The Theater Project to present One-Act competition in February

MAPLEWOOD — The Theater Project, an award-winning, professional theater in Maplewood, has announced the eight short plays that will take part in its first one-act competition, Think Fast, Feb. 14-16, at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts.

The contest, open to playwrights in the New Jersey-New York area, will feature a $500 Judge’s Prize for Best Play, which will be announced immediately after the final performance on Feb. 16.

The plays include: Adulation by Elan Garonzik, Queue by Jon Citron, How Persephone Learned to Listen by Brandon Monokian, Bell by Dolly Williams, My Sister’s Back is Killing Me by Mary Jane Walsh, Exhibit This! by Charles Denk, Phylis and Peter by Shane Mullery and Another Day in Paradise by Joe Starzyk.

“The Theater Project wants to provide as many opportunities for local artists as possible,” said Mark Spina, artistic director. “Think Fast will allow the audience to meet several playwrights in one evening. One-acts give authors an opportunity to flirt with themes and characters that they may return to in other plays. We are proud to be one of the few New Jersey theaters featuring a one-act competition of original works.”

“In a larger sense, bringing the arts to our towns brings out the artist in each one of us,” said Spina. “At a time when budgets for the arts and arts education are ever-shrinking, The Theater Project provides outlets for actors, writers and directors of all ages, and scholarships and incentives for young playwrights, young filmmakers, and young actors engaged in the tasks of organizing and telling a story — tasks that develop the creativity and critical thinking skills so necessary for success in school or the work place.”

Performances will be Friday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. The audience will be asked to vote for its two favorite plays after each show and a special award for “Audience Favorite” will also be announced after the Feb. 16 performance. In addition to Best Play, a panel of judges will also bestow awards for Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Director.

Tickets may be purchased online or at the box office before each performance at the Burgdorff Center, 10 Durand Rd., Maplewood.