RAHWAY– Hamilton Stage for the Performing Arts will open its doors to the public for the first time at a special Open House Preview Saturday May 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, May 20, from noon to 4 p.m. Construction on Hamilton Stage is expected to be complete in early June, with the formal grand opening in September.
At the Open House Preview, the public is invited to enjoy a family-friendly day of activities, including live theater and music rehearsals, conversations with professional performers, and a chance to look behind the scenes in this dazzling new purpose-built theater. There is no charge for admission. Shuttle service is available both days from the Rahway Parking Deck (on the corner of Main Street and Lewis Street), the Rahway Train Station and civic parking lots during Open House Preview hours.
At the Open House Preview you can meet the graceful Nai-Ni Chen and learn about her Signature Dance Camp for ages 8-18 at Hamilton Stage this summer where students will be immersed in a carefully crafted artistic experience.
You can also take a beatboxing class with award-winning performer and founder of the World Beatbox Association, Chesney Snow; have your picture taken with children’s favorite Angelina Ballerina; watch rehearsals for an original play by StrangeDog Theatre Company; and listen to a professional coaching of the popular barbershop chorus, the Jerseyaires. You might even end up on stage! And while you’re there, learn a few tricks from the stage and try your hand with professional stage make-up by Make-Up and Costume Design Artists! A full schedule of events will be posted on HamiltonStage.org.
The opening of Hamilton Stage is a significant expansion of the non-profit Union County Performing Arts Center, which will govern and operate Hamilton Stage as part of its expanding campus. UC PAC has received a generous grant from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation to support the opening and inaugural season of Hamilton Stage.
With its intimate 199-seat Mainstage Theater and 60-seat Front Room Theater/Rehearsal Hall, Hamilton Stage is the perfect complement to UC PAC, which contains the historic 1365-seat Vaudeville stage, the 50-seat Loft Theater, and the 60-seat LightSoundSpace concert venue (next door). When combined, these five theaters and concert spaces will make the UC PAC Campus one of the most versatile in the state.
As previously announced, the acclaimed Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company will take a primary role as Hamilton Stage’s Artistic Engagement Partner. Five more performing arts companies from New Jersey and New York will soon be named as Hamilton Stage Artistic Affiliates. These companies will offer more than 100 performances during Hamilton Stage’s Inaugural Season, September 2012 to June 2013.
Hamilton Stage is located in Union County at 360 Hamilton Street in Rahway. Tickets for Hamilton Stage events are expected to go on sale by late June. Visit hamiltonstage.org for updates.