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PR # 9 August 4, 2008

17th ANNUAL MERCK SERIES ANNOUNCED AT RVCC THEATRE

As a sign of its continued commitment to high quality performing arts programming at The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) in North Branch, The Merck Company Foundation is supporting the Theatre?s 2008-2009 Merck Series with a $50,000 contribution.

?Merck is especially proud to support The Theatre at RVCC during its 25th anniversary season. The 17th annual Merck Series offers the community a wonderful collection of arts and culture,? said Stacey Mehaffey, community relations associate, Merck & Co., Inc.

?We are extremely grateful to the Merck Company Foundation for its continued support, enabling us to bring top cultural performances to the community,? said Theatre Director Alan Liddell. ?This year?s Merck Series truly offers something for everyone?including political comedy, great musical theatre and exciting radio drama.?

The 2008-2009 Merck Series will include the following performances:

Capitol Steps , Saturday, October 11, at 8 p.m.; $31 & $36

The Theatre first presented the Capitol Steps with its Indecision 2000 tour, and local audiences have been laughing ever since. Looking for humor as the November election approaches? This is where and when you?ll find it.

A Christmas Carol (Nebraska Theatre Caravan), Friday, December 5, at 7 p.m.; $37 & $42

Both chilling poverty and luxurious wealth serve as a thrilling backdrop to this stage production, which weaves the spellbinding fable of a man who is given the rarest of gifts.

War of the Worlds/The Lost World (L.A. Theatre Works), Thursday, March 12, at 7 p.m.; $25 & $30

Join L.A. Theatre Works, America?s premiere radio theatre company, for a special double bill of chills, thrills and great literature as it presents two masterpieces of science fiction and adventure.

Bye Bye Birdie (Windwood Theatricals), Friday, May 1, at 8 p.m.; $40 & $45

Plenty of laughs and great songs, including the parents? lament, ?What?s The Matter With Kids Today,?? have made this hit Broadway show one of the most memorable musicals of all time.

For the fifth year in a row, Courier News readers voted The Theatre at RVCC as the ?Best of the Best? in 2008 in the ?Playhouse/Theater? category.

Aside from The Merck Series , the Theatre will present this season the Major Artists Series ; School-Time Performances , a series for teachers and students grades pre-K to 12; the Family Series , a series of events designed specially for families with older children; and the Sampler Series , a series of transformational events for children and their families. The 2008-2009 season also will offer a new series, Tuesdays with Stories , which features great American literature performed by solo actors from The American Place Theatre.

A variety of subscribers? packages are available for all Theatre series. In celebration of the Theatre? 25th anniversary season, tickets for any of the Theatre?s public series may be purchased at 25 percent off, if bought before the September 16 presentation of The Secret Life of Bees , which is part of the Tuesdays with Stories series. When ordering online, use the pull-down menu, located next to the ticket price, to select the appropriate discount for each ticket. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Box Office, 908-725-3420, or order online at www.rvccArts.org . Senior citizen, student and group discounts are also available for a variety of performances.

RVCC, located on Route 28 and Lamington Road in North Branch, NJ, and serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for close to 40 years, offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates. In addition, customized training programs and non-credit courses are available for those seeking personal and professional development.

The College is committed to offering a quality and affordable education through effective teaching, liaisons with the community?s businesses and state-of-the-art technology. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu .

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