Joseph Vitale, executive director of Advancement and Planning and president of the Foundation at County College of Morris (CCM), will soon see his latest play take the stage at a well-known Northern New Jersey theater. The production will be accompanied by a panel featuring two CCM professors.
Theatrical production company The Theater Project will present Murrow, a one-man show written by Vitale about the life of famed broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow, on Saturday, February 7, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, February 8, at 2 p.m. at the Burgdorff Community Center in Maplewood.
The play traces Murrow's life from his early days in radio, through his broadcasts from London during the Blitz, to the McCarthy broadcast of March 1954, and ends with his departure from CBS News in the late 1950s.
The play stars veteran New York stage actor Joseph Menino and is directed by Bob Angelini, artistic director of the ReVision Theatre in Asbury Park.
Each performance will be followed by an audience discussion moderated by John Soltes, professor of journalism at CCM, and Ray Kalas, professor of broadcasting at CCM. Soltes brings to the discussion his experience as an award-winning journalist in a variety of industry roles, while Kalas brings decades of professional film and broadcasting experience to the panel.
Each discussion will also feature a New Jersey journalist. On Saturday, February 7, Paul Mulshine, columnist for the Star-Ledger, will take part. On Sunday, February 8, Michael Aron, chief political correspondent for NJTV News, will join the group.
"Murrow tells the story of a great American life," says Vitale, who is a member of the Theater Project's playwrights' workshop as well as the Dramatists Guild of America. "His career spans the history of broadcast journalism in the U.S. He was instrumental in the birth of both radio and television news reporting. He warned, early on, about the corrosive influences of both advertising and entertainment on the news. His decision to take on Joe McCarthy at the height of the senator's powers may well be broadcast journalism's finest hour. In an age of pseudo-news and info-tainment, Murrow's life and career – and his warnings – could not be more relevant."
Tickets for the performances are $20 for adults and $10 for students. For information, visit www.thetheaterproject.org
or call 908-809-8865. The Burgdorff Center is located at 10 Durand Road, Maplewood.
This program is made possible in part by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner for the National Endowment for the Humanities.
# # #Photo: Joseph Vitale, executive director of Advancement and Planning and president of the Foundation at County College of Morris, will have his play Murrow performed at the Burgdorff Community Center in Maplewood on February 7 and 8.