Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Two River Theater's 20th Anniversary Season Highlights

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, has concluded its 20th Anniversary Season, highlighted by far-reaching new-play development activities supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The season was bookended by the Two River directorial debuts of acclaimed actors Joel Grey (Paul Osborn’s On Borrowed Time) and Michael Cumpsty (Wendy Wasserstein’s Third).
Highlights of the year include the following achievements:
· The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation awarded the theater a $40,000 grant through its Building Demand for the Arts program. With the support of this grant, Two River launched a new series of conversations and storytelling workshops created and led by award-winning playwright and television writer Tanya Saracho (Girls, Looking) and director Jerry Ruiz, curator of Two River’s annual Crossing Borders festival. In addition to supporting their work as theater artists, this artistic outreach program is fostering a closer relationship between the theater and its Latino neighbors and building demand for theater among Latino audiences.
· Two River’s commissioning program, launched in 2010 to create a pipeline for developing new work that contributes to the vitality and future of the American theater, continued to expand with commissions to playwright and actor Martin Moran (whose performances of his solo shows The Tricky Part and All the Rage were performed at the theater in repertory as A Map of the Soul in 2013/14) and Tony Meneses (author of Guadalupe in the Guest Room, which will have its world premiere in Two River’s 2014/15 Season).
· The theater continued to develop Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Your Blues Ain’t Sweet like Mine and the musical Be More Chill, written by the team of composer/lyricist Joe Iconis and bookwriter Joe Tracz, in preparation for their world-premiere productions in 2014/15. Additional new-play development activities included separate week-long artist residencies with the New York-based company Clubbed Thumb and alumni from NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing program.
· In February, Two River produced Andrea Thome’s new play Pinkolandia, directed by Jose Zayas, as part of Lark Play Development Center’s “Launching New Plays into the Repertoire Initiative” supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Through this rolling world premiere, Two River supported the play’s continued development, as well as conversations around the themes of exile, immigration, and home, alongside initiative partners 16th Street Theater in Chicago, INTAR Theatre in New York, and Salvage Vanguard Theater in Austin.
· In February, the theater launched a new annual program called A Little Shakespeare that brought a 75-minute version of As You Like It—adapted and directed by Jason McDowell-Green, designed by professional artists, and performed by high school students from six area schools—to the Marion Huber stage, with a week of performances overlapping director Michael Sexton’s Rechnitz Theater production of the same play. TheaterWorks and No Seats Empty 2.0, which were launched in the 2012/13 Season to serve at-risk youth, were established as flagship programs. All of Two River’s Education initiatives were augmented by opportunities for enhanced learning including curriculum support, in-school residencies, pre-show workshops, and/or post-show discussions.
· In April, Two River presented its first show for audiences aged 2 to 6 with Hatched: Life on the Farm, performed by the Treehouse Shakers.
· In a first-time partnership, Two River joined with New Jersey Performing Arts Center to co-produce Meredith Willson’s The Music Man: In Concert. Directed by Obie Award-winner Robert O’Hara, with music direction by Kenny J. Seymour, America’s favorite musical about big brass bands and small-town spirit was performed by an African-American cast for six sold-out performances in Red Bank and four performances in Newark.
· Other new collaborations in the 2013/14 Season included August Wilson’s American Century Cycle, presented in New York by The Greene Space, for which Two River was a cultural partner; playing host to TEDx Navesink in May 2014; and poetry slams in partnership with the Loser Slam open-mic nights throughout the season.
· In the fall the theater launched “Inside Two River,” an audience-development initiative designed to create a deeper level of engagement for new and current audiences. For each production, Two River now offers a series of free events and programs including open rehearsals featuring cast and artistic teams; humanities forums; guest lecturers; film screenings; and a Two River book club. This season’s events attracted more than 3,000 audience members to the theater.
· In celebration of Two River’s 20th Anniversary, the theater engaged Design Army, an award-winning graphic design firm located in Washington DC, to help refresh and unify its visual identity, including the Two River logo and show art.
· In June, Two River was honored with the 2014 Leadership Award from the Cultural Access Network Project, a co-sponsored project of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance. The award recognized Two River Theater’s outstanding leadership in making its programs and facilities accessible to people with disabilities.
· During the 20th Anniversary Season, Two River’s contributed income increased 25% before taking into account founder support. The theater also secured funding for the first time from national foundations including the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Two River’s 2013/14 Season Supporters
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit theater, Two River keeps ticket prices low to make the theater accessible to everyone. In fact, only one-third of the theater’s operations are support by tickets sales. Two River Theater enjoys support from hundreds of generous individuals, corporations, and foundations.
· Corporate sponsors for Two River’s productions during the 2013/2014 Season included Durso Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley, Investors Bank, Monmouth University, the Unterberg Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, Wells Fargo, Brookdale Community College, and ZAIS Group, among many others.
· Foundation support was provided by The Shubert Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Foundation, and the William T. Morris Foundation, among many others. The theater was also supported by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.
· Two River’s education programs were supported by The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, the Mary Owen Borden Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation, Investors Foundation, and Jorgensen Foundation.
· The theater’s access programs for seniors and individuals with disabilities were supported by the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and Springpoint Senior Living Foundation.
· In-kind support was provided by local businesses including the Molly Pitcher/Oyster Point Hotel, Courtyard Marriott, Flowers on Front, and Spirits Unlimited.
· Sponsors for Two River’s 20th Anniversary Gala included Meridian Health/Riverview Medical Center, Monmouth Medical Center, Monmouth University, and the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County, among many other businesses and individuals.
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 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.

