East Lynne Theater Company presents NOTHING MATTERS

The setting is Ambrose Bierce's apartment in Washington D.C. in 1898.  A poet merely asks his advice about poetry, and receives insights into the Civil War, journalism, and politics. Bierce's philosophy can be summed up in two words: "Nothing Matters."  But of course, many things mattered to him very much.  As a journalist, he was known for getting at the truth, no matter who was harmed, and many scholars believe he wrote one of the best short stories ever written: "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge."  Taking on the role of Bierce is James Rana. The director is Gayle Stahlhuth, who also portrays the visiting poet.  ELTC premiered NOTHING MATTERS in 2000 before playwright/performer Dave Geible took it on the road with The Wyoming Shakespeare Company. Geible has revisited the script with Stahlhuth, for this current production.

NOTHING MATTERS is a fully staged Actor's Equity production that will be available on ELTC's YouTube Channel, https://www.tinyurl.com/ELTCYouTube, after it has been filmed and edited. It took ELTC’s artistic director Gayle Stahlhuth, three months (and around 50 hours) to negotiate a contract with Actors’ Equity Association so that NOTHING MATTERS could be produced during a pandemic.

East Lynne Theater Company presents TALES OF THE VICTORIANS

It’s ELTC’s 31st Season of TALES OF THE VICTORIANS!  They can't offer you a cup of tea and homemade treats like they usually do when they perform at local B&Bs and shops, but East Lynne Theater Company actors are still reading stories by famous American authors. This year, they’re outside in the shaded backyard of a home in Cape May, and performers are using microphones.  Reservations are required and may be made by calling 609-884-5898 or e-mailing eastlynneco@aol.com. The location will be revealed when the reservation is made.

ELTC ask guests to please wear masks, and sit where socially-distance seats have been cleaned and placed. They'll not be serving drinks and food, but you may bring a beverage. No restroom facilities will be available.  

Not in Cape May? ELTC is offering TALES OF THE VICTORIANS - AT HOME.  On April 30, they launched their first TALE, and have continued to offer TALES on their YouTube Channel: https://www.tinyurl.com/ELTCYouTube

Trump plan could decimate arts community in N.J.


Big Bird, hunker down.

According to a report in The Hill, President Donald Trump's transition team is calling to ax the National Endowment of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and to privatize the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds PBS and National Public Radio.

Targeting the arts is a routine play during budget season -- the NEA has long been a target by fiscal and social conservatives -- but the scope of the this budget plan is shocking to many.

And it could prove devastating to New Jersey arts organizations.

"My hope is that this is not something that our new president will undertake," says Todd Schmidt, the managing director of Millburn's Paper Mill Playhouse, the winner of the 2016 Regional Tony Award and a recipient of NEA funding.

"It's dividing America over an issue that is really a non-issue ... It's a bad way to start a new administration, to come in and immediately go after paper tigers."

"I think what's really important is how indicative this is of the values and culture of the incoming administration," says Susan Gogan, the executive director of the Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center in Millville. "I think everybody was a little nervous when he was elected. Just like many other issues, there were so many unknowns."

The recommendations, as reported on the eve of Trump's inauguration by The Hill, are similar to a blueprint offered last year by the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation.

Trump, who is being inaugurated as the nation's 45th president today, has not commented, on Twitter or otherwise, on the recommendations.

The NEA in particular has come under fire in recent decades as part of a culture war spawned by government-sponsored work and exhibits of controversial artists such as Andres Serrano and Robert Mapplethorpe...


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Vicki Hyman and Erin Petenko | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com