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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Shakespeare Theatre Presents A Holiday Classic For Its 2016 Season Finale


MADISON, N.J. – The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey rings in the holiday season with a timeless production of A Child’s Christmas in Wales, based on the classic story by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas and adapted for the stage by Jeremy Brooks and Adrian Mitchell. The festive show is being revived for the first time since it last appeared on the STNJ stage in 2003, featuring Greg Jackson in the role of Dylan Thomas.

Performances begin November 30 and run through January 1 at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Avenue in Madison. Tickets to this musical celebration can be purchased by calling the Box Office 973-408-5600 or online at ShakespeareNJ.org.

Based on Thomas’ classic story about his childhood holidays in Wales in the early 1900s, this beautiful piece about a time gone by rejoices in the simple joys of childhood, the spirit of goodness, the comfort of family, and the magic that music and imagination bring to us all. Veteran company member Joseph Discherreturns to direct, and Greg Jackson returns for his sixteenth season to play Dylan Thomas, after most recently appearing as the leading actor in A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway.

In its previous run at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, critics and audiences alike praised A Child’s Christmas in Wales, declaring there’s “no other work that conveys the joy and spirit of Christmas as well” (The Star-Ledger). The production features traditional music from the British Isles, and in this 2016 production, actor Andy Paterson, who played Dylan Thomas in STNJ’s previous productions, will return, graduating up to the role of Glyn.

The Cast:
Greg Jackson returns for his sixteenth season at STNJ as Dylan Thomas after appearing on Broadway inA Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder, covering Jefferson Mays for over 100 performances. His company credits include As You Like It, Measure for Measure, A Christmas Carol (2011 and 2007 productions), Timon of Athens, The School for Wives, The Winter’s Tale and Amadeus. In 2005, he and his creative partner Erin Quinn Purcell received the award for Most Outstanding Overall Production in the 2005 NYC International Fringe Festival.

After this summer’s Coriolanus, John Ahlin returns in the role of Gwyn. Mr. Ahlin was most recently seen at this year’s New York Fringe Festival and Encore series in the Off-Broadway comedy ChipandGus. His Broadway credits include Waiting for Godot, Journey’s End (2007 Tony Award for Best Revival), The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Voices in the Dark, and Macbeth.

As Nellie, Clemmie Evans makes her STNJ debut. She has performed regionally with the Mint Theatre Company, Punchdrunk, Mind the Gap Theatre, and Axial Theatre Company. Her film and television credits include Louie and Freedom.

Peter Simon Hilton makes his STNJ debut in the role of Dylan’s Father. He has performed in the national tours of Oklahoma!, Les Miserables, and Frost/Nixon. His television and film credits include Pan Am, The Prince, An Englishman in New York, and Honey Flood.

Seamus Mulcahy returns for his seventh season to play Tom/Murgatroyd. His company credits include The Alchemist, Tovarich, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear, A Christmas Carol, Henry V, andRosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. He has appeared Off-Broadway in Our Town and regionally in the world premiere of Above the Fold with Taraji P. Henson.

Andy Paterson returns playing the role of role of Glyn for his twelfth season at STNJ. Other company credits include A Most Dangerous Woman, Oliver Twist, The Tempest, Pericles, The Blue Bird, among others. He has also performed regionally with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Yale Repertory Theatre, and Paper Mill Playhouse.

Marking her sixth season with The Theatre, Tina Stafford plays Dylan’s Mother. Her company credits include A Christmas Carol (2011 and 2007 productions), Carnival! and A Child’s Christmas in Wales. Ms. Stafford was most recently seen Off-Broadway in Liberty, the Musical. Prior to that, she returned from two years on the road with the first international tour of Once.

Last seen in this summer’s Outdoor Stage production The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (revised), Patrick Toon will play Uncle Tudyr/Smoky. Over ten seasons, his various company credits include The Diary of Anne Frank, The Royal Family, The Tempest, Othello, and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Mr. Toon has also toured naval bases around the nation in ReEntry.

Carey Van Driest makes her STNJ debut in the role of Elieri. She has performed in the national tour ofAnnie, and her New York credits include The International (Best Actress, Origin Theatre’s First Irish Festival), Othello, Reckless, The Winter’s Tale and The Importance of Being Earnest.

