New play at SCCC this week

NEWTON. Alpha Arts Players at Sussex County Community College, the student performance group at the college, will present ‘And Every Creeping Thing’ from Thursday through Saturday.

Newton /
| 28 Jul 2023 | 11:20

It’s the second day of creation, and the angels are hard at work creating plants, animals, fish, birds and ... insects ... and every creeping thing. There’s a problem with the food chain! How do the celestial beings solve this crisis before the seventh day?

Alpha Arts Players at Sussex County Community College (SCCC), the student performance group at the college, will present the new play “And Every Creeping Thing,” starting Thursday, Aug. 3.

The show will continue through Saturday, Aug. 5. Performances are at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday at SCCC’s Student Center Theater, located in Building D. SCCC is at One College Hill Road in Newton.

“And Every Creeping Thing” was written by New Jersey playwright Eric Craft, in development with the New Jersey Play Lab. It was directed by SCCC Professor Allison Ognibene of Sparta.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and senior citizens. They may be purchased online at or at the door.

”And Every Creeping Thing” takes place during the first seven days of Creation. In the beginning, the angels are hard at work designing and managing logistics for Creation, but in the Department of Beasts, an unbalanced food chain threatens to destroy the world before it even starts.

One little angel’s passion project may just hold the key to saving Creation, and the creatures that may just be the world’s secret hope: bugs.

In this office comedy of biblical proportions, corporate politics clash with spiritual and artistic fulfillment in a story from before time itself.

This is the first summer production by Alpha Arts Players. While Ognibene guided the students with different production roles, Professor Tim O’Connor helped students navigate the new projector and sound system in the student center theater.

In addition to acting in the show, the Alpha Arts Players took on the responsibilities of the different theater production positions.

SCCC students involved in the production include:

• Hopatcong residents Colin O’Sullivan, performing Entiel and production manager; Nicolas Galloza (Terriel) and properties manager; Emily Rennie (Marina) and marketing; and Jess Dooley, graphic artist.

• Lafayette resident Nicole Mezack, sound designer and operator.

• Sparta residents Tessa Gori, (Arachne), social media coordinator and assistant director; Chris Fiegel, performing Ariel-lion at Saturday matinee and assistant stage manager.

• Stillwater residents Dana Nigro, (Ariel-human/eagle) and technical director, and Leo Watson, (Ariel-Ox) and projection designer and operator.

• Vernon residents Isabella Cruz, (Empyrean), assistant director and costume designer; Catarina Cruz, lighting designer and light board operator; and Michele Dester, (Ariel-lion) and stage manager.

“Sussex County Community College provides a great start for theater students and allows them to explore their craft in a beautiful setting with state-of-the art facilities,” Ognibene said.

“One of the most significant aspects of this summer workshop was the SCCC college students met with playwright Eric Craft and asked pertinent questions pertaining to the play and his vision. Daniel Costentino, the dean of arts and humanities, checked in with us weekly and praised and supported the students. What an incredible way to spend the summer at SCCC!”

Craft, who holds a bachelor’s degree in theater studies from Montclair State University, is a playwright, director and actor. He has written two full-length plays and a full-length musical, “The Blank Page.”

His play “And Every Creeping Thing” was selected for a residency with the New Jersey Play Lab in 2022. He has multiple one-act plays and monologues for young actors, including his plays “Finding the Root” and “The Struggle Bus.”

The Alpha Arts Institute, founded in 2022, presents performances, exhibitions, lectures and salons, the Alpha Arts Film Festival and a yearly Festival of the Arts. It hosts Artists-in-Residence and visiting scholars and provides venues for collaborations and partnerships through professionally-guided and administrative support of the college.

The institute was founded by Cosentino together with colleagues of the visual and performing arts. For information, contact him at or 973-300-2144.