Trilogy Repertory To Present Comedy ‘Play On!’ In The Park


Following the successful run of Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Pleasant Valley Park amphitheater in Basking Ridge, Bernards Township Plays in the Park and Trilogy Repertory Company will present the hilarious comedy, Play On!, on July 25, 26, 31, and August 1 and 2, on the park stage. Performances are free to the public and will begin at 8 PM.

Play On! written by Rick Abbott (one of several pen names for playwright Jack Sharkey who authored over eighty plays), is the wonderfully entertaining story of a community theater group attempting to put on a play called Murder Most Foul, written by Phyllis Montague (Eileen McShane of Bernardsville). She constantly makes changes to the script, frustrating the director (Anne King of New Providence), stage manager (Chris Winans of Morristown), and techie (Ed McCarty of Bridgewater) as well as the actors. Nerves fray, and the cast begins to get on each other’s nerves as time grows short, opening night looms, and everything that can go wrong, does! The cast also includes Avery Scott (Califon), Hank Barre (Basking Ridge), Peter Curley (Maplewood), Debbie Glick (Flemington), Ginny Beutnagel (Mendham), and Claire Taylor (Bernardsville).

Play On! Is directed by Jaye Barre, with the assistance from stage manager Marilyn Gamba and Props Designer Eileen McSweeney, all of Basking Ridge. Beverly Webb again returns from California for set decoration and costumes. Lorrie Lane of Basking Ridge is the Producer for Plays in the Park. Bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating. For information, call 908-204-3003.

The partnership of Trilogy Repertory and Bernards Township has produced close to thirty years of family entertainment and achieved several awards for both groups for excellence in theater programming. Most prominent are the awards from ACT (Achievement in Community Theater) and the prestigious “Excellence in Cultural Arts Programming.” “Play On!” is made possible, in part, by support from New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Trilogy Repertory Company ,P. O. Box 199, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Call 908-604-4800 or visit


Caption for cast picture: The cast of Play On! Rehearses “Murder Most Foul” with Claire Taylor of Bernardsville, Hank Barre of Basking Ridge, Ginny Beutnagel of Mendham, Peter Curley of Maplewood, Debbie Glick of Flemington, and Scott Avery of Califon.

End of Summer Short Acting Program with Director Lou Scarpati

It's been several years in the making. And, we're thrilled it's finally here. To celebrate, our first program will be an affordable 

End of Summer Short Acting Program

Taught by The Company's artistic director: Lou Scarpati

Beginning Aug 11 and continuing on Aug, 14, 18, 21, 25, 28, the three week program is designed to introduce new/amateur actors as well as more seasoned local actors to the general acting methods used by The Company.

