Public Info

Award Winning New Musical Crossing Swords Opens in Rahway this Month

Freeholder Board’s UCACT Program Supports American premiere of “passionate, funny, uplifting” musical by Joe Slabe on April 21

UCPACs Hamilton Stage, RahwayThe Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is proud to support American Theater Group (ATG), one of New Jersey’s newest nonprofit theatre companies, in the American premiere of Joe Slabe’s new musical Crossing Swords at UCPAC’s Hamilton Stage in Rahway April 21 to May 1.

“Through the Union County Advancing Community Theatre program, the Freeholder Board is proud to support performing arts events that celebrate creativity, engage the community, and encourage cultural tourism.” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce Bergen. “American Theater Group brings to Union County the opportunity for residents to experience the transformative power of theatre, which brings important social and economic impacts to the community.”

Directed by Igor Goldin, Crossing Swords is a passionate, funny and uplifting new musical by Joe Slabe about three high school students who attempt to put on a production of the classic play Cyrano de Bergerac. When rehearsals get underway jealousies simmer, tempers fly, and passions ignite as life imitates art. Crossing Swords features Broadway veterans Sarah Dacey Charles and Steven Hauck, and introduces exciting newcomers Chase Crandell, Ali Gordon, Jeremy Greenbaum.

Crossing Swords appeared at the New York Musical Festival (NYMF) in 2013 where it received five Awards for Excellence. “When we first saw the piece at NYMTF, we knew that this is the type of theater we want to produce: heartfelt, uplifting, and passionate” says ATG’s Producing Artistic James N. Vagias.  “As a theater company, we look to find exciting new voices in musical theater, and we are honored to be part of Crossing Swords journey, and to introduce our audiences to the incredibly talented Joe Slabe”.

Sponsored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders through the Union County Advancing Community Theatre (UCACT) program, ATG’s production of Crossing Swords will run from April 21 to May 1 at UCPAC’s Hamilton Stage in Rahway. For more information or to purchase tickets visit or call the UCPAC box office at 732-499-8226.

American Theater Group is one of New Jersey’s newest nonprofit professional theater companies.  Founded by New Jersey natives Jim Vagias, Joe Mancuso and Rick Sordelet, and under the Board leadership of Tony-Award winning actress Michele 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.

The UCACT program launched in 2015 as a special initiative of Freeholder Mohamed S. Jalloh during his chairmanship and continues on the footsteps of last year’s success, which included a diverse body of work including two original plays, a student production, a new community theatre organization, among others featuring the high-quality artistic talent of many Union County residents.

The UCACT program aims to provide a strategic platform to support the development of Union County’s rich theatre talent by leveraging existing resources and broadening the definition of economic development and public recreation to include support for community theatre. For more information about UCACT visit