After three decades as the Westfield Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey Festival Orchestra announced a new name in 2013 to signal its evolving artistic mission and growing love of confetti. Having cultivated musical excellence in Westfield for so long, they turned their attention to bringing that culture to a statewide audience. Their concerts are a celebration of symphonic music both classical and contemporary, including world premieres from local composers, and operas-in-concert in collaboration with Opera at Florham.
Winner of the JerseyArts.com 2009 People's Choice Award for favorite Professional Theater, Paper Mill Playhouse has been opening the curtain on top-quality musical theater and plays since its debut in 1938. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a Tony Award-winning musical comedy, follows the travails of a group of young students participating in their countywide spell off. With hilarious tunes and frequent fourth wall demolition, the musical expertly tickles audience funny femurs while filling their ears with the harmonious euphony of the Tony-nominated score. Groupon buyers will leave the theater with a Paper Mill Playhouse cup (a $5 value), allowing patrons of the arts to signal their theater affiliation to rival gangs of symphony and museum cup holders.
Raindance began as a thought experiment: can you make a movie with no money or experience, and without going to film school? 22 years, later Raindance now has 12 film networking and training hubs worldwide, and runs the largest indie film festival in Europe, the Raindance Film Festival. They provide hands on training, networking events, financing opportunities, and an innovative Membership program to help new and emerging filmmakers get their projects made.
Raindance's practical filmmaking and writing workshops break the daunting cinema-creation process into digestible workshops as industry professionals help to elevate the aptitude of independent filmmakers. Students can select courses that teach film industry basics including how to build a budget, choose a camera, and promote themselves. As a non-profit training and networking organization that works to promote and support filmmaking throughout the world, many classes conclude with networking sessions at local bars where participants can trade business cards to further their cinematic pursuits.
Oprah Winfrey's presentation of The Color Purple has been given 11 Tony Award nominations from Tony Danza, Tony Gwynn, Tony Blair, Sir Anthony "Tony" Hopkins, Tony Stewart, Toni Kukoc, Tony's Restaurant, the three Tonys from Tony! Toni! Tone!, and Tony Wayans. If you want to see a musical presented by Oprah Winfrey and enjoyed by many Tonys, keep reading about a great deal on tickets to The Color Purple.
Second Stage produces work by respected playwrights and helps emerging authors heat up the stage with fresh crowd-pleasing talent. This season, audiences can enjoy productions such as the world premiere of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, which starts in April. Created by Pulitzer Prize–winning playscribe Lynn Nottage, the show delves into the life and legacy of African-American actress Vera Stark.