who has the power to create change?”

“Development comes into town, and it changes things,” says Jenny Turner Hall, “And it makes for incredibly intense conversations. It’s about time we had a release!”

For Studio B, they see this as a perfect opportunity for satire.

Milkwood, a full-length comedy written by Thompson and Turner Hall, looks at a fictitious New Jersey Town going through some painful growing pains. The plot centers around the demolition of a beloved local landmark, and the very colorful cast of characters fighting for – and against – its demise. Studio B stresses the fact that the plot and the characters are “pure theater” and that any resemblance to real events or people is totally coincidental.

“The truth is, that towns everywhere are going through these crises. We are not the only ones,” says Thompson. “This is a universal story, and satire helps us to see ourselves in that context.”

The play, which will be part of the upcoming South by South Orange Festival, will be performed by ten local, professional actors (including Thompson and Turner Hall). The cast is a “who’s who” of Maplewood and South Orange actors, and includes many Broadway and voice over artists, including Sandy Rustin, Adam Dannheisser, Charlie Pollock, and David Josefsberg – who will be recording Milkwood between matinee and evening performances of his Broadway show, Honeymoon in Vegas.

Milkwood will be recorded live in front of an audience as a radio play, complete with sound effects and live music by Monkeyworks. Studio B will release the recording of Milkwood as a podcast in four episodes.

“The soap opera format is so perfect for podcasting,” says Turner Hall, “Each episode will leave you wanting more. Milkwood could be the Serial of New Jersey!”

At the very least, both Studio B Honchos hope that Milkwood will elevate the local dialogue, and use the power of art to poke fun, and to catalyze positive change.

Milkwood: A Story of Love, Politics, and Demolition
Saturday, June 27, 5:00pm
South Orange Performing Arts Center – Loft
For tickets: www.soxso.org

For more information: www.studiobmaplewood.org

MILKWOOD Cast:

Julie Campbell
Adam Dannheisser
David Josefsberg
Meg Persichetti
Charlie Pollock
Sandy Rustin
Bev Sheehan
Brad Stone
Marcy Thompson
Jenny Turner Hall
* Special appearance by Greg Lembrich

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