RED BANK: INDIE THEATER, UPSIDE THE BASIE

basie marquee 1 090213Those in the know count the upstairs rehearsal room as another cool space at the Basie. Below, Lorraine “The Wisdomkeeper” Stone. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

wisdomkeeperObservers of the Red Bank arts scene could tell you that some of the most interesting stuff often happens one flight above street level (think of a place like McKay Imaging Gallery) — and the same notion applies to the Count Basie Theatre, where the landmark building’s second-floor “Studio 99” rehearsal space represents a hidden-in-plain-sight venue for events that are intimately scaled in relation to the venerable venue’s famous auditorium.

It’s a place that’s hosted past offerings from Dunbar Repertory Company, the African American community stage troupe founded by Brookdale Community College faculty member (and participant on the Basie board) Darrell Lawrence Willis Sr. This Sunday, Studio 99 presents the first of three “professional staged reading” theatrical presentations from the Dunbar fold in spring 2015.

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