West Orange, NJ –— Strange Happenings at the School Library, a fantastical adventure for all ages, will stream on Luna Stage’s digital platforms February 14 through February 28. Tickets are free but reservations are required, and are available at lunastage.org.
Greek gods, fairy tale characters, and beloved figures from Alice in Wonderland don’t behave as expected in this new play by Jenny Lyn Bader and Martine Sainvil. Commissioned by Orange High School and inspired by student stories, this new comedy follows a school librarian as she unravels a literary mystery during the COVID-19 pandemic. With time spent on Mount Olympus, through the Looking Glass, and in our own complicated world, Strange Happenings will delight audiences of all ages, inviting a sense of imagination and wonder.
“The pandemic sometimes feels like looking-glass land, or one of those enchanted castles where the spell hasn’t lifted,” says playwright Jenny Lyn Bader. “We wanted to tell a story where familiar myths and folklore go a little sideways, and find the comedy in these overwhelming times.”
“I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to co-create a story that gives audiences of all ages, as well as our cast and crew, a chance to stretch their imaginations, explore new ways of experiencing theatre, and have so much fun seeing familiar characters in a whole new way,” says playwright Martine Sainvil.
The cast includes Zach Canter, RJ Christian, Julia Creutzer, Christie Lynn Devoe, Kiana Lum, Naiya McCalla, Romello Rodriguez, Tanner Roncace, Nic Sanchez, Patrick Singer and Mary Walker. This virtual production is co-directed by Luna’s emerging directors Lily Greenberg, Dillon Mitcham, and Alexander Oleksy.
“Luna is committed to creating work that responds nimbly to the most pressing issues of our time,” says Artistic Director Ari Laura Kreith, “and we are overjoyed to have this opportunity to invite families to share this theatrical experience, to laugh together, and to enjoy this imaginative adventure.”
Audiences can stream this hour-long play from February 14 through February 28. Reservations for this free event are required and available at www.lunastage.org.
About the Playwrights
Jenny Lyn Bader is thrilled to be back at Luna Stage, which premiered her drama Mrs. Stern Wanders the Prussian State Library and her short play My First Time (commissioned for Voting Writes). Her other plays include Equally Divine (Theatre at the 14th St. Y), In Flight (Turn to Flesh Productions), and None of the Above (New Georges). One-acts include Worldness (Humana Festival), and Miss America (NY Int’l Fringe Festival/“Best of the Fringe selection). Honors include “Best Documentary One-Woman Show” Award (United Solo); Athena Playwriting Fellowship; and Edith Oliver Award (O’Neill Center). Her plays have been published by Dramatists Play Service, Vintage, Smith & Kraus, Applause, and Plays International + Europe magazine. For This Is Not a Theatre Company, she co-authored Café Play and Play in Your Bathtub and wrote The International Local (“Subway Plays”) and Guru of Touch (Edinburgh Festival Fringe). A Harvard graduate, she has been a Lark Playwriting Fellow (nominated by Wendy Wasserstein) and a frequent contributor to the New York Times “Week in Review.” She is a member of the Playwrights Gallery and The Dramatists Guild. For more, visit www.jennylynbader.com.
Martine Sainvil is a Brooklyn-based Playwright and self-proclaimed Dialogue Diva, Plot Piper and Story Stan. She is a Language Collector, Globe Trekker and Cultural Communicator who feeds her curiosity by devouring great books and jumping down rabbit holes. She is a graduate of Boston University and a member of The Dramatists Guild of America, Inc. and Playwrights Gallery (NYC). As a champion of the next generation, she is a longtime mentor at The Young Women’s Leadership School in Harlem. Her writing credits include: Indispensable (2020 Resonance Ensemble Waldman Play Development Program), The Mary Lou Shine (2020 New Shokan Kitchen Island Project – Put A Woman On A Pedestal!), Strange Happenings At The School Library (Luna Stage – 2020 Orange School District commission), Like & Subscribe (2020 Playwrights Gallery Reading Series), The Good China (Finalist 2018 TRU Voices Festival), Comfort Food (Winner 3rd Place 21st Annual Henrico Theatre One-Act Showcase, Semi-finalist in Drury University ’s 2007 One-Act Play Competition, 2006 Semi Finalist Moving Arts Premiere One Act Competition, among many other fresh and fully baked plays ready to be served up.
About Luna Stage
Luna Stage develops and produces vibrant plays about local and global experiences. Firmly rooted in New Jersey’s Valley Arts District — a crossroads of cultures — Luna brings its communities together for artistic events that spark conversations and create understanding and change.
The recipient of the 2019 People’s Choice Award for NJ’s Favorite Small Theatre, Luna offers classes for children and adults, opportunities for early-career and established theatre artists to develop new work, as well as professional MainStage productions.