Hit Mile Square Theatre production moves Off-Broadway

"We've premiered a new play and hopefully it will get the attention it deserves and will be produced around the country after this. It's great for the careers of our artists to have their work seen Off-Broadway."

Last year Mile Square Theatre premiered a production of Erin Mallon’s “The Net Will Appear” that Artistic Director Chris O’Connor stated was “by far (the Hoboken theater company’s) most successful show ever.” This week the same team started previews for a December run Off-Broadway at E59E Theaters in New York City.

In the comedy, 75-year-old Bernard (Richard Masur) takes solace in the peace of his rooftop until his 9-year-old neighbor (Dasha Dakkuri and alternate Eve Johnson) finds him up there. Her barging into roof space eventually turns to a friendship between two eccentrics otherwise living in their own respectively lonely worlds.

Masur is an omnipresence on TV, film and stage, appearing screen-wise in everything from “Encino Man” to the original “It” miniseries and “The Good Wife.”

Even though some of the production’s artists are NY-based, the move for “The Net Will Appear” comes down to an invitation from someone at 59E59 Theaters, O’Connor said.

“A few of our artists in the original production of ‘The Net Will Appear’ last year were from New York, namely sound designer Sean Hagerty, lighting designer Justin Partier, and actor Richard Masur (who actually lives north of the city),” O’Connor said. “That didn’t play into our moving the show there, though. Val Day, the artistic director of 59E59 Theaters saw the show and invited us to bring it to their venue. When we produced the show, we felt we had something special that deserved to see a wider audience, so we invited some New York producers. With Val’s invitation, we felt we had found the right venue for the show.”

O’Connor said that bringing the show to 59E59 is a great honor that gives Mile Square Theatre some cache. “It’s very satisfying to premiere and develop a new play and move it into the city.”

The production’s success doesn’t hinge on its Jersey connections, but it might not exist without a local confluence, either.

“I wouldn’t say the play is a ‘Jersey play,’ but most of us that worked on it are New Jersey artists,” O’Connor said. “Erin Mallon, the playwright for instance, lives in Montclair, but she’s originally from the Midwest (the play is set in Ohio). I’ve lived in Hoboken for 21 years, and much of the design team resides in New Jersey and many of us have been working together at Mile Square Theatre for many years. I certainly think the way the team works together is unique. … We have learned to communicate with each other in our own shorthand; we challenge each other, and hopefully bring the best work out of each other …

“We’ve premiered a new play and hopefully it will get the attention it deserves and will be produced around the country after this. It’s great for the careers of our artists to have their work seen Off-Broadway.”

Directed by Mark Cirnigliaro, “The Net Will Appear” will be in production at Theater B at 59 East 59th Street, New York, NY 10022 until the 30th. Tickets are $35, though first-look tickets may be available for $25 today (Thursday). Friday’s show is at 7:15 p.m. Saturday has two shows, one at 2:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m., and Sunday’s is at 7:15 p.m. Visit for https://www.59e59.org/shows/show-detail/the-net-will-appear/ for more information.

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