Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Two River Theater Presents the World Premiere of LOVE IN HATE NATION by Joe Iconis

by Joe Iconis

WHEN: Saturday, November 9 - Sunday, December 1, 2019. Opening: Friday, November 15, 2019 at 8pm
Two River Theater, 21 Bridge St., Red Bank
TICKETS: range from $40 to $70, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $25 tickets are available for every performance; $25 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $25 and include the best available seats at every performance.
Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or

Love in Hate Nation uses classic “bad girl” movies as the inspiration for the story of young people caught between eras of a changing America. Sixteen-year old Susannah Son is carted off to the National Reformatory for Girls (a.k.a. Nation) to get her head put on straight. There she meets the aggressively incorrigible Sheila Nail, and a relationship forms which leads to an all-out “revolution in the institution” as they attempt to break out of the boxes society has created around them. Girl Group Wall of Sound harmonies are filtered through a punk rock spirit in this rebellious and romantic new musical.

Joe Iconis is the Tony Award-nominated composer/lyricist of the worldwide sensation Be More Chill. Iconis and Joe Tracz wrote Be More Chill as a commission for Two River Theater, where the show was developed and premiered in 2015 before going on to a sold-out limited engagement Off-Broadway and Broadway run. Director John Simpkins has worked with writer Joe Iconis on six projects prior to Love in Hate Nation, including Bloodsong of Love, The Black Suits and all 11 years of the Joe Iconis Christmas Extravaganza. He is Head of Musical Theatre at Penn State School of Theatre, where Love in Hate Nation was commissioned and developed.

Friday, November 2 | 7:00 PM | FREE

Two River’s first Pride Night of the 2019/20 Season welcomes all members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies for a night of performance, food, fun and friends, emceed by drag queens Lady Celestina and Rhedd Rhumm.

Thursday, November 7 | 7:00 PM | FREE | A Partnership with TEDxAsburyPark

TEDxAsburyPark Salons feature curated talks by TEDx speakers and Two River Theater artists and staff. Confirmed speakers for this salon include Michele Mitchell and Olive Persimmon.

Monday, November 11 | 7:00 PM | FREE | A Partnership with Monmouth University

The 1960s in the United States was a powder keg of equal rights movements, anti-war protests, and counterculture. With revolution sparking throughout the country, musicians were creating music that reflected the urgency of the times and incited continued rebellion. Joe Rapolla, Chair of Monmouth University’s Music and Theatre Department, will discuss how music has been used as a vehicle for political change from the 1960s to today.

Thursday, November 19 | 7:00 PM | FREE

Joe Iconis is known for drawing on a wide variety of inspirations in his work, from 1960s girl group pop to Robert Altman movies, from 1980s sci-fi to the Muppets. But the man who The New York Times calls “the future of musical theatre” is also—of course—a musical theater geek at heart. At this special event, Iconis and his frequent collaborator, theater historian and producer Jennifer Ashley Tepper, will explore the shows, writers, and songs that have inspired him. From Cabaret to Follies, from Hedwig and the Angry Inch to Little Shop of Horrors, from Passing Strange to Carrie, how have the musicals Iconis has obsessed over as a fan shaped him as a writer? Don't miss this unique chance to discover how one of the great theater writers of a new generation has found his place in Broadway history.


New this year, Two River is offering Play Dates for each show in the season. Parents or guardians can enjoy a matinee at the theater, while children ages 6-11 play theater games, make crafts and explore themes inspired by the production with Two River teaching artists. The cost is $10 per child and the price of the show tickets. The Play Date for Love in Hate Nation is Saturday, November 16, at 3pm.

Post-play discussions with the cast and a member of Two River’s Artistic staff will take place on Wednesday, November 20 at 7pm; Sunday, November 24 at 3pm; and Wednesday, November 27 at 1pm.

A relaxed performance is scheduled for Saturday, November 23 at 3pm and an audio-described performance is scheduled for Wednesday, November 27 at 1pm. The performance on Saturday, November 30 at 3pm will be open captioned. 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

Special hotel room rates are available with our hotel partners Molly Pitcher Inn ($139) and Oyster Point Hotel ($149). Both are located .5 miles from the theater, within walking distance. To book, call hotels directly and ask for the special LOVEINHATENATION rate.

Working with Google, Two River has created 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.


Saturday, November 9 at 8pm 

Sunday, November 10 at 3pm

Wednesday, November 13 at 1 pm and 7pm

Thursday, November 14 at 8pm

Friday, November 15 at 8pm (Opening Night)

Saturday, November 16 at 3pm and 8pm

Sunday, November 17 at 3pm

Wednesday, November 20 at 1pm and 7pm (post-play discussion)

Thursday, November 21 at 10am (student matinee) and 8pm

Friday, November 22 at 8pm

Saturday, November 23 at 3pm (relaxed performance) and 8pm

Sunday, November 24 at 3pm (post-play discussion)

Tuesday, November 26 at 10am (student matinee)

Wednesday, November 27 at 1pm (post-play discussion and audio-described performance) and 7pm

Friday, November 29 at 3pm and 8pm

Saturday, November 30 at 3pm (open-captioned performance) and 8pm

Sunday, December 1 at 3pm