Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Two River Theater lineup for 2016/17 Season

RED BANK, NJ— Two River Theater announced the lineup of productions for its 2016/17 Season, which will launch in September with August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, directed by Tony Award-winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Full-season 6-play subscriptions are on sale now from 732.345.1400 or 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank. Subscribers save 25% on tickets, receive prime seating and a number of additional benefits. Visit for more details. Single tickets will go on sale in August 2016.

“The mission of Two River has always been to produce theater that directs our attention to the most profound aspects of our shared human experience,” says Artistic Director John Dias. “This season, we have a collection of plays that does just that. These plays dive deep into essential elements of our contemporary lives—love, honor, racism, family conflict, climate change, war, and more. And yet they do so in a joyously human way, painting indelible, moving, hilariously funny, and most of all, deeply honest portraits of people at their best, worst, and everything in between. We are proud to have so many of our favorite theater artists returning to Two River Theater, and equally proud to introduce our community to artists we have long admired.”



Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Rechnitz Theater

September 10-October 9, 2016

Two River Theater opens its season with an extended four-week run of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Two River’s fourth American Century Cycle production following its acclaimed productions of Jitney, Two Trains Running, and Seven Guitars. August Wilson’s incendiary drama, set in the 1920s, takes audiences into the world of legendary singer Ma Rainey (the real-life “Mother of the Blues”) as she lays down tracks with her band in a Chicago recording studio. Tony Award-winning actor, playwright, and director Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Broadway’s Seven Guitars, Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine) directs.


By James Goldman

Rechnitz Theater

November 12-December 4, 2016

“Well—what shall we hang? The holly or each other?” Tony Award-nominated actor Michael Cumpsty (End of the Rainbow, The Body of an American) stars in The Lion in Winter. This American classic depicts the ruthless scheming and power struggles between Henry II of England, his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, and their three children during Christmas, 1183 as they fight over who will rule the land after Henry’s death.


Produced by Lightwire Theater

Rechnitz Theater

December 27-30, 2016

Music, movement, and neon lights fill the stage as dancers and puppets tell the story of a young bird named Max, who is trying to fly south for the winter. As he tries to make his way home, his adventures begin as he encounters friendly caroling worms, dancing poinsettias, Nutcracker soldiers, mischievous mice and an evil Rat King. This holiday tale for audiences of all ages is set to timeless holiday hits by Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey, Tchaikovsky, and more.


By Madeleine George

Directed by Leigh Silverman

Marion Huber Theater

January 14-February 12, 2017

Set in a slightly larger-than-life version of Red Bank, Hurricane Diane is a “wild comedy” about climate change. An ancient god on an earthly mission, gardener Diane forever alters the lives of four New Jersey housewives when she sets out to convince each woman to implement her environmentally friendly landscape design. Two River commissioned Hurricane Diane from Madeleine George after the success of her play Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England in the 2011/12 Season. George is the winner of the 2016 Whiting Award in Drama; she received a Pulitzer Prize nomination and the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award for her play The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence. Tony Award nominee Leigh Silverman (Violet) previously directed Ethan Lipton’s No Place to Go at Two River.


By William Shakespeare

Directed by Eric Tucker

Marion Huber Theater

February 25-March 26, 2017

Shakespeare’s great comedy about marriage—which features one of his most beloved comic characters, Sir John Falstaff—will be performed by only three actors in an exuberant feat of imagination, energy, and theatricality. Director Eric Tucker and actor Jason O’Connell are frequent collaborators; their work together includes last season’s acclaimed Off-Broadway production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (named the Best Classical Production of 2015 by Terry Teachout in The Wall Street Journal) and Sense and Sensibility for the New York-based company Bedlam, for which Tucker is Artistic Director.

The Merry Wives of Windsor will be performed in Two River’s 110-seat Marion Huber Theater. In connection with this production, Two River will produce A Little Shakespeare, a 70-minute version of the play performed by high school students. Performances of A Little Shakespeare will be presented in Two River’s Rechnitz Theater from March 7-12.


By Tony Meneses

Rechnitz Theater

April 8-30, 2017

Through the power of food, faith, laughter, and each other, eight women find a way to carry on life at home while their husbands are away at an unnamed war. Inspired by the heightened lyricism of playwright and poet Federico GarcĂ­a Lorca, this new play shows there is always a way—even through the hardest of times—to set our love free. Playwright Tony Meneses made his Two River debut last season with Guadalupe in the Guest Room.


Music by Mike Reid

Lyrics by Sarah Schlesinger
Book by Sarah Schlesinger, Mike Reid, and John Dias
Based on the film The Ballad of Little Jo by Maggie Greenwald
Directed by John Dias

Rechnitz Theater

June 3-25, 2017

This soaring musical about the American West is inspired by the real-life story of Josephine Monaghan—a young woman from Boston who, in the late 19th century, made a new life in an Idaho mining town disguised as a man called “Jo.” Grammy Award-winning Nashville songwriter Mike Reid and lyricist Sarah Schlesinger previously collaborated on Two River’s productions of A Wind in the Willows Christmas and In This House. John Dias, Artistic Director of Two River Theater, is co-writing the book and making his directorial debut with this production.

Plays, artists, dates, and ticket prices are subject to change. For additional information, visit

Ticket Information:

Full-season 6-play subscriptions are on sale now; prices range from $170 to $315. Subscribers save 25% on tickets, receive prime seating and a number of additional benefits. Visit for more details. Individual show tickets will go on sale August 2016. Ticket prices for individual shows range from $20 to $70.

Ticket prices for all productions except A Very Electric Christmas and A Little Shakespeare range from $40 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.

Ticket prices for A Very Electric Christmas and A Little Shakespeare are $20 for adults and $15 for children under age 12.

Sponsors and Supporters

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 Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Monmouth University, The Shubert Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Meridian Health/Riverview Medical Center, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Saker ShopRites, National Endowment for the Arts, Investors Foundation, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation at the Atrium at Navesink Harbor, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation, William T. Morris Foundation, Brookdale Community College, and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst.  It is recognized in the national theater community for its new-play commissioning program, launched in 2010 to create a pipeline for developing work that contributes to the vitality and future of the American theater. Each season, the theater hosts numerous artist residencies, workshops, and readings, and presents an annual Cabaret of New Songs for the Musical Theater in association with NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing program. The Crossing Borders Festival and Nosotros program foster a closer relationship between the theater and Latino artists and audiences, and Two River cultivates a new generation of theatergoers through innovative arts education programs that introduce young people to the theater and create opportunities for them to engage with renowned theater artists. Founded in 1994 by Joan and Robert M. Rechnitz, Two River Theater is located in Red Bank, New Jersey. Visit

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