Former Hackettstown resident Ada Lunardoni had an illustrious claim to fame that was little known to her neighbors - she was a member of the first US Women's Gymnastics Team that had its genesis in the backyards and Turners Gyms of Newark, then going on to cross the Atlantic Ocean with Jesse Owens to compete in the controversial 1936 Berlin Olympics.
Lunardoni and the team are now the subject of a play commissioned by Centenary Stage Company, in collaboration with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance in a project entitled the NJ Stage Exchange.
Centenary Stage Company will be holding a presentation and town-hall style meeting at the Lackland Performing Arts Center to invite the public to participate in the creative process with their memories of Lunardoni who passed away in 2003, and/or the era when so much was changing in America. Award-winning playwright Darrah Cloud will be on hand with readings from the first scenes of the play, as well as Centenary University Historian Ray Frey, to share his vast knowledge of NJ at the time of the 1936 Olympics, as well as pre WWII Germany. A presentation about the team and its history will also be included in the evening, with an audience discussion following. This is a free event, but reservations are requested. Reserve your spot online or call the box office directly at (908) 979-0900.