Theater Project presents ‘The Groundling’

Photo Courtesy of Mary Iannelli
The cast of ‘The Groundling’ include, standing, from left, Mike Newman, Barbara Guidi, Jeff Maschi and Marissa Peragine; and seated, from left, Dennis DaPrile, Gary Glor and Lori McNally.

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — In Marc Palmieri’s comedy, ‘The Groundling,’ Long Island landscaper Bob Malone has been infected by the writing bug: After accidentally wandering into a low-rent production of Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labor’s Lost,” he feels compelled to write his own verse play about his troubled marriage. He pays a desperate New York director to make actors out of his landscape crew in order to present a single performance in the garage for friends and family — if only Bob’s angry wife doesn’t run them all over with the Land Rover first.

The comedy that ensues is unexpectedly laced with sharp insights about love and loss, life in and out of the theater, and about the power of drama to hold a mirror up to life — even when the glass is slightly cracked.

“The Groundling” will be performed by the Theater Project at the Burgdorff Center, 10 Durand Road in Maplewood, from April 14 through 24, with Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances at 8 p.m. and Sunday performances at 2 p.m. There will be a talkback with the actors following Friday night performances.

For information about “The Groundling” and to purchase tickets, visit