Shows of strength

NJPAC celebrates Women’s History Month


NJPAC’s Department of Community Engagement salutes women of achievement during March with a series of special events that tell the story of their accomplishments through music, art, theater, film and more. Here’s a look at some of the activities that put a spotlight on sheroes:


On March 15 at 6pm, PSE&G True Diversity Film Series unreels Girl Rising (rated PG-13) in NJPAC's Victoria Theater. This Emmy-nominated 2013 documentary, directed by Richard Robbins, follows the stories of nine girls from different parts of the globe who pursue an education to rise above their desperate circumstances. Admission to the screening and panel discussion afterward is free.


Also that evening, beginning at 5:30, NJPAC and the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers-Newark co-host Jazz Jam Sessions at Clement’s Place, the club space in Rutgers’ residence building at 15 Washington Street. This installment of the free jam series focuses on women composers and songwriters. Talented musicians of NJPAC’s Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens program open the session, which gives students an avenue to improvise with the pros.


A dramatic reading of a work-in-progress – Turning by playwright Darrah Cloud – will take place in NJPAC’s Chase Room on March 16 at 7 p.m. Presented as part of the NJPAC Stage Exchange, the play is based on the real-life account of the first women’s gymnastics Olympic team, which trained in New Jersey and went on to compete for the U.S. in 1936 Berlin. The reading will be followed by a Q&A with the cast and creators. NJPAC Stage Exchange, in collaboration with the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, champions new works with New Jersey themes and fosters community engagement through dialogue; dramatists are provided with resources and a world premiere production of their play. Cloud’s partner theater is Centenary Stage Company in Hackettstown. Tickets to the reading are $5.


Books on the Move, the Arts Center’s touring series of children’s book readings, will tell the story of Firebird, an autobiography by ballerina Misty Copeland, at two locations on March 17. This account by the first African-American woman to become a principal dancer for American Ballet Theatre will be showcased for young readers at the Althea Gibson Early Childhood Education Academy in East Orange and the Jersey City Free Public Library Greenville Branch. Advance registration is required for these free events, which include a dramatic reading of the book by an NJPAC Teaching Artist, an arts-related activity, and a copy of the featured book for each participating youngster to take home.


Another free film screening is set for 6pm on March 22 at Express Newark. NJPAC will present a showing of the 2017 documentary STEP (rated PG), Amanda Lipitz’s account of a girls’ high school step-dancing team in Baltimore.


A Quest for Freedom, a new dance and music presentation in celebration of women, gathers dancers of the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company in performance with the famed Ahn Trio, an ensemble of three sister instrumentalists. Scheduled on March 24 at 7:30pm in NJPAC’s Victoria Theater, this unique collaboration features new music created for the occasion, as well as the trio’s interpretations of songs by David Bowie, Prince, Kenji Bunch and others. The athleticism of seven exquisite dancers and Nai-Ni Chen’s mesmerizing choreography combined with the virtuosity of the Ahn Trio integrate seamlessly throughout the program. Tickets range from $45-$55 through or the box office at One Center Street.


For more information about Community Engagement at NJPAC and online reservation forms, click here.



March 8, 2018