World Premiere of The Bookstore opens at NJ Repertory Company

Reported Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Pictured Above: Arielle Goldman. Photo Credit: Contributed.

Performances begin on July 11 with opening night on July 13.  Bookstore runs through August 4, 2024.



Long Branch , NJ – The New Jersey Repertory Co. will continue its 27 th Season with the world premiere of The Bookstore by Michael Walek, directed by William Carden . Performances begin on July 11, with opening night on July 13.  The Bookstore runs through August 4, 2024.


Enter a small independent bookstore in New York City, like the ones we all love to frequent and are rapidly dying out.  Carey, the owner, rolls up the grate, unlocks the front door, carries in boxes, turns on the heater, turns on the kettle, and turns on the lamps and her computer. And so her day begins…


“We’re excited to present Michael Walek’s The Bookstore as part of NJ Rep’s 27th Season. This play captures the spirit of those cherished independent bookstores that are becoming rare gems in our fast-paced world. It’s a heartfelt tribute to the joy of literature and community, and we believe it will resonate deeply with our audiences.” — SuzAnne Barabas, Artistic Director of NJ Rep

The creative team includes set design by Jessica Parks, lighting design by Jill Nagle, technical direction by Brian Snyder, costume design by  Suzanne Chesney, sound design by Nick Simone,   assistant lighting designer Janey Huber, production stage manager is Rose Riccardi and assistant stage manager is Rachael Malloy. 

Tickets are NOW on sale at NJ or by calling 732.229.3166. NJ Rep is located at 179 Broadway, Long Branch, New Jersey, 07740. The Bookstore will begin promptly at 7:30 on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, with additional matinees on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 2 PM. 

Pictured Above: Quentin Chisholm. Photo Credit: Contributed.


MICHAEL WALEK Playwright) A proud alumni of the emerging writer’s group Youngblood. His play, Have You Met Jane Goodall & Her Mother, will premiere at Ensemble Studio Theatre in March 2025. The Bookstore is his first play. 


WILLIAM CARDEN (Director) served as Artistic Director of the Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST) for 15 years (2007-2022). In 2015 EST was given a Special Drama Desk Award for its unwavering commitment to developing new American plays. At EST he directed productions of Against the Hillside by Sylvia Khoury The Good Muslim by Zakiyyah Alexander, Please Continueby Frank Basloe, Headstrong by Patrick Link, Lenin’s Embalmers by Vern Thiessen, Pidgeon,PTSD and Zero by Tommy Smith and Lucy by Damien Atkins.  He was artistic director of the HB Playwrights Foundation for eleven years where he directed the Off-Broadway productions of Mrs. Klein and Collected Stories starring Uta Hagen.  His many other productions there include Horton Foote’s The Habitation of Dragons, Burnt Piano by Justin Fleming and Voir Dire by Joe Sutton.  He directed The Dew Point at Summer Play Festival, The Young Girl and the Monsoon at Playwrights Horizons, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf at the Stratford Festival in Canada. As an actor he played leading roles Off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club, Circle Rep, WPA, and EST and also worked at numerous regional theatres including Long Wharf, Hartford Stage, Huntington, Humana Festival, and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. On Broadway, he created the title role in the original, award-winning production of Short Eyes by Miguel Piñero. He teaches in the acting and playwriting programs at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.


QUENTIN CHISHOLM (he/him). Select acting credits include: Theatre – Almost, Maine (HB Playwrights Theatre); Bulrusher (Dartmouth College), Faith, Hope and Charity (Dartmouth College); TV/Film – West (dir. Micah Stuart), The Sound the Sea Makes (dir. Maria Paula Quesada), Keepsake (dir. Rachel Patrice), as well as an upcoming pilot from Carlos Cardona. Quentin has studied acting at Terry Knickerbocker Studio, HB Studio, Stella Adler Studio of Acting, and Atlantic Acting School. He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College, where he was also a Division-1 soccer player. He would like to give special thanks to his family, as well as the teaching of Celestine Rae, TKS faculty, Brenna Palughi, the Hagen Core faculty at HB Studio, and Bonnie Shumofsky Bloom and Lucius Robinson at Stewart Talent.


