Pushcart Names New Artistic Director

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Pushcart-WhelihanPushcart Players, New Jersey’s award-winning theatre for young audiences, welcomes Paul Whelihan as artistic director for the 2014-15 season. Pushcart’s 40th anniversary repertoire includes musical performances about history, literature, values clarification and cultural diversity.

“Pushcart is intelligent, funny and perfectly produced,” said Whelihan. “It gets better with every season, and I can’t wait to put it out there!”

Whelihan performs, directs and stage-manages off-Broadway (47th Street Theater, 59 East 59 Theatres, NY Fringe Festival) and regionally (Centenary Stage, The Growing Stage, Luna Stage Company, Forum Cultural Arts Center, Royal Poincianna Playhouse, Broward Center for the Arts, Quillo Arts Center, Dreamcatcher Rep) in musicals, dramas, original works and locally produced television, film and web series projects. As a teaching artist, Paul directs productions for Franklin Middle School, Rockaway Valley School, Northeast Elementary School, Breezy Point Summer Theatre Program and the YMCA of Wayne.

Whelihan is a producer and arts administrator for over thirty years in New Jersey’s professional theatre circuit. While still an undergraduate, he and several colleagues founded Ironbound Theatre in Newark, where Whelihan served as managing director. He was the development director of Forum Theatre Arts Center in Metuchen, and then the resident director for Pushcart Players.

In 2007, Whelihan and his partner, Ellen Beattie, co-founded Running Rabbit Theatre, a company established to instill a lifelong appreciation of and support for theatre for family audiences. The troupe received unprecedented first-year funding from both the NJ State Council on the Arts and The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

Whelihan is an actor, director, stage manager and playwright as well. He’s written nine produced plays for family audiences, including the noted production of “Treasure Island,” the first production of its kind in New Jersey’s professional theatres, wherein the entire cast used spoken word, singing and American Sign Language to illuminate the story.

Since 1974, Verona-based Pushcart Players has traveled over 2 million miles nationally and abroad to serve more than 8 million children and their families with meaningful theater. From the White House to the little red school house, this dynamic company has been nominated for an Emmy, and has received numerous state and private awards for excellence and innovation. A cast of professional Actors’ Equity Association actors and stage managers come with complete scenery, lighting and sound systems, making every performance adaptable to any location.

Pushcart Players provides study guides and other supplemental materials to enhance the educational benefits. Productions are now being scheduled for performances in schools, theatres, production houses and community centers throughout the United States.

For further information on this or any of Pushcart’s programs and services, contact Pushcart Players at 973.857.1115, or visit www.pushcartplayers.org.

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