You've heard of dinner theater, but it's likely that you have never heard of diner theater — a new idea that's been getting a tryout at some local eateries in the state.

Jim Atkinson of the ArtPride New Jersey Foundation says so far they've rolled out performances in Bordentown, Summit and Hammonton, where the players dodged plates of meatloaf and happy waitress sandwiches.

The performances were held last week but the theaters expect to bring it back next year.

The foundation is working closely with New Jersey Theatre Alliance. They are also getting support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

"Diner theater is the idea of doing a take on dinner theater, only we're doing theater in diners because what's more quintessential to New Jersey than the diner?" Atkinson said.  "So we had this idea to do a series of pop-up theater performances at diners across the states. And we're thrilled to be working with three excellent theater companies to make that happen."

He says the performances are abbreviated because of the limited space at the venues, but they have been well-received.

"Folks did register to get their space, which was limited, and then they're seated and they're ordering just as if you're having a night at the diner," he said. "So your waitress could be your waitress and then 20 minutes later you realize that she's much more than that."

Atkinson adds, "we think we've tapped into something here and are really excited about the idea of possibly expanding this in the near future."

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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