ARI DERAMBAKHSH  Recent Credits:  English  (The Old Globe),  English  (Berkeley Repertory Theatre),  Twelfth Night  and  The Winter’s Tale  (Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre), Education: BFA in Acting from Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers Conservatory at Shakespeare’s Globe. Ari is bicoastal to NYC and LA. website:  ; @arideram on Instagram.


ARIELLE GOLDMAN  is an actress, writer & filmmaker. She was recently seen on stage in Lincoln Center’s world premier play Let’s Call Her Patty alongside Rhea Perlman and Leslie Kritzer, as well as in George Street Playhouse’s world premier of The Pianist adapted by Emily Mann. Arielle’s most recent short film Kiss My Ass , a pro-abortion inter-generational ghost story, won the Team Choice Award at the 2023 Through Women’s Eyes International Film Festival and screened at Bushwick Film Festival and the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival. Her first short film, Day One , was featured in The Future of Film is Female, Nitehawk Shorts Festival, New York Lift Off Festival and NoBudge. She leads the film Consider the Lilies directed by Cristina Spina (Best Short, Rome Film Festival) and Sarah Baskin’s upcoming short I Want To Go To Moscow . Previous television credits include: Genevieve Everidge in The Knick directed by Steven Soderbergh, Fishkill directed by Bob Balaban, and recurring as Eliana on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel . Arielle received her MFA from the NYU Tisch Graduate Acting Program and her BFA from The University of Michigan. She paints in watercolor.


JANET ZARISH :  New York theater credits include leading roles at The Public Theater, The Roundabout, Primary Stages, Minetta Lane Theater, Harold Clurman Theater, The John Houseman Theatre,   The Pearl Theatre, New York Stage and Film, and The Daryl Roth.  Regional Theatre credits include Yale Rep, The Long Wharf Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre, The McCarter Theatre, Sundance, The Old Globe, ACT Seattle, O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Hartford Stage, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Humana Festival at Actor’s Theatre Of Louisville .   Film includes: Brooklyn To Manhattan, Life In Flight, The Zoo, Season Of Youth, The Next Big Thing, Object Of My Affection, Malcolm X, Mystic Pizza, Without A Trace, Danny .  Television includes   The Blacklist, Blue Bloods, Forever, Law & Order, Mad About You, Seinfeld (Rolling Stone’s “Top Ten Seinfelds” list)  The Client, Homicide, NY Undercover, The Webster Report , Lee Halpern on  One Life To Live, The Webster Report, Love and War amongst others. She is Head of Acting at NYU’s Graduate Acting Program and directs at NYU, The Juilliard School and Ensemble Studio Theater where she is a member.  

The NEW JERSEY REPERTORY COMPANY (NJRep) was founded in 1997 by SuzAnne and Gabor Barabas. Its current central headquarters is the Lumia Theater located on lower Broadway in Long Branch. The theater’s mission is to develop and produce new plays and to make a lasting contribution to the American Stage. Over two decades NJ Rep has produced 150 plays of which 125 have been world premieres. The theater has the additional distinction of having had many of its plays produced by other theaters around the country totaling over 200 subsequent productions in the US and overseas. In 2012 and 2018, NJ Rep was the recipient of a National Theater Company Grant from the American Theater Wing that sponsors the annual Tony Awards for Broadway in recognition of its contribution to the repertoire of the American Stage. Only seven theaters have had this distinction. In addition, the theater has presented over 400 developmental readings as well as introduced 136 new works through its Theatre Brut Short-Play Festivals that focus on visionary and avant-garde works. NJRep acquired a new property, a 28,000 square foot school situated on 2 ½ acres and located just five minutes from its Main Stage Lumia Theater and two blocks from the Jersey Shore. The theater plans on gradually transforming the school in stages into a cultural center that will house additional performance spaces, an art cinema, an art museum, a rooftop café, an arts education wing, and residences for out-of-town actors and playwrights. When completed, the center will present a wide array of programs in acting, playwriting, art, sculpture, poetry, music, and photography and will serve as a catalyst for economic development and as the foundation for the cultural renaissance of the community.

NJRep thanks the following for their support: The Shubert Foundation, MacMillan Family Foundation, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, OceanFirst Foundation, Manasquan Bank Philanthropic Fund, Investors Bank Foundation, Community Foundation of New Jersey, Jewish Communal Fund, Darien Family Fund, Citizens Philanthropic Foundation. 

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