New Jersey Repertory Company has been awarded a $14,000 grant from the prestigious Edgerton Foundation in support of its world premiere production of “Butler” to be presented June 12 through July 13, 2014.
Written by Richard Strand, “Butler” follows the story of Civil War Attorney Benjamin Butler who has just been promoted to the rank of Major General at Fort Monroe, a Union hold-out in the great state of Virginia. Shepard Mallory, an escaped slave, seeks sanctuary at the Fort, along with several other runaway slaves. However, the law of the land has not yet changed, and it states that slaves are property and must be turned over to their “rightful” owners. This, of course, is tantamount to a death sentence and the new commander must now grapple with a daunting moral dilemma. Any act against the prevailing law will lead to his court martial or worse.
This is the fourth Edgerton Foundation grant awarded to NJ Rep in its sixteen year history. Previous grants were for the world premieres of “Little Hours” by David Bucknam in 2008, “Exposure Time” by Kim Merrill in 2009, and Jericho” by Jack Canfora in 2011.
The Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Program was launched in 2007 and has awarded grants to non-profit professional theaters for 150 new plays to date, many of which have gone on to be produced by theaters throughout the country.
New Jersey Repertory Company-179 Broadway-Long Branch, New Jersey 07740