Center Players announces 2018-19 season at Freehold theater

Center Players Dessert Theater has announced its upcoming 2018-19 season to
be performed from October through August at Center Playhouse, 35 South St., Freehold.

Kicking off the season from Oct. 12 through Nov. 4 will be a production of “Italian Funerals and Other Festive Occasions,” written by John Miranda. Faced with the loss of his mother
to dementia, a man clings to memories to postpone present family issues. He views his life as though it is a great opera. Directed by Ray Parnese.

Next will be “The Emperor’s New Duds,” an adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” The play is set in the land of Felicity, which is blessed by people from all over the globe. Everyone is happy except for their Emperor, who can’t seem to get enough jewels and expensive attire. The play is appropriate for families and children over 5. This adaptation was written by Center Players’ Artistic Director Bernice Garfield-Szita, who will also direct the production, which will run Dec. 8-16.

“Butterflies are Free” by Leonard Gershe will run from Feb. 8 through March 3 and
will be directed by Anthony Marinelli. Loosely based on the life of attorney Harold
Krents, the plot revolves around a blind man living in downtown Manhattan
whose controlling mother disapproves of his relationship with a free-spirited

Next will be a weekend black box production of the controversial “Shakespeare’s
Lost Masterpiece” by Larry Americ Allen, running April 5-7. Darrell Willis Sr. directs a play that explores the relationship between a homeless man and a lost work by William Shakespeare. When the never-before-published work falls into the hands of the homeless man in San Francisco, the result is twists and turns, ruthless integrity, and a seductive tragic-comedy climaxing into a heavenly-hellish ending.

“Dial M for Murder,” written by Frederick Knott and directed by Dave McGrath, will
run from May 17 through June 16. A retired tennis pro plots the murder of his wife, but
when she turns the tables on her attempted assailant, she is convicted of murder.
Can the police detective who brought her to trial now decipher the clues that will
save her life?

Rounding out the season will be Josefina López’s “Real Women Have Curves,” running from July 26 through Aug. 18. Directed by Bernice Garfield-Szita, the play is set in a tiny sewing factory in East Los Angeles in 1987 and explores the issues of gender politics and the Latina immigrant experience.

“We are pleased to offer another well-rounded season of award-winning plays, featuring outstanding local actors and directors,” Center Players President Sheldon Fallon said. “And we look forward to supplementing the season with play readings, acting classes and other special events.”

Most performances run Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets for most productions are priced at $25 to $27 and are available online at or by calling 732-462-9093. Season ticket subscriptions are available by calling the box office by Dec. 16.