Plays By People 2021 Recap

Part of the annual Stages Festival

Question and Answer participants during "Plays By People" 2021 virtual event.

Part of the annual Stages Festival

Our first ever virtual Plays By People event was this past weekend! It was a great event and we are so grateful for everyone who attended, those who worked both in front of the screen and behind the scenes here at Arts Access and at Premiere Stages at Kean University, the New Jersey Theatre Alliance for organizing the Stages Festival, and of course Cheryl Chapin, this year’s featured writer and dramatist.

Upon signing into the virtual event, attendees were greeted by a virtual lobby. Images of Cheryl’s acrylic and digital paintings were shown as we waited for everyone to “find their seats.” John Wooten of Premiere Stages was the producing director of the event and our MC for the evening. He introduced the work that was being presented and told the audience a little more about the New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s annual Stages Festival.

Plays By People is traditionally an evening of staged readings with minimal costuming and props. This translated excellently into a virtual event. The actors each had a few select props and costume elements, each of which highlighted key parts of the scene or characters.

The three major themes being presented—the seasons, ghosts, and tea—were each integrated throughout the evening. We heard a seasonal poem, then enjoyed a short story about living with ghosts, then back to seasons again.

The event concluded with a Q&A session with featured writer Cheryl Chapin, Art Access’ Director, Eileen Murray, and Performing Arts Coordinator, Heather Williams, and the Premiere Stages actors, Lynnette R. Freeman, Katrina Michaels, Andrea Morales, and Landon G. Woodson. Cheryl lit up the virtual room, answering questions from the audience and sparking conversation with the actors.

A big thanks goes out to everyone who worked together on this event! Not only was it a lot of fun, but it was a wonderful opportunity to highlight the work of Cheryl Chapin and the rest of the work being created at Arts Access every day. To stay up to date on all the latest news and projects from the Arts Access artists, be sure to join our email list and follow us on social media.

This event was part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance 2021 Stages Festival, made possible by support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; Bank of America; The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey; OceanFirst Foundation; the George A. Ohl, Jr. Trust; New Jersey Historical Commission; and Fund for the New Jersey Blind.

2021 Stages Festival Sponsors


Arts Access is grateful to the following organizations for their generous support of this event and other projects from Arts Access.

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