Winner - Best Drama, Best New Work, and more! ~ 2015 Broadway World Awards - NJ

Angels and Ministers of Grace

     Production Dates
     Creative Team
     Production Photos
     Performance History
     Playwright's Bio
     Playwright's Website
     Contact Information

Production Dates

    Angels and Ministers of Grace ran in a highly successful limited engagement at New Jersey Rep, from October 23 through November 23, 2014.

Creative Team

Elaine Smith
Elaine Smith*

*Winner - BEST DRAMA (PROFESSIONAL) and BEST NEW WORK (PROFESSIONAL) - 2015 Broadway World New Jersey Awards
Marc Geller
Marc Geller*

* Winner - BEST DIRECTOR - DRAMA (PROFESSIONAL) - 2015 Broadway World New Jersey Awards

Dana Benningfield*

* Winner - BEST THEATER COMPANY (ENSEMBLE) - 2015 Broadway World New Jersey Awards
James Earley
James Earley

* Winner - BEST THEATER COMPANY (ENSEMBLE) - 2015 Broadway World New Jersey Awards

Maureen Silliman
Maureen Silliman*

David Van Pelt
David Van Pelt*

(Jimmy Ray)
* Winner - BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA (PROFESSIONAL) and BEST THEATER COMPANY (ENSEMBLE) - 2015 Broadway World New Jersey Awards


Michael "Rusty" Carroll (Technical Director)

Patricia E. Doherty* (Costume Design)
2015 Broadway World New Jersey Awards

Jill Nagle* (Lighting Design)
2015 Broadway World New Jersey Awards

Jessica Parks (Set Design & Props)

Merek Royce Press* (Sound Design)
2015 Broadway World New Jersey Awards

Jennifer Tardibuono (Stage Manager)


SuzAnne Barabas (Artistic Director, New Jersey Rep)
Gabor Barabas (Executive Producer, New Jersey Rep)


"Angels and Ministers of Grace immensely satisfying at NJ Rep in Long Branch... an extraordinarily uncommon knack for dialogue and character...a promising start to what will certainly be a unique voice in American Theater."
-- New Jersey Footlights

"The play is an emotional journey but it is also laced with humorous and sincere moments that every family can relate to. Bring your friends and see it. It is a piece of theater you will reflect upon again and again."
-- Broadway World

"And then, in the final scenes of Angels, something curious happened--the thing that you hope will happen when you go to the theater."
-- NY Theater Now

"Ms. Smith's writing captures the cadences of backwoods Florida folk in this well-crafted play. She understands the importance of the spaces between the words and creates empathetic characters that audiences recognize and root for."

"An intriguing hand at work...a wordsmith to watch...climactic, cathartic...well acted...worth the wait."
-- Asbury Park Press

"Deeply satisfying..."
-- Tri City News

"I urge you to let them tell you their story."
-- Front Row Center

Broadway World interview with the playwright

Production Photos

(Photos courtesy of Marc Geller and SuzAnne Barabas. All Rights Reserved.)


Performance History

    Penobscot Theatre Company selected Angels. . . in June 2012 for inclusion in the Northern Writes New Works Festival in Bangor, Maine, where it received the great gift of three public readings with development time in between presentations. Directed by Marcia Douglas, the play was read by Julie Lisnet, Katie Toole, Randy Hunt and Arthur Morrison.

    Theatre Resources Unlimited and Wild Bird Productions (Meredith Lucio) presented a staged reading of Angels. . . in June 2010 as part of the TRU Voices Series. Directed by Kim Weild, the cast included Jana Robbins, Kate Skinner, David Van Pelt and Michel Gill.

    In July 2009, the play was read by Deean Halper, Diane Prusha, James Barry and Kale Browne under the direction of Julia Harmon Cain at the Berkshire Theatre Festival, one of the oldest professional regional theatres in the United States--81 years and counting!

    The BoarsHead Theater in Lansing, MI mounted a reading in September of 2008, just after the play was awarded second prize in the 2008 Appalachian Festival of Plays & Playwrights at the Barter Theatre in Virginia. There it was one of six plays given a public reading by Evalyn Baron, Mary Lucy Bivins, Ezra Colon and Michael Poisson, members of the Barter's resident company, in early August.  Devan Stevans directed.
Linda Hamilton

    In addition, Linda Hamilton's wonderful performance and generous participation in a staged reading of Angels. . . at New Jersey Repertory in January 2008 make her Angel of the Year!

    Linda's credits include the blockbuster films Dante's Peak, The Terminator, and Terminator 2, as well as TV's critically-acclaimed series, Beauty and the Beast.  Most recently, she has delighted theatre audiences as Maxine in Tennessee Williams' Night of the Iguana and Nurse Ratched in Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at the Berkshire Theatre Festival. 

    Lending their extraordinary talents to the reading at New Jersey Rep: actors Linda Hamilton, Diane Prusha, David Van Pelt, Al Mohrmann, and director Rob Garber.  (To see headshots and bios, please click on the individual names.)

    The play was previously read at Abingdon Theatre Company in New York City with Donna Robinson, Melanie Boland, David Van Pelt and Gerry Birnbach under the direction of Jocelyn Sawyer. 


    How do you wrestle with the present when you can't let go of the past?

