Home Cherry Hill News A new kind of play comes to Cherry Hill’s Croft Farm

A new kind of play comes to Cherry Hill’s Croft Farm

Cooper Gorelick is creating a piece of drive-by theater.

A Fragment of the Day” will be a drive-by play. Playwright Cooper Gorelick has set the play at the Kay-Evan House (pictured above).

Cooper Gorelick is creating a different kind of theatrical experience for the different kind of time we’re living in.

Set at Croft Farm, “A Fragment of the Day” is a drive-by play in which both actors and attendees can experience the arts in Cherry Hill once again.

Gorelick is currently casting, and the play, in partnership with the Cherry Hill Department of Parks and Recreation, will take place on the afternoons of Saturday, Oct. 3 and Sunday, Oct. 4. Actors will be provided with face shields, and the audience will watch them perform from their cars as they go from actor to actor.

Inspiration struck Gorelick, who teaches English and works in the theater department at Cherry Hill High School West, in early July. He read an article about drive-by theater and sent an email to his colleagues about the concept. They responded that if he wrote something, they’d be willing to produce and direct. So, he got to work.

At first, Gorelick wasn’t sure about his subject, but colleagues encouraged him to write about locations in Cherry Hill. He started delving into the history of Barclay Farmstead and then, more specifically, the Kay-Evans House at Croft Farm. Captivated by the mystery of what he uncovered, Gorelick wrote the play in about two days.

The work explores the house’s possible connection to the Underground Railroad. Joshua Saddler was an escaped slave who fled from Maryland to South Jersey. Ultimately, the owner of Kay-Evans farm paid Saddler’s  debts and helped free him, but little is known about how or why that transaction took place. 

“It was so fascinating; I tried to piece it together,” Gorelick said. 

The teacher’s efforts to do that are the basis for the play. Because there were only historical fragments, Gorelick called it “A Fragment of the Day.” 

In order to have the actors maintain adequate social distance, the play is a series of monologues, which posed a new writing challenge for Gorelick. He’s used to writing for upwards of six people on a stage who are all interacting with one another, but drive-by theater challenged him to rethink how he could tell a story. The monologues explore the characters’ internal psyche and their personal responses to the events that are transpiring. 

Gorelick has gotten word out on the play through Facebook and is currently hosting auditions through Google Meet. There are 11 monologues and 11 roles to cast. Anyone who has graduated high school and those up to age 70 are welcome to audition. No theater experience is required. 

To keep things as safe as possible, rehearsals will also take place via Google Meet. Gorelick will work with each actor for about an hour a week leading up to the October shows. The weekend prior to the show, he will have actors rehearse at Croft Farm. 

The idea is to have attendees pull up and listen to each actor’s monologue. The story will unfold as theatergoers drive from actor to actor.

Gorelick said prior to March, he was personally seeing theater at least once or twice a month, but COVID-19 brought that to a halt. His hope is to bring theater back to the Cherry Hill community, even if it is in a different kind of format than before.

Those interested in auditioning or learning more about “A Fragment of the Day” can email Cooper Gorelick at chrdramacamp@gmail.com


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