Bella Brodkey (right) was the 1st winner of the Apricot Sky Playwrighting Competition. Lenore Argen, the coordinator (left) with Eric Alter on the right.
The cast, crew and winners of the Apricot Sky Playwrighting Competition. (left to right) Bob Lowy, Director, Rudy Palma, Lou Pipon, Michael Schellhorn (actors) Bella Brodsky 1st prize winner, Eashan Bagia 2nd place winner and Eric Alter, founder Apricot Sky Productions.
Apricot Sky Productions to offer Playwrighting Award! It partners with Livingston Middle School! Winner will receive a $1000 cash prize!
Apricot Sky Productions is partnering with Heritage Middle School for the first annual Apricot Sky Playwrighting Award.
Heritage Middle School students are being encouraged to create original one-act plays by Apricot Sky Productions, a theatre company based in Essex County. It’s the brainchild of Eric Alter, the company’s founder and playwright, who is collaborating with Heritage Enrichment to present a playwriting contest for middle school students.
“The world is looking for great stories, “ Alter told students who attended an information session on Jan. 21. “What’s your story about?”
He and members of the Apricot Sky company will read submissions, then bring the new play to life on the Heritage stage. "I want to make sure the students, their families and friends get a chance to see the wonderful story the winning student has created on the stage," Alter said. "Anything is possible with theater, it lends itself to the imagination in ways no other art form does.”
No playwriting experience is necessary, and all that is required is a desire and willingness to express yourself. The winning talented writer will receive a $1,000 cash prize to be used for higher education.
Alter is a screenwriter, playwright and poet. His plays have been performed locally at the Grove Street Theatre in Montclair, New York City and around the world as far as China and New Zealand. He founded his theater company back in 1999 and has been putting on plays ever since. His company puts on original plays, most recently, performing a charity show of one-act plays for the Human Needs Pantry in Montclair. In 2011, Alter wrote and produced an evening of original one-acts dedicated to the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 with donations going to the National September 11th Museum and Memorial. "Giving back to the community is important to who I am and what Apricot Sky is all about." Alter said.
His plays have been also published in magazines and textbooks, including “The Bully of Barksdale Street” in the Glencoe Literature Reading with a Purpose and PLAYS! The Drama Magazine for Young People
Alter, who moved to Livingston last year, worked in conjunction with Mary Oates, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, and Lenore Argen, Enrichment/Intervention Specialist at Heritage, to make this happen. "I can't thank them enough, especially Mrs. Argen who has been incredibly helpful and excited about this project -- it is really Mrs. Argen who deserves so much credit for this,” he said.
Alter is the director of the private Deron School in Montclair for students with disabilities, a school founded by his parents 48 years ago.
At Heritage, his education experience was apparent as he led middle schoolers in class through the basics of playwriting. "The students caught on easily, and were asking some amazing questions and had such great insight. I can't wait to see the stories they come up with," Alter said.
One thing is for sure, that come the deadline of June 8, there are going to be a lot of creative works to be read by Alter and his theater company. Alter is hoping word will spread around the school and many students will submit their great ideas. Who knows, maybe the next Shakespeare is waiting in the wings at Heritage Middle School. For now, we will just have to wait and see. Exit stage left!
Eric Alter teaches Patrick Zotti and Adam Clarke the basics of playwriting at Heritage.
Who we are...Welcome to Apricot Sky!
Welcome to Apricot Sky Productions!
Our New Voices and Visions goal - Apricot Sky Productions is looking to give voice and encouragement to highly motivated actors, directors and writers by developing new works, and inviting them to be long-term company members in a growing theatre group. We have recently become an equity professional company. We are excited and very proud about this recent change to Apricot Sky.
Apricot Sky Productions, founded by Eric Alter in 1999, is pleased to announce the expanding of the company. A Board of Directors has been appointed and given the task of reaching out to new theatre artists and production people. Apricot Sky seeks to give a voice for new works, playwrights, producers, directors and actors. In addition to our mainstage productions in New Jersey each year, it is the hope of the company to have two New York City productions per year.
The new Board of Directors for Apricot Sky Productions is as follows:
Eric Alter originated ASP and has been the Executive Producer and resident Playwright since inception. Rachel Skrod, straight from 10 years in the New York theatre circuit and experience in excess of 4 years' involvement in ASP will serve as the company's Director of Operations and Marketing, and Sharon Farrell is a new addition this year as the company's Creative Consultant/Artistic Director.
Benefits of company membership include: closed auditions from within the company for Apricot Sky's future productions, the development and production of new works for writers, and directing opportunities for all Apricot Sky projects as well as Apricot Sky's annual one-act play festival. Every year since its inception, Apricot Sky Productions is proud to have produced at least one major production.
Apricot Sky is based in Montclair, New Jersey. Our home is the Grove Street Theater, located at 130 Grove Street (located at The Deron School of NJ) for all New Jersey based productions. This 360 seat theater has been home to over 85 plays since 1999.
In addition to mainstage performances, Apricot Sky is planning classes in playwrighting, directing and producing beginning in the fall of 2012. Please check our website for continued updates on this in the upcoming months.
There are many new and exciting projects in the works for Apricot Sky Productions...we hope you enjoy exploring our up-to-date website and finding the photo archives of past performances as well!
Nice Guys Finish, written by: Eric Alter. Directed by: Robert Scott Sullivan. From the Midtown International Festival, NYC
Flush written by: Eric Alter, Directed by: Jason Romas, starring Jason Romas (left) and Luis Lopez
Mirror, Mirrror written by: Eric Alter. Directed by: Tami Gebhardt. From the production: Flush, 2008.