George Street Playhouse & The Center for Investigative Reporting present StoryWorks: Terra Incognita Inspired by the NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams, Investigative reporting series “Toxic NJ”


Press Contacts: Rick Engler

Jennifer Welch

George Street Playhouse & The Center for Investigative Reporting present StoryWorks: Terra Incognita June 3 & 4  8pm at George Street Playhouse

Inspired by the NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams Investigative Reporting Series “Toxic NJ”;

Written by R.N. Sandberg; Directed by Jim Jack

A FREE COMMUNITY EVENT: Reservations recommended: seating is limited

Box Office: or 732-246-7717

Terra Incognita is an absurd dark comedy about a New Jersey family.  Joseph and Lena have just paid off their mortgage and are looking forward to a bright and beautiful future until they discover that the UST (Undergroung Storage Tank) in their backyard is leaking.  Suddenly, their life becomes a labyrinth of complex, bizarre and illogical attempts to clean-up the fuel-soaked soil beneath their home and prevent it from contaminating the groundwater and their marriage.

This StoryWorks production from George Street Playhouse and The Center for Investigative Reporting is inspired by the NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams investigative reporting series, Toxin NJ” reported by correspondent Brenda Flanagan. The series is part of Dirty Little Secrets, a collaborative reporting project investigating New Jersey’s toxic legacy. Participating news partners include New Jersey Public Radio/WNYC, WHYY, NJTV, NJ Spotlight, Jersey Shore Hurricane News, WBGO, New Brunswick Today and the Rutgers Department of Journalism and Media Studies. The Dirty Little Secrets project is coordinated by The Center for Investigative Reporting with help from the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State, with support from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. More information about the series can be found at


“StoryWorks gets to the emotional truth of investigative journalism. Based on facts and allowing for artistic exploration, we delve into the personal stories behind the headlines and create dialogue through theater,” said Jennifer Welch, artistic director and co-creator of StoryWorks from the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR).

Through CIR’s groundbreaking StoryWorks project, we commission and stage original plays inspired by fact-based investigations. StoryWorks is deadline driven, tapping into both the responsive nature of journalism and the live excitement of theater. Independent playwrights work with our reporting teams and legal counsel to ensure the work is immediate, accurate and emotionally compelling. Each production also includes a “talk back” after the performance, during which the audience is able to be in conversation with reporters, playwrights, actors, experts, advocates and others. To date, CIR has produced seven plays focused on a wide range of issues including, among others: the plight of homeless female veterans, the neglect of disabled and elderly residents living in one of the Richmond, California’s worst public housing complexes, the impact of fumigants on residents near California’s massive strawberry fields, vulnerable workers in the oil fields of North Dakota, abuse of developmentally disabled adults in the state’s care, and more. Now, for the first time, CIR is partnering with the George Street Playhouse and NJTV to bring the innovative StoryWorks series to New Jersey.


WHAT: Terra Incognita

WHEN:  June 3, 11 a.m. – student matinee;  8 p.m. – performance; June 4, 8 p.m. – performance

WHERE: George Street Playhouse 9 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick

TICKETS: or 732-246-7717

DETAILS: This is a FREE COMMUNITY EVENT. Reservation recommended; seating is limited.

Featuring: Di Shawn Gandy, Kym Gomes, Frances Pu, Dave Seamon and Matt Baguth

Terra Incognita will be followed by a “TalkBack” discussion with a panel of local journalists and community members, allowing for the questions and views raised in the production and the stories, to be aired out in a post-show dialogue. Join StoryWorks on June 3 – 4 for a community conversation and theatrical exploration of the issues – local and universal, touching on homeownership, responsibility and the toxic legacy that affects us all. Visit more information on local events and programming. Be a part of the conversation by following The Center for Investigative Reporting on Twitter and Facebook.

R. N. Sandberg (playwright) R. N. Sandberg’s plays have been seen in Australia, Canada, England, Japan, Panama and South Korea, as well as at theaters throughout the U.S. They’re published by Playscripts and Dramatic Publishing and include Anne of Green Gables, Convivencia, Done, Evenings In Evenings Out, Frankenstein, In Between, Jarpteetza/The Firebird, A Little Princess, The Moonstone, The Odyssey, Roundelay, What Can’t Be Seen and A Woman of Means. He has been commissioned by, among others, McCarter Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, Dramatic Publishing Company, Idaho Shakespeare Festival and Seattle Children’s Theatre. Terra Incognita is the third piece he’s written for George Street  Playhouse. His work has been supported by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Theatre Communications Group and many state and local arts commissions. His current writing projects are the musical Mad Dreams which was workshopped at Passage Theater and the screenplay for his play The Judgment of Bett, which was seen at the Kennedy Center’s New Vision/New Voices program. He teaches playwriting, acting and dramatic literature at Princeton University.

Jim Jack (director) recently directed My Name is Asher Lev at George Street Playhouse. Directing credits for GSP’s Educational Tour and Community-based programs include: Our Town Now; Gabi Goes Green!; Austin the Unstoppable; IRL: in real life; New Kid; Peacemaker; and Break the Chains. Additional New York and regional credits include: The Road; Where is Home?; The Way It Was; K2 (Drama Logue Award for Outstanding Direction); Life and Limb; The Dumb Waiter; and The Zoo Story. Jim is the director of education and Outreach for George Street Playhouse.

Brenda Flanagan (journalist) is a New Jersey transplant circa 1979 (from New Orleans, via Maine). She has won four Emmy® Awards for her work including an undercover investigative series on racial profiling, consumer safety stories and team coverage for “Miracle on the Hudson: Flight 1549,” among many other awards. She began her career in TV journalism at New Jersey Network and moved to WWOR-TV, where she established the station’s Trenton Bureau and anchored public affairs programs. She covered the New Jersey Legislature and governor’s office (five governors) and national political conventions and has reported on mainstream New Jersey issues.

About NJTV: New Jersey’s public television network, brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to all 21 counties in New Jersey and its tri-state neighbors. NJTV presents acclaimed PBS series such as Nature, American Masters, Charlie Rose, and BBC World News America and children’s programs with diverse local programs including American Songbook at NJPAC, On the Record with Michael Aron, Driving Jersey, NJDocs, Due Process, One-on-One with Steve Adubato, Classroom Close-Up NJ and State of the Arts. The network’s flagship news broadcast, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams, features stories from across the Garden State utilizing the Agnes Varis NJTV Studio in Newark, its studios at the Trenton Statehouse and New Jersey City University and remote cameras at university content bureaus as well as media partners. The NJTV website offers online programs and free digital resources for educators.

NJTV is comprised of WNJN, WNJS, WNJB and WNJT, which collectively broadcast throughout NJ. NJTV is operated under an agreement with the state of New Jersey by Public Media NJ, Inc. (PMNJ), a non-profit affiliate of WNET, parent company of award-winning New York public television stations THIRTEEN and WLIW21.