Monday, February 27, 2017

‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ now at Two River Theater

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Two River Theater’s production of The Merry Wives of Windsor, adapted and directed by Eric Tucker opens Friday, March 3 at 8 pm.  Performances will continue through Sunday, March 26.

Featuring only three actors—Nicole Lewis, Jason O’Connell, and Zuzanna Szadkowski—this production of The Merry Wives of Windsor explores the darker undercurrent of one of Shakespeare’s silliest comedies. In the play, the lecherous buffoon John Falstaff decides to seduce both Mistress Page and Mistress Ford, respectable married women of Windsor. When the two women immediately see through Falstaff’s plot, they decide to turn the tables on him and devise a plot of their own.

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, continues its 2016/17 Season with Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, directed by Eric Tucker. Performances will began in Two River’s Marion Huber Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, on Saturday, February 25 and continue through Sunday, March 26. The opening night performance is Friday, March 3 at 8pm. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or tworivertheater.org

During the run of The Merry Wives of Windsor, from March 7-12, Two River will present A Little Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor, a 75-minute version of the play—adapted and directed by Nicole A. Watson and designed by professional artists—on the stage of the Rechnitz Theater. Eighteen students from area high schools will perform in the production and an additional 10 students are working behind the scenes assisting each member of the artistic team.  The 28 students are from 12 area high schools. There will be eight performances, including four student matinees geared toward audiences age 9 and up. Student matinees include an in-school pre-show workshop for each class conducted by a professional Two River teaching artist, as well as a talkback after the show with the student actors. For tickets and a performance schedule, call 732.345.1400 or visit tworivertheater.org

The Merry Wives of Windsor and A Little Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor are supported by Shakespeare in American Communities, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

The Merry Wives of Windsor

This production of The Merry Wives of Windsor will explore the darker undercurrent of one of Shakespeare’s silliest comedies. In the play, the lecherous buffoon John Falstaff (perhaps Shakespeare’s greatest comic character) decides to seduce both Mistress Page and Mistress Ford, respectable married women of Windsor. When the two women immediately see through Falstaff’s plot, they decide to turn the tables on him and devise a plot of their own—for hilarious revenge.

Adaptor and director Eric Tucker was named the Wall Street Journal’s Director of the Year in 2014. He is the Artistic Director of Bedlam Theatre, where his credits include Sense & Sensibility, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Saint Joan, and Hamlet.

Says Artistic Director John Dias, “Eric Tucker’s work as a director is imaginative and inventive; he distills the theatricality of Shakespeare’s plays into intimate, small-scale productions that capture the fullness of the text. He wrestles with the plays—and, at the same time, is deeply respectful of them. He makes Shakespeare’s language joyously accessible to audiences.  And our three marvelous actors—Nicole Lewis, Jason O’Connell, and Zuzanna Szadkowski—bring an extraordinary combination of physical comedy and fresh, performative use of language to their work.”

Nicole Lewis has appeared on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning revival of Hair and as Joanne in Rent, among other productions in New York and around the country; her TV credits include The Blacklist and Mozart in the Jungle.

Jason O’Connell concocted the idea to perform The Merry Wives of Windsor with only three actors alongside a fellow actor, Dan Matisa. He recently enjoyed a long run in Bedlam’s acclaimed production of Sense & Sensibility; he also won accolades for his performance as both Bottom and Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream at The Pearl Theatre, a co-production with the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, where he has performed for eight seasons.

Zuzanna Szadkowski played Dorota in the CW’s hit drama series Gossip Girl and can be seen as Nurse Pell on the Cinemax series from Steven Soderbergh, The Knick. Her theater credits include The Comedy of Errors as part of the Public Theater’s Mobile Shakespeare Unit and Nora and Delia Ephron’s Love, Loss and What I Wore.

The creative team for The Merry Wives of Windsor includes scenic designer Lee Savage, costume designer Jessica Pabst, lighting designer Eric Southern, and sound designer Karin Graybash. The casting is by Heidi Griffiths & Kate Murray, and the production stage manager is Brett Anders.

