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Jefferson Community Players

JEFFERSON COMMUNITY PLAYERS TO CAST "JUNIOR MISS"

The Jefferson Community Players will hold casting for "Junior Miss" on Sunday, January 14, 2007 at 3 p.m. at the Jefferson Senior Center, 54 Schoolhouse Road, Milton. The play, under the direction of Jean Simonson, will be performed as a dramatized play reading on Feb. 18, 24 and 25. Several young male and female actors, aged 15 to 19 are needed for this comedy. Inquiries can be addressed to Jean Simonson at 973-663-3340 or actorscafe@netscape.com..

Come to the JCP’s Sweetheart Tea

The Jefferson Community Players present “A Sweetheart Tea” featuring a live performance of the 1945 romantic comedy “Junior Miss” along with delicious tea served in china cups and delectable desserts. The date is Sunday, February 18, 2007 at 2 PM in the Jefferson Township Senior Center, 54 Schoolhouse Road, Milton/Oak Ridge, NJ.

Tickets are $12 per person by reservation only (no tickets at the door), and seating is limited so reserve your seat early.

Call Jill at 973-697-2750 for tickets.

Red Hat Society members welcome!

"Jefferson Community Players offer Adult Acting Workshop"

The Jefferson Community Players is offering an eight week acting workshop for adults 18 years old and over. The classes, held at 7:30 p.m. on Monday evenings, will begin on February 26, 2007 and are led by Jean Simonson, director and President of the Players. The classes are suitable for adults with little or no acting experience, as participants will receive instruction in character development through movement, pantomime and voice, using monologue, improvisation and scene study exercises. In the final weeks of the program, the students are invited to prepare and perform a selection of one-act plays to make use of the skills learned in class.

Classes are held at the Jefferson Senior Center, 54 Schoolhouse Road, Milton. The cost of the program is $40 and the fee is payable to the Jefferson Community Players on the first night of the program. Registration is required as class size will be limited to 10. To register, contact Jean Simonson at (973) 663-3340 or at actorscafe@netscape.com..

About The Jefferson Community Players

The Jefferson Community Players group was formed in 1989 by the Jefferson Arts Committee as an avenue for those interested in community theater.  Their first production under the guidance of director James Wynne was the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Pirates of Penzance followed in 1990 by Oliver.  It was a hit and sparked the interest of those involved that there definitely interest in the community for theater.

Based on its success, the JCP formed an Executive Board with Maureen Peck as President and continued to present full-scale summer musicals for the next 15 years drawing Jefferson Township residents and others from surrounding areas to direct, produce, choreograph dance routines, play in the pit band, and perform on stage.  So many people came through the doors to build sets, sew costumes, operate the lighting or sound systems, run concession stands, compose playbills, search for props, and be a part of community theater either on stage or backstage.  Children were an integral part of every production both onstage and backstage, and they literally grew up before the JCP’s eyes as family members worked side-by-side every summer.

In 1996, Jill Moore assumed the position of President and was succeeded by Bob Brown who held the position until 2006.  Throughout the years, the group was also active in presenting children’s theater and cabarets though their major goal was to produce a musical production each summer.   Among their major shows were Music Man, Fiddler on the Roof,  Bye, Bye Birdie,  Me and My Girl,  Annie Get Your Gun,  Annie,  Anything Goes,  Oliver,  Cinderella,  Babes in Arms,  and The Wizard of Oz..

JCP staged its second to last full musical production Godspell in the summer of 2003 at the Jefferson Township High School auditorium.  With major construction taking place at the high school during the following three summers, JAC no longer had an auditorium venue to perform in that was large enough to comfortably stage a major summer musical but did venture into one of the all purpose rooms/gymnasiums of a local elementary school with its final production, Guys and Dolls in 2004.  However, many long-time members, directors, and performers drifted away moving on to other interests or pursuing acting opportunities with other theater groups.  The JCP pretty much took a hiatus during 2005. 

Reorganized in January of 2006 by then JAC President Jack Kelly and with renewed enthusiasm by former members and performers, the group has taken a new direction under the leadership of Jefferson Township resident Jean Simonson.  Starting anew and with a strong background in theater, she proposed several new projects for the Players that included an acting workshop for adult beginners.  With the cooperation of the Jefferson Township Recreation Department, the group was allowed to use the facilities of the Jefferson Township Senior Center for rehearsals and performances; and participants in the acting workshop continued their interest in theater by performing in one-act plays and dramatized play readings in October and November of 2006.  The group was very successful in staging the holiday scene from Little Women with a Victorian Tea during the Jefferson Arts Committee’s 2006 Christmas in the Village event in December. 

In the past year, the Players have demonstrated that they have the ability to offer roles in non-musical productions to actors of every level of experience and are quickly demonstrating a presence in the community once again.   Also using the facilities of the Community Lodge at Camp Jefferson beginning in January of 2007, the Players began hosting coffeehouse evenings welcoming poets, comedians, acoustic musicians, and singers.  Spaced between the entertainment segments and karaoke, instrumental jazz music plays in the background while board and trivia games are made available.

The JCP is seeking permission to use the Jefferson Township High School auditorium in the summer of 2007 and hopes to return to that stage once again with a large-scale   non-musical production as it builds up its bank account to meet the expenses of a musical in the future.   In the meantime, dramatized play readings and one-act plays will continue.  The Players hosted a Sweetheart Tea and a performance of the play Junior Miss in February that attracted some 70 women including several Red Hat Society groups. They plan to sponsor another acting workshop and will be hosting a Teddy Bear Tea in the spring for women and children.

Membership is always open to all ages; and JCP does not collect membership dues at this time.  Whether on stage or backstage, assistance of all types is welcome and appreciated.  Participants are rewarded with new friendships, new theatre experiences, and the satisfaction of a job well done.
Anyone interested in joining the Players can contact Jean Simonson at 973-663-3340 for more information or e-mail actorscafe@netscape.com.   Regular mail can also be sent to The Jefferson Community Players, c/o The Jefferson Arts Committee, PO Box 2604, Oak Ridge, NJ 07438.  Information is also available at www.jeffersonarts.org and performances are listed at www.jeffersontownship.net under “Events”.

Community theater is once again alive and well in Jefferson Township!

 

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This page last updated on: 21 February 2007

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