Premiere Stages at Kean University, celebrating its ten-year anniversary, is presenting the New Jersey Premiere of Tammy Ryan’s Soldier’s Heart from July 10th through July 27th in the Zella Fry Theatre.
Featuring Emmy award-winning actress and Premiere Stages fan favorite Kim Zimmer, this affecting new work tells the story of Casey, an American soldier who leaves her son behind to defend the country she loves. When the person she trusts most becomes her assailant, Casey returns home to face her greatest test, bringing back more than she bargained for.
Soldier’s Heart is the third play by Ms. Ryan that Premiere Stages has produced. Ryan’s Dark Part of the Forest (2006) and the Primus Prize-winning Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods (2010) both premiered at Premiere Stages and were subsequently published.
“Soldier’s Heart is a powerful and moving exploration of a female Marine’s difficult re-entry into civilian society,“ stated John Wooten, Producing Artistic Director of Premiere Stages, who is directing the production. “The task of seeking assistance from a disinterested V.A. and an insulated chain of command makes her journey particularly challenging.” Ms. Ryan’s award-winning plays have been commissioned, developed and performed across the United States and internationally at such theaters as The Alliance Theater Company, Florida Stage, Marin Theater Company, Dallas Children’s Theater, Dorset Theater Festival, Stamford Theater Works, 29th Street Rep, City Theater Company, The Pittsburgh Playhouse and Bricolage Production Company, among many others.
Ms. Zimmer, a four-time Emmy Award winner for her memorable turn as Reva Shayne on “Guiding Light,” leads Premiere Stages’ accomplished professional cast for Soldier’s Heart, which features Mairin Lee as the troubled Casey. Ms. Lee, a graduate of the American Conservatory Theater, recently made her Broadway debut in The Heiress. The cast also includes Benton Greene, who has appeared on television’s “Gossip Girl,” “Blue Bloods,” and “Law & Order”;
Landon Woodson, whose distinguished regional credits include the Chautauqua Theater Company; Erica Camarano, recently seen on television in “Hostages” and “Unforgettable”; Michael Colby Jones, who just finished a run in the Off-Broadway hit It's Just Sex! at the Actors Temple Theater; Azlan Landry, currently seen in Disney XD’s “Laugh Your Butt Off” commercial campaign; and Zane King Beers, who appeared in Lincoln Center’s recent production of Macbeth.
In conjunction with Soldier’s Heart, Premiere Stages will also offer a free screening of The Invisible War, an Academy Award-nominated documentary about sexual assault in the U.S. military, on Sunday, June 29 at 3:00 pm in the Kean University Center Little Theatre. Reservations are strongly recommended, and may be made by calling 908-737-4092 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. While admission is free, there is a suggested donation of $5, with all proceeds to benefit Premiere Stages’ community partner for the production, Safe Horizon.
Safe Horizon touches the lives of over 250,000 children, adults, and families affected by crime and abuse throughout New York City each year, offering assistance to victims through 57 program locations, including shelter, in-person counseling, legal services, and more. Safe Horizon provides support to people victimized by rape and sexual assault each year, offering services to rape and sexual assault survivors through a Rape and Sexual Assault hotline, as well as through Community Program offices. Rape and sexual assault survivors can receive in-person help, as well as referrals for resources ranging from medical assistance to counseling, from Safe Horizon staff. For more information, please visit http://www.safehorizon.org/.
Kate Krug, Safe Horizon’s Director of Special Events, will join Resident Dramaturg Clare Drobot for a free post-show discussion following the matinee of Soldier’s Heart on Sunday, July 20; additional post-show discussions will feature playwright Tammy Ryan (Saturday, July 12 at 3:00 pm) and April Tully, LCSW (Sunday, July 27). Ms. Tully is the Military Sexual Trauma Coordinator for the V.A. New Jersey Health Care System, which is a nationally mandated position. This role combines both clinical and administrative responsibilities related to the diagnosis and treatment of veterans who have endured sexual trauma in the military. Ms. Tully holds a B.A. from Barnard College; an M.A. from Columbia University; and an MSW degree from Adelphi University. Her areas of special expertise include sexual trauma, post-traumatic-stress disorder, and addictions.
Soldier’s Heart runs Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 3:00 and 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 3:00 pm (the Sunday, July 13th performance will take place at 6:00 pm to accommodate a car show taking place on campus). Tickets are $30 standard, $20 for senior citizens and Kean alumni, and $15 for students and patrons with disabilities. Significant discounts for groups of 10 or more apply. To make reservations or to order a season brochure, please call the Kean Stage Box Office at 908-737-SHOW (7469) or visit Premiere Stages online at www.kean.edu/premierestages.
Tickets are also available for Premiere Stages’ exclusive Soldier’s Heart Opening Night Party on Friday, July 11th. This event features a pre-show party with wine and hors d’oeuvres at the four-star farm-to-table restaurant Ursino, admission to the performance, and a post-show champagne toast and dessert reception with the cast. Tickets for this exclusive event are just $55.00, and may be purchased by calling 908-737-4092.
Premiere Stages offers affordable prices, air-conditioned facilities and free parking close to the theatre. Premiere Stages also provides free or discounted tickets to patrons with disabilities. All Premiere Stages facilities are fully accessible spaces, and companion seating is available for patrons with disabilities. Assistive listening devices and large print programs are available at all times; publications in alternate formats are available with advanced notice. Please call (908) 737-4092 for a list of sign-interpreted, audio-described or open-captioned performances. For more information, visit Premiere Stages online at www.kean.edu/premierestages.
To purchase tickets, please call the box office at 908-737-SHOW (7469) or visit
www.kean.edu/premierestages. For group sales, call Heather Kelley at 908-737-4077 or email email@example.com.
For more information about specifics of the season, contact Producing Artistic Director John Wooten at 908-737-4360 or firstname.lastname@example.org.