Visual arts

First Night Morris at 30: three platforms, a pandemic

Think your life is complicated?

Try to coordinate a New Years Eve extravaganza with over 50 performances at 13 in-person venues, many livestreams, plus live and on-demand screenings of more than 40 films… while a pandemic regains its strength, hour by hour, like an angry cyclone.

“Every year has its challenges,” said Morris first night President Craig Schlosser, a master of understatement, Tuesday.

Argelys Morel. of Horizon, and Craig Schlosser of First Night Morris, at the Morristown Festival on the Green, October 3, 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

He and a brigade of technicians, interns and volunteers are working feverishly – no pun intended – to deliver a safe and satisfying experience this Friday, December 31, 2021, for the 30th anniversary of First Night Morris County.

Planning began almost immediately after last year fully virtual edition. Contingencies have been built in, anticipating COVID complications such as the Delta variant, and now Omicron.

Like a Super Bowl quarterback on the line of scrimmage, Schlosser, 38, is ready to call in an audible sound and switch up the game if the situation calls for it.

First Night Morris 2022 video preview:

First Night Morris County 2022 December 31, 2021 Event Preview

Layers of security protocols are in place for those who still want to enjoy in-person entertainment. To make customers more comfortable watching from home, Schlosser can add additional live broadcasts – with help from Rob tobias and his technical team of Master Productions Inc Tour.

Tobias recorded last year’s First Night performances for streaming. During an almost 30-year career in producing events for governors and corporations, he has amassed a list of multimedia assistants. They are on hold this week, awaiting Schlosser’s decision as game time draws near.

“We’re on the phone every 10 minutes,” Tobias said.

This will be his third First Night. It recognizes more moving parts – a lot more – this time around.

Calendar of the first Morris night 2022.

“I’m not going to coat things up… this is a very serious situation,” said Tobias.

For in-person performances, he said, it’s imperative to follow the rules. Proof of vaccination or a recent negative PCR test is mandatory for admission. Masks are compulsory. Social distancing must be practiced. Two sites – St. The Saint-Pierre episcopal church and its parish hall will be limited to half-capacity.

But Tobias doesn’t sweat the technological demands.

“I like challenges,” he said. ” We will get there. We come to work. We don’t come to play.

First Night Morris 2020 Interns at Morris County School of Technology. Left to right: Andrew Zhang, Neil Shah, Katherine Hu, Aditya Iyer, Stacey Tang and Jessica Tang, with Collin Schlosser and his father, First Night director Craig Schlosser, at First Night 2020. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Schlosser has loved First Night since his days at Morristown High School. This passion was passed on to his 16 year old son Colin, whose many duties include overseeing a live broadcast of the New Year’s Eve countdown and other videos, from the front lawn of Vail Mansion.

Four members of the First Night executive board, half a dozen volunteers and 10 interns from high schools and colleges in the region share the heavy lifting. They are determined, Schlosser said.

“The goal is always to stay true to the essence of First Night: bringing the community together through a shared and positive experience, focused on arts and culture. To do that, we now need to deliver programs to the public in multiple formats, to bring everyone together, ”he said.

There are no fireworks this year, Schlosser explained, because they couldn’t be delivered with the same quality on the live, live and on-demand platforms. But make no mistake about it. The show will continue.

“Every year we find a way to do it, to do it and to make it great… together,” Schlosser said.

Details on First Night Morris County can be found below.

What’s New at First Night Morris County:

Your Complete Access Guide to the Extended 30th Anniversary Event

MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – Morris County’s 30th Annual New Years Eve Celebration of the Arts, taking place this Friday, December 31, 2021, will be the largest and strongest offering in the organization’s history. Make the most of this year’s landmark event by following our handy guide outlining all of the latest additions and features.

This year, First Night Morris County is proud to present:

  1. First time hybrid event over several days: Each First Night Morris 2022 ticket is an All Access Pass, giving you access to all events and films in person, live and on demand from December 31 to January 3. This means you can enjoy all that First Night Morris County has to offer from anywhere in the world!
  2. First time film festival in person AND on demand: At the December 31st in-person event, we’re showing over 40 films on five screens at AMC Theaters in Morristown, and the majority of those films are also available on demand through our website and mobile app until January 3. 2022. For more details, see our official preview of the film festival here.
  3. First time in-person screening of “Behind the Curtain” First Night Morris documentary: As part of our film festival, this three-part, behind-the-scenes film about how First Night Morris Comes together will be shown live on TV trucks at Vail Mansion, as well as on the live broadcast and at Requirement. Learn more about the documentary here.
  4. First time Mayo live broadcast: This year’s four live performances taking place at the Mayo Performing Arts Center on December 31st will also be streamed live through our website and app. Enjoy all that Mayo has to offer whether you are attending in person or watching from the comfort of your home. See the program here
  5. First time Midnight countdown: Welcome the New Year with a countdown to midnight, a 30th anniversary tribute, and a band singing the classic New Years song, Auld Lang Syne! Join us live on Vail Mansion’s TV Trucks, or remotely via live and on-demand streaming on our website and app. Get more info here
  6. Brand new live and on-demand broadcasting platform: We’ve launched a brand new online platform to make participation virtually easy! Simply log in at the top right corner of with your email address and confirmation link (or ticket id and first name / last name) to watch the wide range of streaming and video content. request. Click here to visit our event page

Of course, with all of these new additions come all the wonderful things our attendees know and love about First Night Morris County every year, including vibrant kids’ programming, visual arts, theater, music and shows. cultures of the world.

Everything is included with the purchase of your First Night Morris County ticket.

All First Night attendees have unlimited access to the Film Festival, all in-person performances, all live broadcasts, and on-demand content included in their admission, as well as free parking, free shuttles, a mobile app and a midnight countdown to welcome the New Year.

Regular entry the price is only $ 30 per entry or $ 23.75 each when purchasing four or more.

Note: Access to in-person shows is limited by the number of seats. All participants aged 12 and over attending a performance must show full proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of the event start time. Masks should be worn inside venues, except during brief concessions consumption.

To purchase tickets and for more information:

Visit, the Mayo Box Office at 100 South St., Morristown, or call 973-539-8008 during regular business hours.

The First Night Morris County Board of Directors thanks our Supporters, Partners, Volunteers of the Film Festival Committee, Masters’ productions tour, and AMC Theaters for their continued support.

Reserve your ticket today and we look forward to celebrating the New Year with you at First Night Morris County!


As of 1992, First Night® Morris County is now New Jersey’s BIGGEST First Night®. Join your friends and neighbors for our 30th year of New Years celebration with an unrivaled range of performances! First Night Morris County 2022 is New Jersey’s biggest and brightest New Year’s Eve celebration, providing a beautiful, substance-free, alcohol-free family celebration in the heart of Morristown. Our exceptional program includes more than 50 performances in 15 venues (13 in person, 1 streaming and 1 on demand) and over 40 films on demand. Events include theater, music (rock, jazz, classical, etc.), visual arts, film festival, world cultures, children’s programs and much more. The program ends with the new midnight countdown to welcome the New Year. Your First Night Morris County admission button gives you access to innovative, diverse, high-quality performance ideal for participants of all ages. In-person venues are within walking distance of each other and virtual programs are is a proud media partner of First Night Morris.