21 Aug 2014
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Pushcart Players at Washington School

Pushcart Players at Washington School

Pushcart Players, New Jersey’s renowned touring theatre for
young audiences performs “Celebrating New Jersey” at Washington School
in Rutherford on Friday February 7 at 9:00 am. Coinciding with New Jersey’s 350th
Anniversary, this is a joyous, playful and informative folk musical honoring
the Garden State.

“Celebrating New Jersey” reaches across more than
three centuries, linking young viewers to the past while breathing new life
into a most creative period in the Garden State’s history. From the arrival of
the first settlers to the American Revolution, from the writing of the
Constitution to the significant participation in the Civil War, from Thomas
Edison’s life-changing work in West Orange to New Jersey’s pivotal role in
industry, “Celebrating New Jersey” is a spirited and stylish exploration
of the innovation and diversity that continue to define New Jersey.

“The production is brimming with humor, conflict and
discovery,” said Ruth Fost, Pushcart’s co-founder and executive artistic
director. Fost is the playwright and lyricist for the production as well. “I
think people will be surprised by the many ‘firsts’ from NJ, which include the
steam locomotive, America’s first copper mine, the first World Series radio
broadcast and movies. There’s a lot of pride!”

Phebe Taylor and
Harry Patrick Christian perform “Celebrating New Jersey.” Taylor
is a Pushcart Player since 2004. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University
School of Drama, Phebe is a company member of the Heartland Actors’ Repertory
Theatre and a frequent performer at the Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis. Christian performed in the one-man show,
"Santaland Diaries " in Quincy, IL and at Luna Stage, NJ. Appearing
in improvisational shows, cabarets and regional theatre, he most recently was
seen in "The Language Archive" and "The Other
Place," for Dreamcatcher Repertory Theater in Summit. Through
Pushcart Players, Christian brings theatre arts to teenagers who are first-time
violent crime offenders with the Passaic Police Department's Youth Services

The production is directed by Paul Whelihan, who is also an
actor, stage manager, producer and playwright. Whelihan has directed the
majority of Pushcart’s productions throughout its history, and has directed for
Luna Stage (West Orange), Forum Theatre (Metuchen), Growing Stage (Netcong) and
for the New York Fringe Festival. Paul is a teaching artist in the tri-state
area in elementary, middle and high schools.

The music of “Celebrating New Jersey” combines traditional
folk songs with original works. Incidental music and orchestrations are by
Larry Hochman, who has collaborated with Pushcart co-founder Carole Wechter,
since the company’s inception. Hochman won the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for
his co-orchestration of “The Book of Mormon.” He also orchestrated  “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” “The Addams
Family” and “Jane Eyre” among others.

Pushcart Players is in its 40th anniversary
season of presenting productions filled with fun, facts, magic and wonder. The
company has traveled over 2 million miles to serve more than 8 million children
and their families nationally and abroad. All performances come with innovative
scenery, complete lighting and state of the art sound systems, making it adaptable
to any location.

Washington School is located at 89 Wood Street, Rutherford
NJ 07070. PTA representatives or school cultural arts coordinators who would
like to preview the performance are required to contact Pushcart Players at
973.857.1115 in advance. “Please do not call the school directly or arrive
without prior approval.” For further information on this or any of Pushcart’s
programs and services, contact Pushcart Players or visit the website at www.pushcartplayers.org. LIKE us on
Facebook to get up to date information on activities and events and follow us
on Twitter @PushcartPlayers.

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