    With a sister who can't keep her craft angels corralled, a brother who can't seem to make good, and an ex-husband who can't quite give up on her, it's way past time for Miriam to unravel her eccentric family's tangled problems once and for all. But when current crises collide with long buried secrets, even the angels can't keep all hell from breaking loose!

    2W/2M - Running time 90 minutes - Single Unit Set

Playwright's Bio

     Elaine Smith is a playwright, actor, director whose plays include Angels and Ministers of Grace and The Looking Glass (adapted from a short story by Edith Wharton, produced in 2013 by The Wharton Salon). Short plays: Liar's Poker (2010 Finalist: Heideman Award, Actors Theatre of Louisville), Ten Minute Life (2014 production, The Arts Center, NC), Picture Perfect, She Hung Up, Carapace, Strange Flowers of Reason, Quis Custodiet, Agit-Prop 8, Darkness, and Handiwork. Works-in-progress: Three Mile Limit and PowerPlay

     Acting credits include Rachel in the independent feature Frank the Rat, directed by Jim Cozza, Suzanne in Their Wings Were Blue at the NY Fringe Festival, Angie in Jovanka Bach's Name Day for Immigrants Theatre Project, Suzanna in Vaclav Havel's Largo Desolato also for ITP, Vera in Peter Herrick's Fiction Only, Please at Abingdon Theatre Company, Carole Cutrere in Williams' Orpheus Descending at Seaview Playwright's Theatre, Judith in Shaw's The Devil's Disciple at Seaview, and Jessie in Marsha Norman's 'night, Mother for NEST. 

     Directing credits include Abingdon Theatre Company, New Dramatists, Lincoln Center Institute, Women's Projects & Productions, and Immigrants' Theatre Project, among other venues. 

     In addition, Elaine has been a script reader for the Princess Grace Awards and for WPP.  She has a Master's Degree in Theatre from the University of Denver, a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Delaware, has served on the Board of Directors for Women in Theatre, and is a member of Theatre Resources Unlimited (TRU), the League of Professional Theatre Women, SAG-AFTRA, AEA, and the Dramatists Guild.

For additional information, see

Contact Information

For more information, or to request a copy of the script, please contact:

Ron Gwiazda / Amy Wagner
Abrams Artists Agency
275 Seventh Ave., 26th Fl.
New York, NY 10001

Email: Ron Gwiazda
Email: Amy Wagner

To contact the author by phone or email:

Elaine Smith


     Long before a play finds its way onto a stage, it is nurtured and supported by a host of people, many of whom never receive any remuneration beyond the grateful thanks of the playwright.  The people listed below have offered their advice, their services, and their support, and they have extended themselves in truly amazing ways to help bring this piece this far.

     Their contributions far outweigh my ability to thank them, but I list them here, alphabetically, in insufficient acknowledgement of my gratitude for everything they have done.  Here they are, angels all:

Pat Addiss
Jill Alexander
Alaine Alldaffer
Pun Bandhu
SuzAnne & Gabor Barabas
Evalyn Baron
Sue Barrett
James Barry
Sam Bellinger
Gerry Birnbach
Mary Lucy Bivins
Melanie Boland
Susan Bougetz
Marcie Bramucci
Maria Brewer
Langdon Brown
Kale Browne
Leslie Buchanan
Catherine Bush
Kate Bushmann
Jan Buttram
Julia Harmon Cain
Julia Carey
Mari Carras
Michael Citriniti
Mary Clark
Bob Clyman
Ezra Colon
Michael Deep
Marcia Douglas
Lisa Dozier
William Driscoll
Karen Fox
Richard Frankel
Jim Freydberg
Rob Garber
Michel Gill
Ron Gwiazda
Deeann Halper
Linda Hamilton (for the miracle!)
Lauren Huang
Gary Hughes
Margaret Hunt
Randy Hunt
Jasmine Ireland
Paula Johnson
Joan Kirschner Fusaro
Helen Kritharis
Olivia Lawrence
Judy Leavell
Julie Lisnet
Frank Livoy
Jonathan Lomma
Jessica & Daniel Loos
Dorothy Louise
Meredith Lucio
Kate Maguire
Lynne McCollough
Al Mohrmann
Arthur Morrison
Bari Newport
Rebecca Nordstrom
Hope Nunnery
MLO (for the flyer!)
Lance Olds
Kittson O'Neill
Edward Orbach
Bob Ost
Leslie Paladin
Pamela Paul
Nicholas Piper
Michael Poisson
Nicole Poole
Richard Port
Diane Prusha
Bill Quigley
M. Kilburg Reedy
Nancy Richardson
Trish Rigdon
Lanie Robertson
Jana Robbins
Donna & Bruce Robinson
Michael Roderick
Richard Rose
Jocelyn Sawyer
Kim T. Sharp
Ginny Shearin
Kate Skinner
Marian Smith
Laura Stuart
Theatre Resources Unlimited
Katie Toole
Susanne van der Plas
David Van Pelt
Deborah Vines
Christina Vivenzio
Amy Wagner
Amy Wagley (for the postcard!)
Kim Weild
Jay Weston
Cheryl Wiesenfeld
Jill Melanie Wirth
Robin Wray
Randall Wreghitt
Liz Zieminski


the Unknown Angel

(whose name I may have missed, but who lives in my heart along with all the others)