NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On June 3 and 4, Hub City’s George Street Playhouse will be presenting free performances of R.N. Sandberg’s dark comedy “Terra Incognita.”

The newest play from StoryWorks production company is free to the public and starts at 8 p.m. both nights.

The play focuses on a New Jersey family that “discovers that the underground gas storage tank in their backyard is leaking. Suddenly, their life becomes a labyrinth of complex, bizarre and illogical attempts to clean up the fuel-soaked soil beneath their home and prevent it from contaminating the groundwater and their marriage.”

Terra Incognita is inspired by the “Dirty Little Secrets” project, an ongoing collaborative investigative project that includes this newspaper.

Spearheaded by the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), the project led to journalists creating maps, writing articles, producing podcasts, and issuing other reports on the toxic environment in New Jersey through analyzing factors such as water and air quality. 

StoryWorks, “the intersection of theatre and journalism” organization founded by CIR, created and produced Terra Incognita. The group is in its third season of performing original and journalism-based work. Their shows have been performed in venues across the nation.

“StoryWorks gets to the emotional truth of investigative journalism. Based on facts and allowing for artistic exploration, we delve into the personal stories behind the headlines and create dialogue through theater,” says Jennifer Welch, artistic director and co-creator of StoryWorks.

According to the StoryWorks website, the company “presents truthful and beautifully rendered stories that shine a spotlight on the human costs of injustice and structural inequality and help drive social change.

Sandberg’s other plays have been commissioned by the McCarter Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, Dramatic Publishing Company, Idaho Shakespeare Festival and Seattle Children’s Theatre.

The play is directed by Jim Jack, Director of Education and Outreach at George Street Playhouse. He recently directed “My Name is Asher Lev.” It features Matt Baguth, Di Shawn Gandy, Kym Gomes, Frances Pu and Dave Seamon.

The play will be followed by a “TalkBack” discussion with a panel composed of local journalists and community members. This will allow the audience to explore the questions raised in the production.

Free tickets to the play can be reserved on the George Street Playhouse website.