WHERE: Two River Theater, 21 Bridge Ave., Red Bank
Full-season subscriptions are on sale now from 732.345.1400 or 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank. Subscribers save 25% on tickets, receive prime seating and a number of additional benefits. Visit tworivertheater.org for more details. Single tickets will go on sale in August 2018.
Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, announces the lineup of productions for its 25th Anniversary Season in 2018/19, which will feature eight productions including world premieres, musicals, modern classics, and theater for family audiences.
“Over the past eight years, Two River has built a robust initiative to develop and foster a pipeline of new plays and musicals, and to produce original work and classics interpreted by some of the country’s leading theater artists,” says Artistic Director John Dias. “To celebrate this landmark 25th Anniversary Season, we look to our own history—our founder’s vision, our expansive mission, our family of artists—as we forge our way into the future of the American theater.”
PAMELA’S FIRST MUSICAL
BY WENDY WASSERSTEIN AND CHRISTOPHER DURANG
MUSIC BY CY COLEMAN
LYRICS BY DAVID ZIPPEL
DIRECTED AND CHOREOGRAPHED BY GRACIELA DANIELE
SEPTEMBER 8 – OCTOBER 7 / 2018
It’s Pamela’s birthday, and Aunt Louise is taking Pamela to her very first Broadway musical! A beautiful story that speaks to everyone who has ever felt like an outsider, Pamela’s First Musical captures the wonder of a child’s first experience with the spectacular, splendiferous world of musical theater. Pamela’s First Musical is written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winner Wendy Wasserstein (The Heidi Chronicles), based on her own book, and Tony Award-winner Christopher Durang (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike), with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by David Zippel (who shared the Tony Award—one of three for Coleman—for their previous collaboration, City of Angels). Ten-time Tony Award nominee Graciela Daniele directs, with music direction by Kevin Stites.
AUGUST WILSON’S KING HEDLEY II
DIRECTED BY BRANDON J. DIRDEN
MARION HUBER THEATER
NOVEMBER 10 – DECEMBER 16 / 2018
Obie Award winner Brandon J. Dirden (August Wilson’s Jitney, The Americans) has appeared in five Two River Theater productions including, most recently, A Raisin in the Sun; he made his directing debut here with August Wilson’s Seven Guitars. He returns to direct King Hedley II, a sequel to Seven Guitars that picks up the stories of Ruby and Canewell (known here as Stool Pigeon) from the earlier drama, which is set nearly four decades earlier. The year is 1985 and King Hedley II, Ruby’s son, has returned from prison looking to rebuild his life, save some money, plant a backyard garden, and start a family. King Hedley II grapples with how hope can spring from even the hardest of soil. The production is the halfway mark of Two River presenting the 10 plays of August Wilson’s American Century Cycle.
JOURNEY TO OZ: A WIZARD OF OZ STORY
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY CHRISTOPHER PARKS
MUSIC COMPOSITION/SOUND DESIGN BY JOSH TOTORA
NOVEMBER 23-25 / 2018
Inspired by L. Frank Baum’s original stories, this clever adaptation puts the audience front and center —literally—as they are invited on a journey to Oz with Dorothy. Kids and their adults become part of the cast in this interactive production, singing, dancing and acting alongside professional actors. The audience will help the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman, the Lion, and all the citizens of the Emerald City on this adventure. Journey to Oz is recommended for ages 2 and up.
BY MICHAEL FRAYN
DIRECTED BY SARNA LAPINE
JANUARY 12 – FEBRUARY 3 / 2019
Produced at Two River Theater 20 years ago in the company’s 5th Anniversary Season, Michael Frayn’s Noises Off belongs on any list of the funniest plays ever written. In this celebrated backstage farce-within-a-farce, mayhem ensues as a third-rate touring theater troupe rehearses and then performs the ill-fated Nothing On. Sarna Lapine, whose credits include the acclaimed recent Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park with George, directs.
A LITTLE SHAKESPEARE
MARION HUBER THEATER
JANUARY 25 – FEBRUARY 2 / 2019
Celebrating its 6th season as one of Two River’s most popular programs, A Little Shakespeare engages young artists and audiences with the work of the Bard. A 75-minute version of one of Shakespeare’s plays—adapted, directed and designed by professional artists—will be performed by local high school students in the Marion Huber Theater. The play title will be announced shortly. A Little Shakespeare is recommended for ages 9 and up.
BY MARTIN MORAN
DIRECTED BY CAROLYN CANTOR
MARION HUBER THEATER
FEBRUARY 23 – MARCH 24 / 2019
When 70-year-old Margret finds her health deteriorating, her son Theodore returns to their Catskills home after many years away. There, he finds his sister, Beth, struggling to deal with their ailing mother and her transgender child. Theo confronts the shameful events of his youth and reconnects with his mother’s home aid, an acquaintance from his earlier high school years. A moving look at how families change—and how they don’t—in this warm portrait of kinship, love, and the pursuit of one’s true self. Playwright Martin Moran performed his solo plays The Tricky Part and All the Rage in repertory at Two River Theater in 2014 at which time Theo, his first play for other actors, was commissioned by the Theater. Carolyn Cantor will direct this world premiere production.
THE BELLE OF AMHERST
STARRING MAUREEN SILLIMAN
BY WILLIAM LUCE
DIRECTED BY ROBERT RECHNITZ
APRIL 13 – MAY 5 / 2019
Maureen Silliman stars as Emily Dickinson in William Luce’s The Belle of Amherst, the classic American drama originally written for Julie Harris in 1976. Drawn from Dickinson’s poems, diaries and letters, The Belle of Amherst offers a window into the life of one of America’s greatest poets. The production will be directed by Two River founder Robert Rechnitz, who was a Professor of American Literature at Monmouth University for 35 years. Maureen Silliman first performed at the Two River Theater in 1998 when she was cast in The Real Thing and went on to appear in The Beauty Queen of Leenane, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, and Our Town. Also at Two River, she appeared as Sonya in Uncle Vanya and Amanda in The Glass Menagerie under the direction of Robert Rechnitz, as well as in the world premiere of his play (written with Kenneth Stunkel), Lives of Reason.
BY REGINA TAYLOR
ORIGINAL MUSIC BY DIEDRE L. MURRAY
DIRECTED BY RUBEN SANTIAGO-HUDSON
JUNE 8 – JUNE 30 / 2019
Golden Globe-winning actor and playwright Regina Taylor (I’ll Fly Away, Crowns) won the 2000 American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Award for Oo-Bla-Dee when it premiered at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. The play—a shimmering portrait of a female bebop band of African-American musicians traveling the country following the end of World War II—has its first major revival with new music by two-time Obie-winning jazz composer Diedre L. Murray (Running Man, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess). Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Jitney, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) directs.
Plays, artists, dates, and ticket prices are subject to change. For additional information, visit tworivertheater.org.