This short program will seamlessly lead into a fall program for those who wish to delve deeper in the training. And, successful actors will be invited into company membership, as well as have a chance to audition for upcoming company productions and readings.
Our studio will be at the

Temple Avodat Shalom
385 Howland Ave.
River Edge, N.J. 07661

Just across from Van Saun Park

So, there will be 6 classes in total - held in the Youth Lounge.

Teen classes will be at 6pm each of the days, and
Adult classes will follow at 8pm.

Finally, as an added gift, the first of the six classes will be free with no obligation to continue (while seats last). So, there's no risk, if it's not for you. And, if you continue with the program, the 5 remaining classes will be only $99.

If you're interested: email

Again, seating is limited, so please act now if you have an aspiring actor in your house or you are one yourself.

'Eurydice Descending' with Gloria Lamoureux in Manhattan Three Dates Only

Word From Across The River: "We are thrilled to be finally working with the fabulous  Gloria Lamoureux! Gloria will be playing the lead role of Wendy.

Midtown International Theatre Festival, in association with Titus' Arrow, presents
EURYDICE DESCENDING, a new play by Karin Fazio Littlefield

Award-winning actress Gloria Lamoureux heads the production as Wendy, a wife who is driven to desperation and humiliation because her husband Bill has refused to come out of the bathroom for more than six weeks.

With Dianne Diep and Andy Phillips

Directed by Roark Littlefield

July 29 at 8:00 p.m.

Aug. 2 at 9:00 p.m.
Aug. 3 at 4:00 p.m. 

The Jewel Box Theater 
312 West 36th Street, NY, NY.

For tickets visit

Gloria has performed on stages throughout NY and NJ, most recently appearing in Sex, Relationships and Sometimes…Love at the Producers Club, and as Margie Walsh in Good People; theater credits also include the title character in Shirley Valentine (NJACT Perry Award winner); Becky’s New Car; The Clean House, Arcadia, Centenary Stage Company’s A Christmas Carol – The Musical as well as readings for CSC Womens Playwright Series. 

She is a member of The Complete Theater Company, Alliance Repertory Theater and Fearless Productions. In December, she will play Bette Davis in the upcoming Fearless production of Legends & Bridge at the Hamilton Theatre of the Union County PAC. She holds a BA in Drama from Queens College, MA in Theatre from Montclair State University.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

'A Few Good Men' at Holmdel

The Holmdel Theatre Company presents
Directed by BRIAN REMO

WHEN: Jul 25, 26, Aug 1, 2, 8, and 9 @ 8 PM; MatinĂ©es on Jul 27 and Aug 3 @ 2 PM
Holmdel Theatre Company at the Duncan Smith Theatre, 36 Crawfords Corner Rd., Holmdel (on the grounds of Holmdel H.S.)

Inspired by true events, two Marines are accused of the hazing death of a fellow Marine at Guantanamo Bay. This hard-hitting, suspenseful story puts the Marine code of honor on trial when two military lawyers uncover a high-level conspiracy in the course of defending their clients.
Aaron Sorkin (Moneyball, The Social Network, The West Wing) wrote the captivating courtroom drama, which ran for nearly 500 performances on Broadway in 1989. Sorkin later adapted his work into an Oscar-nominated film in1992 directed by Rob Reiner and starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore.
Carmen Balentine, Kristin Barber, Timothy Cary, Dave Duncan, Paul Fiumano,
David Harris, Bill King, Bobby Marusiefski, Dave Murray, Ross Pohling, Patrick Schladebeck, Michael Sockol, David Sussman, James Walsh

New Jersey Youth Theatre's 'Oklahoma' at Bickford in August

The Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum in conjunction with the Algonquin Arts Center of Manasquan and the New Jersey Youth Theatre will present the American classic musical OKLAHOMA, August 1 through August 10, 2014.

