The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ) announces its 60th season lineup—a selection of plays in celebration of STNJ’s Diamond Anniversary. For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the company will return with five shows scheduled for its Main Stage at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre in Madison, and one summer production on the Outdoor Stage—the Greek amphitheater on the campus of Saint Elizabeth University in Florham Park. The 2022 season will include two plays by Shakespeare as well as one 18th century French farce, and three modern classics from the 1900s never before seen on the STNJ stage.
The Shakespeare Theatre kicks off its 60th season June 8 - 26 with Matthew Barber’s Enchanted April, a 2003 Tony Award nominee for Best Play. Based on Elizabeth von Arnim’s novel of the same name, it is the perfect show to produce as the company emerges from the pandemic shutdown. Written in the wake of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, it is an exuberant, funny, and moving tale about reawakening from despair and daring to hope and dream again. Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte will direct this season opener.
Opening next (June 29 - July 31) is William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, staged for the first time ever on the company’s Outdoor Stage. At the core of this popular romantic comedy, is the tempestuous relationship between the infamous “singles” Beatrice and Bendick. Centered around the bickering and tempestuous duo, Much Ado About Nothing speaks to love as both a daunting risk and a joyful adventure. STNJ will continue its successful free ticket program in 2022, for patrons 17 and under.
Next on the Main Stage (August 17 - September 4) will be The Metromaniacs, a Moliere-esque farce translated and adapted by David Ives (Venus in Fur, All in the Timing) from Alexis Piron’s La Métromanie, originally produced in 1738. The plot follows the mix-ups and trip-ups of fathers and sons, star-crossed lovers, and that most mystifying species of all—the Metromaniacs—passionate pursuers of all things written in verse. Long-time company member Brian B. Crowe directs.
While the Outdoor Stage will feature laughs and levity throughout June and July, from September 21 - October 9, the Main Stage will take on one of Harold Pinter’s great masterpieces, The Caretaker. This terse tale of a homeless man, and two brothers who give him shelter, makes for an exciting night of theatrical meta-realism that evokes a sense of danger that is palpable, and like all of Pinter’s plays, it draws you into a compelling and mysterious world. Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte directs. Her previous productions of Pinter’s The Homecoming and No Man’s Land were both met with critical acclaim.
From October 26 - November 13 we’ll debut on the Main Stage two one-acts by Alice Childress, billed as Two by Childress. One of STNJ’s core missions is to bring rarely seen classics to life. Alice Childress, one of only a handful of female black playwrights from the first half of the 20th century, is finally getting some of the attention she deserved when she was at the height of her powers in the 1950s. Her work has stood the test of time, and hopefully, more and more people will become familiar with her plays and novels. Titles of the two one-acts will be announced soon.
One of Shakespeare’s best and most enticing comedies, Twelfth Night, will cap off the season from December 7 - January 1. Not seen on STNJ stages since 2009, this tale of twins, shipwrecked on the shores of Illyria, is chock full of the Bard’s best comedic devices—as well as romance, music, colorful characters, wisdom, and beautiful verse. It is a perfect show for the holiday season.
Complete Works subscriptions and Season Memberships are now on sale! Smaller and flexible discount packages will go on sale in late February, and single tickets will go on sale for the 2022 season in mid-March. The Shakespeare Theatre will also continue its successful $30 under 30 ticket Program in the 2022 season as well as its Pay What You Can Program and many other discount offerings. For more information regarding the Theatre’s programs, subscription packages, and options, visit ShakespeareNJ.org or call our friendly Box Office at 973-408-5600. Student matinee performances are available for select productions and dates. For more information on Student Matinees, visit ShakespeareNJ.org/Education.
For Tickets and Info: Call (973) 408-5600 or visit ShakespeareNJ.org
The company also offers an audio-described performance for each Main Stage production, as well as a closed-caption performance for every Main Stage production. Assisted Listening Devices are also available for every show, as is wheelchair seating. Large print playbills are available upon request.
Annual Gala: The Gala returns on April 23, the same day as Shakespeare's birthday, in celebration of the Theatre’s 60-year anniversary.
Special Events: Many one-night special events will also take place throughout the season, including the company’s new Monday Night at the Movies Series. Information on all special events will be forthcoming.