By Thornton Wilder
Adapted for the stage by David Greenspan
Directed by Ken Rus Schmoll
A WORLD-PREMIERE PLAY
WHEN: February 17 – March 18
WHERE: Two River Theater, 21 Bridge Ave., Red Bank
TICKETS: $40 to $80, 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 $20 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from tworivertheater.org or 732.345.1400.
Thornton Wilder won three Pulitzer Prizes: two for the classic American plays Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth, and one for his novel, The Bridge of San Luis Rey. This quiet masterpiece—a dazzling rumination on the nature of love—will be brought to life on stage by a troupe of actors led by one of the singular figures in the American theater: writer and actor David Greenspan, the winner of five Obie Awards.
“There’s an impassioned camp of theater lovers who assert that Thornton Wilder is the consummate American theater artist; there’s another who say the same of David Greenspan. Imagine what they’ll say when these two collaborate on something new,” says Artistic Director John Dias.
The Bridge of San Luis Rey was published in 1927 and won Thornton Wilder the first of his three Pulitzer Prizes. (Wilder, the only writer to win Pulitzer Prizes for both fiction and drama, was also honored for his plays Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth.) Set in 18th century Peru, the novel is about five travelers who fall to their deaths when they are crossing a bridge that breaks without warning. “There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning,” Wilder wrote in its famous final words.
Commissioned by Two River Theater, five-time Obie Award-winning playwright and actor David Greenspan brings Wilder’s masterpiece about life, fate, and love to the stage as a profound meditation on theater and live performance. Greenspan (most recently seen in a solo performance of Eugene O’Neill’s Strange Interlude) leads a nine-actor company in the role of Uncle Pio, the play’s narrator.
The cast of The Bridge of San Luis Rey also includes Sumaya Bouhbal (Pepita), Zachary Infante (Esteban), Julienne Hanzelka Kim (Madre María), Elizabeth Ramos (Camila Perichole), Steven Rattazzi (Don Andrés de Ribera/Captain Alvarado/Don Vicente/Jaime/Inez), Mary Lou Rosato (Doña María), Bradley James Tejeda (Manuel) and Madeline Wise (Doña Clara).
Says Tappan Wilder, Thornton Wilder’s nephew and literary executor, “Beneath the beautifully wrought surface of Wilder’s Bridge rage epic battles before the bar of judgement, questioning the meanings of life, death, faith and love. The Wilder Family and I are thrilled that David Greenspan and Two River Theater are bringing this novel to the stage.”
Before Play and Lobby Display
Audiences will learn about Thornton Wilder, David Greenspan, and The Bridge of San Luis Rey in Two River’s Before Play lecture series, which takes place 45 minutes prior to every performance, and Lobby Display.
Discussions with the cast and a member of Two River’s Artistic staff will take place following the performances on Wednesday, February 28 at 7pm and Wednesday, March 7 at 1pm.
Meet-up with Madeleine
WHEN: Sunday, March 4, following the 3pm performance
Meet-up with Madeleine is a post-show discussion series with Two River’s Playwright-in-Residence, Madeleine George. Patrons are invited to enjoy refreshments and conversation on topics including Thornton Wilder, the play’s themes, elements of the production, and more.
To reserve a free spot, interested patrons should call 732.345.1400 or visit www.tworivertheater.org.
Monday, Mar 12, at 6:30PM
Thornton Wilder’s novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey and its message of human connection provided the inspiration for David Mitchell’s unique 2004 novel (Mitchell even named a character Luisa Rey as a tribute).
Comprised of six nested stories with very different styles and settings, Cloud Atlas is an intricate, gorgeous, heartbreaking variation on Wilder’s original theme. We’ll discuss the art of interlocking stories, and how works of art can teach us how to live.
Coffee and cookies will be served.
An audio-described performance is scheduled for Wednesday, March 14 at 1pm, and an open-captioned performance is scheduled for Saturday, March 17 at 3pm. Tickets are available at a discounted rate of $25 for patrons using these services. To reserve wheelchair-accessible seating or tickets to a performance listed above, patrons should call 732.345.1400 or e-mail email@example.com.