Grant Award to Fund Count Basie Theatre Performance at Grunin Center

Jul 05, 2017

A full stage performance of the children’s opera Brundibar is coming to the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts at Ocean County College this summer, thanks to a $5,000 grant from OceanFirst Bank of Toms River. As part of the County Basie Theatre Performing Arts Academy, Los Angeles Opera Director Eli Villanueva will take residence at the Jersey Shore for a two-week youth opera camp and the performance at OCC, at 2 p.m. on Aug. 20.

Brundibar, by Jewish Czech composer Hans Krista, was originally performed by the children of Theresienstadt concentration camp in occupied Czechoslovakia during World War II, as OCC explains. The opera tells the story of a brother and sister who join forces with a sparrow, a cat and a dog to outwit the evil organ grinder Brundibar.

“Ocean County College, the Grunin Center and the Count Basie Theatre have joined together to bring this extraordinary production to our theaters,” said Mark Wilson, director of Cultural Affairs at OCC. “OceanFirst Bank’s generous donation of $5,000 has made it possible for the children to perform not only at the Count Basie on Aug. 19 but also at the Grunin Center on Aug. 20. We are truly grateful for OceanFirst Bank’s support of the arts in both Ocean and Monmouth counties.”

To learn more about Brundibar, or to purchase tickets for the Aug. 20 show at the Grunin Center, visit

The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts is located on the main campus of Ocean County College in Toms River.  —J.K.-H.

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