West Orange, NJ – Luna Stage will reopen for in-person performances on their MainStage on March 11th, exactly two years after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the temporary closure of their building. The first event in the main space of the professional regional theatre will be a reading of long-term collaborator Nikkole Salter’s play Torn Asunder on March 11th and 12th at 8pm, followed by a conversation with the playwright.

Nikkole Salter

Admission is free but reservations are strongly suggested and are available at www.lunastage.org. Proof of vaccination and masking is required in all Luna facilities.

Set in the years leading up to and immediately following emancipation, Torn Asunder is the story of a formerly enslaved woman’s quest to reunite with her husband and son, and is based on the research of Dr. Heather Andrea Williams in her book Help Me Find My People.

Salter is an Obie-winner and Pulitzer-nominated playwright and actor, who recently became the Chair of the Department of Theatre Arts at Howard University. Luna Stage has premiered multiple works by Salter, including Carnival, Lines In The Dust, and Indian Head, which the theatre also commissioned.

Luna paused indoor productions on March 9, 2020 with the final performance of Antoinette Nwandu’s Pass Over. Throughout the pandemic, they offered virtual performances and outdoor events including the recent bilingual production The Frontera Project. The building re-opened for classes and camps this past summer, but postponed their planned February production of #RIFT to Fall 2022 in response to the Omicron variant.

Up next at Luna will be a workshop performance of Jenny Mercein’s Two Elizas running April 1-3. The solo performance juxtaposes the true story of Mercein’s ancestor Eliza Mercein Barry’s 1847 U.S. Supreme Court case Barry v Mercein regarding the custody of her daughter with Mercein’s own complicated journey to motherhood.

Both Torn Asunder and Two Elizas are presented as part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance 2022 Stages Festival. More info about the festival can be found at www.njtheatrealliance.org/stages.

All performances and programs at Luna are free of charge or Pay-What-You-Choose, as part of the theatres ongoing commitment to equity and access.

One reply on “Luna Re-Opens MainStage With Nikkole Salter’s Torn Asunder”

  1. Torn Asunder is brilliant. It should be televised for broader public awareness. The writing, actors and presentation all perfect. It presents the emotional impact of enslavement and having your loved ones dispersed, unduly punished or murdered, feelings that academic history accounts are unable to convey.

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