8 World-Premiere Productions to See This Spring

Brand-new works from the minds of modern playwrights.

plays to see in nj
Courtesy of T Charles Erickson


March 3–29: During the Red Scare, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith stands up against Joseph McCarthy in this historical drama by Joe DiPietro.
Times vary; $25–$70. Arthur Laurents Theater, New Brunswick PAC.


John Caliendo and Sophia Parola in NJ Rep’s The Promotion. Courtesy of Andrea Phox Photography

The Promotion

March 5–April 5: In Joe Giovannetti’s play, friends Trish and Josh are up for the same promotion at work. How far will they go to get ahead?
Times vary; $35–$55. New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch.

Peak Performances

Courtesy of Peak Performances

Romance of the Rose

April 2–5: Peak Performances presents Kate Soper’s opera, enhanced by digital sounds, that explores how love, sex and music affect our sense of self.
Times vary; $30. Montclair State University.

Freedom Rider

April 9–19: Freedom Rider is a multi-narrative play written and directed by Crossroads Theatre Company co-founder Ricardo Khan. In 1961, a group of black and white college students boarded buses bound for the segregated South. Their mission? To prove that love and compassion can conquer hate.
Times vary; $25–$65. Arthur Laurents Theatre, NBPAC, New Brunswick.

The Hombres

April 11–May 10: The Hombres examines male relationships through the lens of machismo culture. Set in New Jersey, the play follows Julián, a gay Latino yoga teacher, and his clashes with Latino construction workers outside his studio—particularly the older head of the crew, Héctor. This is playwright Tony Meneses’s third world-permiere production at Two River Theater.
Times vary; $28–$73. Red Bank. 

Courtesy of Luna Stage

Shruti Gupta Can Totally Deal

April 16–May 17: In this world premiere by J. Stephen Brantley, Shruti is a Dreamer (DACA recipient) finishing med school. An unexpected romance with Irish musician Liam threatens her plans as they navigate cultural traditions, ICE raids and racism.
Times vary; $30–$65. Luna Stage, West Orange.

Nathan Alan Davis

Playwright Nathan Alan Davis. Courtesy of Beowulf Sheehan

The Refuge Plays

May 8–June 7: Nathan Alan Davis’s three short plays in one evening follow a black family over four generations as they carve out an existence in a southern Illinois forest. Directed by Patricia McGregor, this is the final production in the Signature Emily theater series honoring artistic director Emily Mann during her 30th and last season with the McCarter Theatre Center.
Times vary; $25–$80. Princeton. 

Courtesy of Richard Hillman Public Relations

The Wanderer

May 28–June 28: An Italian-American kid from the Bronx, Dion DiMucci skyrocketed to fame as a teenage heartthrob in the 1950s and early ’60s with hits like “Runaround Sue,” “Teenager in Love” and “I Wonder Why.” Now, his journey comes to life in this Broadway-bound jukebox musical.
Times vary; $32–$132. Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn. 

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