Alison Weller, after playing Hilde Latymer in this season’s opening production A Song at Twilight, returns in the role of Hannah. Ms. Weller has performed with The Theatre for seven seasons, and her company credits include The Learned Ladies, Tovarich, The Cherry Orchard, Triumph of Love, Hay Fever, Julius Caesar, and The Country Wife. She has also appeared on Broadway in Coram Boy.

Rounding out the cast are Tess Ammerman, Cassandra Cushman, Thomas Daniels, Julian Blake Gordon, and Alycia Kunkle.

Massey Quick, an independent wealth management and investment consulting firm, is the presenting sponsor for this production. The company advises high net worth families, endowments and foundations from its offices in Morristown, New Jersey and New York. Todd Rosen, Managing Director of The Shakespeare Theatre said, “We are pleased to welcome the support of Massey Quick as presenting sponsor for this delightful holiday production.”



The Director:
Director Joseph Discher returns for his twenty-sixth season with The Shakespeare Theatre. His most recent company credits include The Diary of Anne Frank, Wittenberg, Our Town, To Kill a Mockingbird,Arms and the Man (The Star-Ledger’s Top Ten in 2010), The Grapes of Wrath (The Star-Ledger’s Best Director in 2009), Of Mice and Men (The Star-Ledger’s Best Revival of the Year in 2004). Most recently, Mr. Discher directed the Off-Broadway production of Butler by Richard Strand at 59E59, after directing its world premiere at New Jersey Repertory Company.

The Artistic Staff:
Robert Long serves as musical director. Mr. Long is the Director of Music Ministries and organist for Corpus Christi Parish in Chatham, N.J. Mr. Long previously served as Director of Music at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, where he conducted the Cathedral Choir and worked with world-renowned guest artists.

The visual landscape for this production of A Child’s Christmas in Wales has been conceived by set designer Jonathan Wentz, lighting designer Rachel Gibney, sound designer Steven Beckel, and costume designer Tristan Raines. The dialect coach is Stephen Gabis. Denise Cardarelli serves as the Production Stage Manager.

Tickets:
Single tickets for A Child’s Christmas in Wales start as low as $25 for preview performances and $32 for regular performances. Prices range from $25 - $75. This season, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is initiating their 30 UNDER 30 Program, which offers $30 tickets for patrons aged 30 and under, with valid ID, tickets subject to availability. For tickets, call the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.





The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey offers various cost-saving opportunities, including $15 student rush tickets, which are available 30 minutes prior to each performance, with a valid student ID, and a limited number of Pay What You Can tickets for every performance on a first come, first serve basis. Student matinees are offered at the very affordable price rate of $17 a ticket and are offered throughout the run. Schools are encouraged to book soon as availability is going fast. To book, please call 973– 845 – 6742.

Special Performances:
For the same price as a regular ticket, the Symposium Series performances offer a post-show discussion with the cast and artistic staff. For A Child’s Christmas in Wales, the symposia will be held on Tuesday, December 6 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, December 10 at 2:00 p.m., and Saturday, December 17 at 2:00 p.m.

The Know the Show pre-show talks are offered free-of-cost. Prior to the show, an artist from The Shakespeare Theatre presents a pre-performance talk providing background information and an inside perspective on the production. This program is free with the purchase of a performance ticket, and for A Child’s Christmas in Wales will be held Thursday, December 8 at 7:00 p.m., with the show commencing at 8:00 p.m.

The acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is an independent, professional theatre company located on the Drew University campus. One of the leading Shakespeare theatres in the nation, serving approximately 100,000 adults and children annually, it is New Jersey’s largest professional theatre company dedicated solely to Shakespeare’s canon and other world classics. Through its distinguished productions and education programs, the company strives to illuminate the universal and lasting relevance of the classics for contemporary audiences.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional major support is received from The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the F. M. Kirby Foundation, The Edward T. Cone Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The CTW Foundation, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation and Drew University, as well as contributions from numerous other corporations, foundations, government agencies and individuals.

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