Tuesday, March 25, 2014


By Alice Childress
Directed by Jade King Carroll

WHEN: April 5-27; Opening Night: Friday, April 11, at 8 PM 
Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Ave., Red Bank
TICKETS: $37 to $65, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $24 and include the best available seats at every performance.
Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or
The lead production sponsor for Trouble in Mind is Wells Fargo. 

STARRING: McKinley Belcher III, Robert Hogan, Jonathan David Martin, Brenda Pressley, Roger Robinson, Brian Russell, Steven Skybell, Hayley Treider, and Amirah Vann

Free Inside Two River events include An Exploration of Justice, a series of humanities programs focused on race and issues of equality, with guest speakers including Ruben Santiago-Hudson, on Sunday, April 13; a presentation by Costume Designer Karen Perry on Sunday, March 23; two backstage tours of Two River Theater on Tuesday, April 8; and other events, including the Backstage Loser Poetry Slam and Two River’s Book Club

Alice Childress (the first African-American woman to have a play professionally produced in New York) uses a play-within-a-play structure to create a bitingly funny look at the complex, difficult, and often emotional  way people talk about race—and a hilarious backstage drama about artists at work.

On the stage of a Broadway theater in New York City in the mid-1950s, a modern, recently integrated theater company has gathered for their first day of rehearsal of a new play called Chaos in Belleville, an anti-lynching Southern drama. But as the company rehearses, Wiletta, the African-American actress in the starring role, must find the courage to confront her white director about his interpretation of the play—setting off an explosive conversation about fear, power, race relations, and the struggle for public and private equality.

“Alice Childress is a great American playwright whose body of work is not looked at as much as it should be,” says Artistic Director John Dias. “She wrote Trouble in Mind in the mid-1950s; it’s a play very much about that time, which was right before the civil rights movement, but it feels very contemporary. It’s a very charged play, but also one that’s very beautiful and moving, and understanding and sympathetic to everybody involved.”

Inside Two River
Inside Two River is a series of events specially curated for each Two River Theater production. For more information or to reserve seats, patrons should visit or call 732.345.1400. 

Behind-the-Seams with Costume Designer Karen Perry
WHEN: Sunday, March 23, from 3 PM-4 PM
Costume Designer Karen Perry will give audiences a sneak peak at her process for designing the 1950s period costumes for Trouble in Mind, and share an overview of her work on other theatrical masterpieces, including August Wilson’s Jitney and Two Trains Running at Two River. This presentation will be part of a vendor fair featuring jewelry, handbags, beauty products and more from 12-4 PM.

Behind-the-Curtain Tours of Two River Theater
WHEN: Tuesday, April 8 at 5:30 PM and 6:30 PM
To celebrate the “backstage drama” of Trouble in Mind, Two River Theater will offer two special guided tours of its two-stage arts complex in Red Bank on Tuesday, April 8 at 5:30 and 6:30. Tours will be led by Zeke Zaccaro, who joined the company in its fourth season and serves as Director of Operations, and are limited to 25 people; to reserve, please call 732.345.1400.

An Exploration of Justice Panel Discussion: Modern African-American Theater (1950s to Today)
WHEN: Sunday, April 13 (following the 3 PM performance)  
Following the matinee, leading theater artists will discuss modern African-American drama from the 1950s to the present day. This panel will be introduced and moderated by Two River Artistic Director John Dias and include Jade King Carroll, director of Trouble in Mind; actor Brenda Pressley, who plays Wiletta in Trouble in Mind; and Tony Award-winning actor, playwright and director Ruben Santiago-Hudson. This panel is presented as part of An Exploration of Justice, made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the national endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings conclusions, or recommendations in this series do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.

Backstage Loser Poetry Slam
WHEN: Monday, April 14, at 7 PM
WHERE: Victoria J. Mastrobuono Library
Two River Theater is hosting Loser Slam open-mic nights throughout the season. In connection with Trouble in Mind, the public is invited to attend to perform their own poems featuring a theatrical or backstage experience, or listen to poems performed by others.

Book Club: The Help by Kathryn Stockett
WHEN: Sunday, April 6, at 5:30 PM
WHERE: Victoria Mastrobuono Library (following the 3 PM performance) 
Literary Manager Anika Chapin will lead a discussion of The Help, Kathryn Stockett’s novel about the lives of African-American maids working in white households in Mississippi in the 1960s. Historical context for this bestselling novel can be found in Like One of the Family: Conversations from a Domestic’s Life, written by Alice Childress in the 1950s.

Audience Extras

  • Before Play and Lobby Display
    Audiences will learn about Alice Childress, her literary achievements, and her work as a social activist for the rights of African-Americans, women and the working class in Two River’s Before Play lecture series, which takes place 45 minutes prior to every performance, and Lobby Display.
  • Accessibility
    Working with Google, Two River has created and launched a virtual tour of its facility, which lives on Google Maps and This virtual tour provides an additional level of support and benefit for patrons who use wheelchairs or require other assistance by allowing them to virtually come through the theater’s front doors and view the space in detail in advance of their visit.
  • An audio-described performance is scheduled for Wednesday, April 23 at 1 PM; tickets to this performance are offered at the discounted rate of $25 for patrons needing audio description.
  • An open-captioned performance is scheduled for Saturday, April 26 at 3 PM. Tickets to this performance are offered at the discounted rate of $25 for patrons needing open captions. To reserve wheelchair-accessible seating or tickets for a performance listed above, patrons should call 732.345.1400.

Full Performance Calendar

  • Saturday, April 5 at 8 PM
  • Sunday, April 6 at 3 PM
  • Tuesday, April 8 at 8 PM
  • Wednesday, April 9 at 7 PM
  • Thursday, April 10 at 8 PM
  • Friday, April 11 at 8 PM (opening)
  • Saturday, April 12 at 3 PM and 8 PM
  • Sunday, April 13 at 3 PM
  • Wednesday, April 16 at 1 PM and 7 PM
  • Thursday, April 17 at 8 PM
  • Friday, April 18 at 8p PM
  • Saturday, April 19 at 3 PM and 8 PM
  • Sunday, April 20 at 3pm PM
  • Wednesday, April 23 at 1 PM and 7 PM
  • Thursday, April 24 at 10 A, (student matinee) and 8 PM
  • Friday, April 25 at 8 PM
  • Saturday, April 26 at 3 PM and 8 PM
  • Sunday, April 27 at 3 PM

Sponsors and Supporters
The lead production sponsor for Trouble in Mind is Wells Fargo. Inside Two River programs are supported by the William T. Morris Foundation. An Exploration of Justice is made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Two River Theater’s 20th Anniversary Season is supported in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a division within the Department of State and a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, he Columbus Foundation , The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Monmouth University, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Durso Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Investors Bank, Brookdale Community College, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, William T. Morris Foundation, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation at the Atrium at Navesink Harbor, the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.