17th Annual Spring Reading Series

Selected from over 930 submissions, Premiere Stages is proud to present 3 finalists of the Premiere Play Festival.


To fulfill our commitments to writers whose presentations were postponed during 2020 social distancing procedures, we are presenting their plays in the 2021 series.


You’re invited!

The Spring Reading Series virtual readings are free and will be performed via Zoom. A short Q&A with the playwrights will follow each reading.

Songbird's playwright

Rachel Luann Strayer

Friday, March 19 at 7 p.m. EST


by Rachel Luann Strayer

directed by John J. Wooten

Jess is an up-and-coming singer/songwriter who she doesn't want to talk about why she abandoned her career. In fact, she doesn't want to talk about it so badly that she hasn't spoken in months. Jess's sister, Brit, thinks a beach trip to their old family vacation spot is just the trick to get Jess to open up. As tensions rise and a young visitor arrives seeking her help, Jess knows there are words that have to be spoken; she's just hoping she has the right ones.


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My Mother the Sun's playwright

massi monfiletto

Saturday, March 20 at 7 p.m. EST

My Mother the Sun

by massi monfiletto

directed by Kareem Fahmy

When her mother goes missing in the desert between the US/Mexico border, Solana must journey out with a group of activists to bring her back. As her past begins to haunt her, she must undertake an extraordinary transformation in the hopes of keeping her family together.


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Year One's playwright

Erik Gernand

Sunday, March 21 at 3 p.m. EST

Year One

by Erik Gernand

directed by John J. Wooten

In 1933 Germany, Anna struggles to keep her family afloat during the first year of Adolph Hitler’s rise to power. When her brother Max arrives unexpectedly from Berlin, Anna’s life is thrown into even greater turmoil when the true reason for his visit is uncovered and she’s forced to choose between family and country.


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This event is part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance 2021 Stages Festival, a state-wide celebration of theatre. Visit njtheatrealliance.org/stages to learn more.



Consider a

The 2021 Spring Reading Series will benefit the Kean Foundation. Donations will help support Premiere Stages education initiatives, particularly those that support emerging artists. We’re committed to compensating all artists for their work. Please consider making a donation to the Kean University Foundation to cover program costs.


Donate today!


Plays by People

The Arts Access Program at Matheny in partnership with Premiere Stages at Kean University presents Plays by People


This event is part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance 2021 Stages Festival.


You’re invited!

Plays by People is free and will be performed via Zoom. A short Q&A will conclude the evening.

My Mother the Sun's playwright

Saturday, March 27 at 4 p.m. EST

Plays by People

featuring the work of Cheryl Chapin


Plays by People will feature short works of prose, monologues, theatrical scenes and poetry by Arts Access contributor Cheryl Chapin.


  • Tea & Venom

  • Tea & Me

  • Ghostly Acquaintances

  • The Seasons


This annual event will feature a reading of plays and poems written by an Arts Access playwright and performed by professional actors from Premiere Stages at Kean University. The virtual presentation will also showcase pieces of visual art by Arts Access creators.


The Arts Access contributors will be an integral part of the process, offering direct feedback to the actors on how to best present their work, work with the director to create sound cues, staging, and visual elements, and will gain important critique and experience as performers, writers, and visual artists.


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Consider a

Plays by People will benefit Matheny Arts Access. Matheny’s Arts Access program empowers individuals with disabilities to create art without boundaries. Through the use of innovative systems and techniques, participants can take part in the visual, performing and literary arts. Regardless of their disability, clients are provided with the tools and materials needed to produce complete pieces of work.


Donate today!



Plays by People is 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. Visit njtheatrealliance.org/stages to learn more.


sponsor logos


We wish to express our gratitude to the following Performers’ Unions through the Theatre Authority, Inc.