“Oklahoma!,” Rodgers & Hammerstein's first collaboration remains, in many ways, their most innovative, having set the standards and established the rules of musical theatre still being followed today. Set in Oklahoma territory just after the turn of the century, the high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys provides the colorful background against which Curly, a handsome cowboy, and Laurey, a winsome farm girl,  Will Parker, a fun-loving steer roper and Ado Annie, a love-hungry flirt play out their love stories. They succeed in making new lives together in what will be a brand-new state building up to the ultimate climax, the triumphant “OKLAHOMA!” Songs include “People Will Say We’re in Love,” “I Cain’t Say No,” “The Surrey With the Fringe on Top,” and “Out of My Dreams.”

The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical will be directed by Cynthia Meryl who last year directed the summer theatre production of WEST SIDE STORY at the Morris Museum’s Bickford Theatre. The Music Director is Matthew Webb who serves as the Director of Music at the Presbyterian Church in Morristown, NJ and the choreographer is Sherry Alban who is a member of the dance faculty at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers.

Starring in “Oklahoma!” are talented young actors from across the state including Jason Kugelman from Rumson as Curly, Erica Morreale from Cranford as Laurey, Branden Mangan as Andrew Carnes and Ariel Schwarzer as Ali Hakim, both from West Orange, Kaitlin Quann from Randolph as Kate, Samantha Tropper from Union as Ado Annie and Andrew Martinez from Morristown as Jud.

Tickets may be purchased by phone at (973) 971-3706, or in person at the Bickford Theatre box office. The Bickford Theatre is conveniently located within the Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Road in Morristown, NJ, and offers free parking and full accessibility. Box Office hours for phone sales are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Walk-up hours are Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Bickford Theatre is a professional theater that produces and presents year-round entertainment, including a Main Stage Series, two Children’s Theatre series, a Jazz Showcase and many other special concerts and performances. Artistic Director Eric Hafen celebrates his fourteenth anniversary this season. The theatre is an Equity Member Theatre of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, a not-for-profit organization of 30 professional theatres throughout the state, and works in conjunction with Actors' Equity Association (AEA) and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC).

Monday, July 21, 2014

Algonquin Arts Theatre's 'Take A Seat' Campaign

Algonquin Arts Theatre invites the community to play a leading role in the installation of new seats as the organization continues to make improvements that will enhance the patron experience at the historic theatre.
Through the Take a Seat Campaign, individuals or organizations can sponsor a new seat, or seats, and become part of the history and vibrant future of the theatre. Proceeds will fund the new theatre seating to be installed this fall, facility improvements, and support high quality performing arts and education programming that brings more than 35,000 patrons through the doors each year.

A custom inscription chosen by each seat sponsor will be affixed to sponsored seats, and recognition for all contributors to the Take a Seat Campaign will be posted in the theatre lobby. A special celebration for all seat sponsors is being planned for the fall following the installation of the seats in September and October.

“The Algonquin has been and continues to be a big part of life in this community,” Algonquin Executive Director William Whitefield said. “The interest in sponsoring seats has been high, and our goal is to give everyone the opportunity to participate in the Take a Seat Campaign before the September installation begins.”

Seat sponsorships are available at the Director Level, a $500 contribution, and the Producer Level, a $1,000 contribution. As of the date of this release, 49 seats remain available at the Director Level, while 30 remain at the Producer Level. Opportunities are also available to sponsor wheelchair accessible locations. An Orchestra Center row of 12 seats can be sponsored for $10,000.

The theatre’s current seats date to 1938 when the Algonquin opened as a movie house. To maintain the theatre’s historic feel, the original row ends and arm rests will be refurbished and installed along with a new, more comfortable seat. The same company that provided the original seats to the theatre, Irwin Seating of Grand Rapids, Michigan, will be manufacturing and installing the new seats.

The seating will be reconfigured slightly to improve sightlines as well as to improve accessibility including the accommodation of additional wheelchairs at each of more than 100 events in the theatre each year.

To join the Take a Seat Campaign, please contact Teresa Staub, Chief Director of Development, at 732-528-4336 who can reserve the seats via phone and email or mail a form to fill out for the recognition plaque.

Forms are also available in the Algonquin Arts Theatre Box Office open 12-6 weekdays and 12-4 Saturdays at 173 Main Street, where a sample of the new seats are on display.(photo above is a stock picture).