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Growing Stage to Produce First World Premiere

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The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, located in the Historic Palace Theatre on Route 183 in Netcong, New Jersey will present the World Premiere of THE SECRET LIFE OF HUBIE HARTZEL from February 7th through March 2nd with performances Friday evenings at 7:30 PM, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 4:00 PM.

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The work was created by Susan Rowan Masters as a book and later as a radio play. Masters took her work and adapted it for the stage for submission to The Growing Stage's 2013 New Play Reading Festival, in which she won. THE SECRET LIFE OF HUBIE HARTZEL is the first world premiere in the company’s history and is under the direction of Stephen L. Fredericks, The Growing Stage’s Executive Director.

THE SECRET LIFE OF HUBIE HARTZEL is a humorous, insightful play about the perils of life in fifth grade. Hubie faces homework hassles, an impossible older sister, a beloved cat who is dying, and Ralph Marruci, class bully. Daydreaming is his escape, but that lands him in even deeper trouble. In the end, Hubie finds the courage to stand up to the bully and do the right thing-your whole family will cheer him on!

The Growing Stage is bringing Hubie's daydreams alive through the use of state-of-the art film techniques, while his real-life struggles are brought to life on our stage. The Growing Stage has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help support the film aspects of the project through Kickstarter. Be a part of the production by visiting and searching for THE SECRET LIFE OF HUBIE HARTZEL.

THE SECRET LIFE OF HUBIE HARTZEL features the talents of six professional equity performers in the cast. Danny Campos, who played the title character in our production of Frosty, returns to our stage as Hubie; Lori B. Lawrence and Jason Scott Quinn, last seen in Shrek the Musical as the Witch and Lord Farquaad, play Mrs. Hartzel/Mrs. Bunce and Mr. Hartzel/Fred Ferkle respectively; Nikole Rizzo, last seen in Pinkalicious the Musical as Dr. Wink, plays Hubie’s sister, Brenda; PJ Schweizer, who played Hermey in last’s month’s holiday classic, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, plays Hubie’s Best Friend, Frank; Josh Carpenter, who appeared in last season’s New Play-Reading winner, With Two Wings, plays Ralph Marruci. Rounding out the cast is Jerielle Morwitz as Lana Slomonsky, Natalie Pavelek as Beth Pringle and Jillian Petrie as Shelly Hoff.

“Enhance your theatergoing experience with pre and post show-activities. Join on February 16th, 21st and March 2nd for post-show talkback sessions with the cast and director.” The Growing Stage continues FUN-tastic Fridays with all tickets $15! Saturday and Sunday tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for children and seniors. To place your reservation, please contact the Growing Stage Box Office at (973) 347-4946 or e-mail at Group rates and Birthday Party packages are available.


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