Wednesday, May 21, 2014



WHEN: May 31-June 22
Two River’s Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank
TICKETS: range from $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

Amy Hohn, J.R. Horne, Annette O’Toole, Christopher Sears and Emily Walton star

Two River Theater Company, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, continues its 2013/14 Season with Third, the final play written by Wendy Wasserstein, directed by Michael Cumpsty.  The lead production sponsor for Third is Durso Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley. 

Wendy Wasserstein was the first woman to win the Tony Award for Best Play, for The Heidi Chronicles (the second play produced by Two River Theater in its 1994/95 debut season at Monmouth University), for which she also received the 1989 Pulitzer Prize. Third was produced at Lincoln Center Theater in the fall of 2005. Set at an elite, New England liberal arts college in November 2002, it focuses on college professor Laurie Jameson (played by Annette O’Toole), who accuses one of her students—an outwardly preppy jock nicknamed ‘Third’ (Christopher Sears)—of plagiarism, and upends her own life in the process.

Third is a moving, dazzlingly smart and funny play that explores such quintessential Wasserstein themes as the challenges confronting Laurie Jameson and her generation; friendship and rivalry between women; the complexities of family; and the dangers of identity politics and class distinctions.

“When we were planning our 20th Anniversary lineup, which concludes with this production, we wanted to return to the work of Wendy Wasserstein—one of the most admired and best loved American writers—whose play The Heidi Chronicles was part of Two River’s inaugural season,” says Artistic Director John Dias. “Third is Wendy’s final play and it has all of her charm and wit, as well as the insight and maturity of an artist working at the height of her talents. We are delighted to celebrate Third with our director Michael Cumpsty and a marvelous company led by Annette O’Toole as Laurie Jameson.”

In addition to the Tony and the Pulitzer, The Heidi Chronicles won the 1989 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and New York Drama Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards. Wasserstein’s other plays include Uncommon Women and Others, Isn’t It Romantic, The Sisters Rosensweig, An American Daughter, and Old Money. Among other works, she wrote several collections of essays; a children’s book, Pamela’s First Musical; and screenplays, including The Object of My Affection. Wasserstein was educated at Mounty Holyoke College and the Yale School of Drama. She died on January 30, 2006 at the age of 55, after a bout with lymphoma.

Director Michael Cumpsty is an Obie-winning and Tony Award-nominated actor. His credits include, most recently, Machinal, The Winslow Boy, and The End of the Rainbow, as well as an additional 14 Broadway productions. At Two River Theater, he has performed in Present Laughter and Much Ado About Nothing. He received an Obie Award for his performance as Hamlet at Classic Stage Company, where he starred in many other Shakespeare productions including Richard III, which he co-directed.

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. 

The Wall of Extraordinary Women
Wendy Wasserstein was a writer of “uncommon women.” Strong, smart, neurotic, or struggling to connect (or all of the above), Wasserstein’s women are complete portraits drawn with wit and humanity. Throughout the run of Third, Two River will spotlight great female artists and characters—as well as local women that have carried the torch of Wasserstein’s legacy, selected from nominations made by Two River audiences and friends. To make a nomination, visit Two River’s Facebook page or email Alycia Yerves at with the subject line EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN.

Open Rehearsal:
WHEN: Friday, March 16, at 7:30 PM
Audiences are invited to enjoy a rare look at what goes on the rehearsal room. Director Michael Cumpsty and cast members from Third will explore select scenes from the play in this free event, which will be followed by dessert and coffee in the lobby.

Backstage Loser Poetry Slam
WHEN: Monday, May 19, at 7:30 PM
Victoria J. Mastrobuono Library
Two River Theater is hosting Loser Slam open-mic nights throughout the season. In connection with Third, the public is invited to perform their own poems on the theme of academia and/or stereotypes, or listen to poems performed by others.

Celebration for Educators
WHEN: Wednesday, June 4, at 5:30 PM
Current K-12 educators are invited to join Two River Theater for an end-of-the-school-year toast and light fare. Two River’s education and outreach programs will be discussed, and its new class of Metro Scholars will be introduced.

Book Club: Shiksa Goddess by Wendy Wasserstein
WHEN:  Sunday, June 15, at 5:30 PM
Victoria Mastrobuono Library (following the 3 PM performance)
Literary Manager Anika Chapin will lead a discussion of Shiksa Goddess, a collection of Wendy Wasserstein’s personal essays.


Before Play
Audiences will learn about Wendy Wasserstein in Two River’s Before Play lecture series, which takes place 45 minutes prior to every performance, and Lobby Display.

Post-Play Conversations
Discussions with the cast and a member of Two River’s Artistic staff will take place on Wednesday, June 11, at 7 PM; Sunday, June 15, at 3 PM; and Wednesday, June 18, at 1 PM.

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, June 18, at 1 PM; tickets to this performance are offered at the discounted rate of $25 for patrons needing audio description. The Saturday, June 21, at 3 PM performance will be open-captioned. Tickets to this performance are offered at the discounted rate of $25 for patrons needing those services. To reserve wheelchair-accessible seating or tickets for a performance listed above, patrons should call 732.345.1400.

Sponsors and Supporters
The lead production sponsor for Third is Durso Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley. Inside Two River programs are supported by the William T. Morris Foundation.

Two River Theater 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, the Columbus Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Monmouth University, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Durso Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley, Monmouth Medical Center Foundation, 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.

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, is celebrating its 20th Anniversary of creating great American theater performed by award-winning artists. We produce an eight-play season on two stages, including American and world masterpieces, and new plays and musicals. Two River Theater offers new-play commissions and artistic development activities that support the most adventurous artists in the American theater; invites its audience to be part of the creative process through readings and open rehearsals; and cultivates students and young people to participate in innovative arts-education programs and become a new generation of theatergoers. Founded in 1994 by Joan and Dr. Robert M. Rechnitz, Two River Theater is easily accessible by car, train, or bus, with great restaurants and shopping within walking distance of the theater. For more information, visit  or call 732.345.1400.