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Freeholder Board Sponsors Drama Festival for Union County High School Students

UCPACs Hamilton Stage, RahwayThe Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is proud to support the first annual Drama Festival next month in Rahway. Produced by American Theater Group (ATG), a nonprofit professional theatre company located at UCPAC’s Hamilton Stage in Rahway, registration is now open for the day-long Drama Festival for high school students that will take place April 28.

“Union County has a rich pool of young talent in the performing arts, and the new Drama Festival will provide a unique opportunity for our students to develop their craft, learn from trained theatre professionals and educators, and perform on a professional stage,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen.

During the day-long event, students will have the opportunity to present a scene from whatever play or musical that they have performed during the course of the year, or one they have prepared specially for the competition.  These excerpts will then be given an in-depth critique by working members of the Broadway theater industry.

ATG will also offer at least one workshop for the participants, in areas such as improvisation, audition techniques, stage combat, etc..  In addition, after the day’s events, students will attend a performance of ATG’s production of Crossing Swords.  This world premiere musical is about a group of high school students who attempt to put on a play, and end up seeing life imitate art as passions ignite and jealousies fly.  The day’s events culminate with a post-performance Q&A with the cast and creative team of Crossing Swords.

The entire experience is a great opportunity to enhance student learning and creative thinking, explore imagination, and promote teamwork and collaboration,” said Bergen.

American Theater Group is New Jersey’s newest professional theater company.  Founded by New Jersey natives Jim Vagias, Joe Mancuso and Rick Sordelet, and under the Board leadership of Tony-Award winning actress Michel Pawk, ATG’s mission is to produce works by American Playwrights, with an emphasis on the development of new works and undeservedly neglected classics, and to nurture the audiences and artists of tomorrow by strong arts-in-education programming.  Now in its fourth season, ATG’ produces in the new state of the art facility, Hamilton Stage, an intimate 199 seat theater that is operated by the Union County Performing Arts Center.

Registrations are open now through April 7, 2016. For more information, call (732) 238-9982 or visit