NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

McCann Healey Funeral Home, Gloucester City NJ
Joseph B. Ferguson, of Buena, formerly of Gloucester City, US Army Retired Captain

Mainstage shifts into high gear offering more shows than ever to the South Jersey Region

Mainstage Center for the Arts (MCA) will present seven shows, the most in its 22-year history, for the 2010-11 season. It will also offer its first season ticket package. This comes at a time when many cultural organizations are scaling back due to the economy.

“We've taken this leap because we can offer local audiences a reasonably-priced enjoyable theatre experience right here in Camden County College's beautifully renovated Dennis Flyer Theatre. With the new exit to the college right off of Route 42, it's very convenient to reach us,” said Ed Fiscella, artistic director, MCA. “We're offering shows with a wide-range of appeal. And, we believe that audiences will appreciate the quality and value.”

The season kicks off with The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), October 22 -24. In this comedy, three performers use slapstick and improvisation to transform all 37 of Shakespeare's plays into one hilarious show. This irreverent tribute to the world-famous Bard is sponsored by Mainstage Center for the Arts and presented by the Collaborative Act Studio in association with the Ritz Theatre.

The season also includes:

  • Holiday Family Festival and Concert, December 19, 2 pm – this treat for the entire family comes with free hot chocolate, a visit with Santa, and a festive holiday concert featuring the Mainstage Performance groups, Harmony and Encore Show Choirs.

  • The Diary of Anne Frank, February 11 - 19 - Experience Anne Frank's spirit and optimism in the face of turmoil in The Diary of Anne Frank. This powerful, Tony-award winning play brings the audience into the Frank family's attic hideout during the second World War.

  • Godspell, April 10-12 – Based on the Gospel of Matthew and parables of Jesus, Godspell remains one of the most popular rock musicals of all time. John-Michael Tebelak created it as a college project in 1970. Then, Stephen Schwartz re-scored the music and it became one of the longest-running off-Broadway musicals, before moving to Broadway. It features the international hit “Day By Day.”

  • You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, April 28-30 – The whole Peanuts gang: Charlie Brown, Sally, Patty, Schroeder, Lucy, and Snoopy are all together in this musical comedy. The performance tells the story of a typical day in the life of Charlie Brown through a series of vignettes based on the "Peanuts" comic strip by Charles M. Schulz.

  • Thirteen, June 24-25 – After moving from New York to a small town in Indiana, 13-year-old Evan Goldman struggles to make friends and get in with the right crowd. This provoking, humorous story about growing up is told with high-energy, delightful music, and a cast of talented teen performers.

  • Hairspray, July 22, 23, 29, 30 – Venture to Baltimore, 1962, where Tracy Turnblad is a big girl with big hair and a big dream – to dance on the Corny Collins Show. While reaching for that dream, she learns that friendship and equality are even more important than fame and dancing. “You Just Can't Stop the Beat” of this Tony-award winning musical.

For a limited time, MCA is offering a season package for all seven shows for $65, less than $10 per ticket. Prices for individual performances vary based on group prices, senior/student tickets, and adult tickets. For more information, please visit, or call (856) 227-3091.

In addition to the performance season, MCA will hold studio classes in acting, voice, and dance; as well as offer several workshops, and special events throughout the year, including:

  • From the Basement to the Big Stage (October 15-17). This intensive workshop is designed for musicians who want to take their talent and dreams to the next level. The workshop covers vocal technique, stage presence, instrumental & vocal masterclasses, getting bookings, approaching record labels, managers & agents, using social media, and more. The workshop ends with a "Breakout of the Basement Concert" presented by participants.

  • The Starmaker's Workshop (November 5 -7), in which second through fifth graders work with members ofHarmony Show Choir in an exciting performance workshop and show. Participants will learn the art of performing from vocal directors, choreographers and experienced show choir members. 

  • Two movie nights (November 20, 2010 and January 29, 2011) featuring full-length films created by two former students of the Summer Stage film program who have now turned professional.

  • One Act Play festival for area high schools (March 18, 29, & 30). Local high school students will be invited to compete in a one act play festival to be critiqued and judged by professional and semi-professionals in the theatre community. Trophy's will be presented to winners in a variety of categories.