By Mary Ann Bourbeau
ASBURY PARK – After six seasons of staging its shows in different venues, ReVision Theatre is finally on its way to having a permanent home.
Developer Carter Sackman has donated a space at 550 Cookman Ave., where the nonprofit theater company will have a permanent home.
“We’re looking forward to a June opening,” said Bob Angelini, ReVision Theatre’s interim artistic director.
The theater will be outfitted with 200 seats and a professional lighting and sound system. The seats will be retractable so the space can be used for art shows and other events.
“We’ve had offers to move to other cities, but we really love Asbury Park and we are committed to the art culture there,” Angelini said. “We need the community to believe in us so we can stick around for a while.”
Since its 2008 beginnings, the professional theater company has gathered talented performers for its musicals, plays, cabarets and stage readings in venues ranging from the Paramount Theatre to the boardwalk’s carousel house. Though the carousel is a charming location, the theater company had to supply seating, stage lights and sound, and there was no heat or air conditioning.
“We were the hermit crab of regional theater, moving from location to location,” he said.
Angelini said ReVision’s first show, a staged concert version of “Hello, Dolly” at the Paramount, was very successful, and despite the absence of heat and air conditioning, the company’s premiere show in the carousel, “Hair,” had a sold-out run.
“We are the best kept secret in Monmouth County,” said Angelini, ReVision’s founding board president. “There is no real performance space in downtown Asbury Park. We will bring a lot of consumers into the area.”
ReVision Theatre has been awarded the 2008 Two River Times Normy Award for Achievement in Theater and the 2009 Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce Carousel Award for Economic Development.
Angelini has been involved in theater since his days as a student at Monmouth University. He went on to a career in law enforcement, becoming a detective in Long Branch and later a supervisor in the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, because he knew it would be a more reliable way to support his family.
Angelini and his wife, Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini, R-Monmouth, have two children and three grandchildren.
He kept his foot in the door over the years, appearing in the television shows “30 Rock,” “Pan Am” and “Blue Bloods”, as well as in several films and the 2011 HBO documentary Project Nim. Angelini has acted and directed at theaters in Manhattan, and led the drama club at Ocean Township High School for 16 years.
That ended in 2012 when he won a seat on the Ocean Township Board of Education. Through that position, he hopes to bring more arts programs to the students.
“The arts really helped me as a kid,” he said. “It helped keep my interest in school.”
Angelini retired from law enforcement in 2012, and now can focus his time solely on theater work. In addition to ReVision, he is directing “The Diary of Anne Frank” at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal later this month and will direct a show at the Millbrook Playhouse in Mill Hall, Pa. in June.
“Life is short and now I’m able to spend it doing what I love,” he said.
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