Capital Connection

Everything you need to know happening in and around the Capital City

Whittier play reading at ArtYard

ArtYard is inviting you for an intimate afternoon at the McDonnell Theater for an artist talk and reading of Whittier, a new play by Tylie Shider, from 4 to 6 PM on Saturday, May 21. Shider, a playwright, poet, and journalist who was born and raised in New Jersey and lives in Minneapolis, is the inaugural playwright in ArtYard’s residency program. Whittier is a multimedia docudrama that follows a diverse community of neighbors quarantined in Whittier, Minneapolis, days after the murder of George Floyd. Directed by Andrew Binger, a Newark-based actor, director, and educator, Whittier is inspired by the Minneapolis-based graffiti, lawn signs, and murals created in protest of George Floyd’s murder. The piece is adapted from focus groups, interviews, and small talks the playwright conducted with neighbors, local business owners, and community leaders of faith during the 2020 uprisings in his neighborhood. "After the death of George Floyd, I was gripped by the pulchritude of the lawn signs and murals advocating justice for his murder," said Shider. "I asked myself, how could something so beautiful emerge from such an ugly incident? While the signage gave the city a unifying aesthetic, a more derisive narrative was unfolding around the 2020 election and pandemic and it was the dichotomy that urged me to get to know my neighbors and learn more about the stories behind the signs." We're definitely looking forward to attending this event next weekend. Click link to register for your seat.

Group is a must see!

The Trenton Journal recently had the opportunity to see Passage Theater's new musical, Group! and we can tell you that it is definitely worth the price of admission. The story and the entire cast were superb! The play centers on the lives of six women from vastly different worlds who come together to battle the great equalizer: addiction. Group! explores the moments of fear, celebration, and everything in between as these women grapple with their mental health in the face of sobriety. Who will make it? Who will fall off of the wagon? And can the current mental health care system really support a path towards long term recovery? "There are a number of reasons I chose GROUP! to be part of this season at Passage," said Ryanne Dominguez, Passage Theater's Artistic Director. "First, the musical takes place in the city of Trenton, and all of our shows this season are about our community. Second, the show focuses on a group of women who are struggling with substance abuse. This is a serious issue in our city today, and my hope is that the show will be a flashpoint for important conversations that will lead to some solutions. And lastly, the show is a world premiere, and part of Passage's mission is to produce new work and support new writers. Many people don't know this, but musical theatre is much more expensive to produce than shows without music, so newer musical writers can sometimes have trouble getting producers to take a chance on their work." Group! runs at Passage Theatre, 205 East Front Street, Trenton through Sunday, May 22. Call 609-392-0766 or visit to purchase tickets.

A foodie's paradise

The Food Trucks and fun are coming back to East Brunswick at The Brunswick Square Mall. Bring your appetite, lawn chairs, and four legged family members as we move into the spring festival season. In addition to some great food your family will enjoy fun activities including: Hatchet tossing from Throw House, boardwalk style games, bounce houses, airsoft shooting gallery, grand prix racing, face painters, Henna by Dana and more. Live music from Naughty Humphrey and Guy Smiley! $8 for adults and $5 for children 4-13 at the door, $6 for adults and $4 for children in advance. Children under 3 are always free.

Spring Plant Expo, Garden Market set for May 14

The Rutgers Master Gardeners of Mercer County are pleased to announce the return of their annual Spring Plant Expo and Garden Market on Saturday, May 14 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will be held rain or shine at the Mercer Educational Gardens, 431A Federal City Road, Hopewell Township, on the grounds of Mercer County Stables. This year’s Expo will feature popular perennials, trees and shrubs home-grown by Rutgers Master Gardeners, along with a garden market with select vendors. This year’s vendors are Steven Kristoph Nursery, Millstone Township; Shannon’s Nursery, Doylestown, Pa.; Byrne Farm Market, Wrightstown; and Chickadee Creek Farm, Pennington. Meet these select growers and purchase a wide variety of native plants, woody ornamentals, perennials, annuals and herbs for your home landscape. Plan to arrive early for the best selection. Rutgers Master Gardeners will be on hand to help you choose the right plant for the right place, and Rutgers Extension horticulturist, Kathryn Homa, will be available to answer your gardening questions. Click the link for a complete listing of vendors and other sale details.

Historic Eagle Tavern Redevelopment RFP

The City of Trenton is issuing an RFP (request for proposals) in hopes of reviving or finding a new use for the tavern, which was built in 1765 and served as a tavern and hotel until 1896. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 for its architectural, commercial, and political significance. This eighteenth-century building signifies the growth of Trenton into a commercial and industrial city. Originally built as a private home, it was enlarged for use as a tavern in the early nineteenth century and was frequented by patrons of the nearby Eagle Raceway. At that time it served as the political center for the city’s South Ward and was a meeting place of the Masons. In 1890, the tavern closed and became a rooming house until 1950. Later it was purchased by the city and leased to the Trenton Historical Society. The society tried and failed three times to operate the tavern as a restaurant. At the time of its listing, the city had boarded up the building and was using federal urban initiative funds to conduct a feasibility study to find a viable new use. The City is seeking proposals that incorporates any available use of the site with a preference towards redevelopment as a tavern/brewery or pub. Click link for more RFP details.

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