Ticket Information

Ticket prices for The Merry Wives of Windsor range from $50 to $70, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from tworivertheater.org or 732.345.1400.

 

Inside Two River

Shakespeare Play-Reading Group: Monday, February 27 and Monday, March 6 at 7pm in the Victoria J. Mastrobuono Library

Led by Artistic Director John Dias, participants in Two River’s second annual Shakespeare play-reading group will read the full text of The Merry Wives of Windsor out loud, and discuss its language and meaning over the course of two successive Monday nights at 7pm: February 27 and March 6. No experience is necessary and copies of the play will be provided at each reading. The play-reading group will meet in the Victoria J. Mastrobuono Library; coffee, tea, and light refreshments will also be provided.

A Little Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor

A total of 28 students participating in A Little Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor are from 12 area high schools: Biotechnology High School, Christian Brothers Academy, Communications High School, Freehold Borough High School, Henry Hudson Regional School, Holmdel High School, Howell High School – FPAC, Middletown High School North, Neptune High School, Red Bank Regional – VPA, and Thomas Jefferson Arts, and Trinity Hall.

Performances of A Little Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor are Tuesday, March 7 at 10:30am (student matinee), Wednesday, March 8 at 10:30am(student matinee), Thursday, March 9 at 10:30am, (student matinee), Friday, March 10 at 10:30am (student matinee) and 7pm, Saturday, March 11 at 2pm and 7pm, and Sunday, March 12 at 2pm. Ticket prices are $20 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. Student matinee tickets are $12. Tickets are available from tworivertheater.org or 732.345.1400.

Audience Extras

Before Play and Lobby Display

Audiences will learn about Shakespeare and The Merry Wives of Windsor in Two River’s Before Play lecture series, which takes place 45 minutes prior to every performance, and Lobby Display.

Post-Play Conversations

Discussions with members of the cast and a member of Two River Theater’s Artistic staff will take place following the performances on Wednesday, March 15 at 7pm; Sunday, March 19 at 3pm; and Wednesday, March 22 at 1pm.

Accessibility

Working with Google, Two River has created and launched a virtual tour of its facility, which lives on Google Maps and tworivertheater.org. 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.

An audio-described performance is scheduled for Wednesday, March 22 at 1pm, and an open-captioned performance is scheduled for Saturday, March 25 at 3pm. 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 boxoffice@trtc.org.

Calendar

Saturday, February 25 at 8pm

Sunday, February 26 at 3pm

Wednesday, March 1 at 1 pm and 7pm

Thursday, March 2 at 8pm

Friday, March 3 at 8pm (Opening Night)

Saturday, March 4 at 3pm and 8pm

Sunday, March 5 at 3pm

Wednesday, March 8 at 1pm and 7pm

Thursday, March 9 at 10am (student matinee) and 8pm

Friday, March 10 at 8pm

Saturday, March 11 at 3pm and 8pm

Sunday, March 12 at 3pm

Wednesday, March 15 at 1pm and 7pm

Thursday, March 16 at 10am (student matinee) and 8pm

Friday, March 17 at 8pm

Saturday, March 18 at 3pm and 8pm

Sunday, March 19 at 3pm

Wednesday, March 22 at 1pm and 7pm

Thursday, March 23 at 10am (student matinee) and 8pm

Friday, March 24 at 8pm

Saturday, March 25 at 3pm and 8pm

Sunday, March 26 at 3pm

Sponsorship

The Merry Wives of Windsor and A Little Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor are supported by Shakespeare in American Communities, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Two River Theater is supported in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Roy Cockrum Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Monmouth University, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Riverview Medical Center, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Shakespeare in American Communities, National Endowment for the Arts, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust,  The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Investors Bank, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation at the Atrium at Navesink Harbor, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Jorgensen Foundation, Wells Fargo, William T. Morris Foundation, and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.

Two River Theater’s education programs are supported by The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Shakespeare in American Communities, The Jorgensen Foundation, Investors Foundation, The Community Foundation of New Jersey, OceanFirst, and Gannett Foundation, and are made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

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