ASTONISHMENT by Jan Slepian. Adapted by Laura Ekstrand.

Dreamcatcher collaborated with our friends at The Theater Project to present an adaptation of Maplewood resident Jan Slepian’s book ASTONISHMENT: Life in the Slow Lane. Slepian has had a long celebrated career as the author of books for children and young adults. Most recently she has been writing a column in her retirement community’s newsletter. It is these columns, previously collected into a book, that we debuted as a theatrical presentation.

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The cast of Astonishment  

The show is a cornucopia of reflections on aging with humor and grace. Presented in honor of Slepian’s 90th birthday, the hour-long performance comments on the astonishment of being old, the heartbreak and comfort of companionship in later years, and the ridiculous moments in everyday life. It is at once bittersweet and insightful, and laugh-out-loud funny.

Jan Slepian is the author of 28 children’s books and novels for young-adult readers. Her picture book The Hungry Thing is now a classic; her young-adult novel The Alfred Summer was honored by a National Book Award nomination and inclusion on the School Library Journal’s list of 100 books that shaped the century.

Cast & Creative Team

Cast: Noreen Farley member of the Dreamcatcher ensemble
  Terri Sturtevant  
  Daaimah Talley
  Angela Della Ventura
Author: Jan Slepian  
Adapted by: Laura Ekstrand  

“You look in the mirror and say to yourself, ‘Who’s that?’ Somebody slipped an old person over your head while you were asleep!”
  - Jan Slepian, Astonishment
Booking Info

“Astonishment” is available for booking through our Open Theatre outreach program.   Contact Us

  • LOCATION: most outreach events take place at your venue, typically an event room or small theatre. If you have access to a bus or other transportation for your patrons, we can also perform “Astonishment” in our wheelchair accessible theatre at Oakes Center in Summit.
  • TICKETING: outreach events are usually closed to the general public. In these cases you would control invitations and access to the performance. Dreamcatcher will handle ticketing for performances that are open to the public at which admission will be charged; talk to us about income sharing arrangements.
  • NOTE: As this performance is a staged reading, you should expect the cast to be reading from a script at times
  • RUN TIME: Astonishment runs about 1 hour with no intermission

Contact Us about booking the show      •      Call 908-514-9654

Read the Review!     

Read the Star-Ledger review click to read

Staged reading

Where: Your location
When: You pick the date & time
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Read the Star-Ledger review
Theatergoers... will find ‘Astonishment’ poignant, funny and true.”
- Peter Filichia, The Star Ledger
Read the review
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Click to read Q&A with artistic director Laura Ekstrand
Jan Slepian stargazing
Illustrations by Laura Schreiber

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“Astonishment” is available for booking!
Want to see “Astonishment” play at your venue on your schedule? The show is easily transported to your location. All you need is a room!

Contact Us to bring the show to you!