Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Next at Two River Theater the world premiere of 'The Bridge of San Luis Rey' by Thornton Wilder

Two River Theater continues its 2017/18 season with the world premiere of The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder, adapted for the stage by and starring David Greenspan, directed by Ken Rus Schmoll. Performances will begin in Two River’s Marion Huber Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, on Saturday, February 17 and continue through Sunday, March 18. The opening night performance is Friday, February 23 at 7pm. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or The lead production sponsor is Brookdale Community College.

“There’s an impassioned camp of theater lovers who assert that Thornton Wilder is the consummate American theater artist; there’s another who say the same of David Greenspan. Imagine what they’ll say when these two collaborate on something new,” says Artistic Director John Dias. 
The Bridge of San Luis Rey was published in 1927 and won Thornton Wilder the first of his three Pulitzer Prizes. (Wilder, the only writer to win Pulitzer Prizes for both fiction and drama, was also honored for his plays Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth.) Set in 18th century Peru, the novel is about five travelers who fall to their deaths when they are crossing a bridge that breaks without warning. “There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning,” Wilder wrote in its famous final words.

Commissioned by Two River Theater, five-time Obie Award-winning playwright and actor David Greenspan brings Wilder’s masterpiece about life, fate, and love to the stage as a profound meditation on theater and live performance. Greenspan (most recently seen in a solo performance of Eugene O’Neill’s Strange Interlude) leads a nine-actor company in the role of Uncle Pio, the play’s narrator.  

The cast of The Bridge of San Luis Rey also includes Sumaya Bouhbal (Pepita), Zachary Infante(Esteban), Julienne Hanzelka Kim (Madre María), Elizabeth Ramos (Camila Perichole), Steven Rattazzi(Don Andrés de Ribera/Captain Alvarado/Don Vicente/Jaime/Inez), Mary Lou Rosato (Doña María), Bradley James Tejeda (Manuel) and Madeline Wise (Doña Clara). 

The creative team includes scenic designer Antje Ellermann, costume designer Elizabeth Hope Clancy,lighting designer Yuki Nakase, and sound designer Karin Graybash. The casting is by Jack Doulin + Sharky, and the stage manager is Megan Smith.

Says Tappan Wilder, Thornton Wilder’s nephew and literary executor, “Beneath the beautifully wrought surface of Wilder’s Bridge rage epic battles before the bar of judgement, questioning the meanings of life, death, faith and love. The Wilder Family and I are thrilled that David Greenspan and Two River Theater are bringing this novel to the stage.”

Ticket Information

Ticket prices range from $40 to $80, 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 or 732.345.1400.

Inside Two River

Inside Two River is a series of events specially curated for each Two River Theater production. For more information or to reserve seats, patrons should visit or call 732.345.1400

Thornton Wilder 101 with Artistic Director John Dias
Tuesday, February 6 at 7pm in the Victoria J. Mastrobuono Library
Thornton Wilder’s works—including Our TownThe Skin of Our Teeth and The Bridge of San Luis Rey—combine the mundane details of everyday life with the largest philosophical and emotional questions of human existence—who are we, and what, ultimately, are we here for? Artistic Director John Dias will discuss Wilder’s life and story, and how his experiences shaped his worldview and his work.
To reserve a free spot, interested patrons should call 732.345.1400 or visit

Meet-up with Madeleine
Sunday, March 4 following the 3pm performance
Meet-up with Madeleine is a post-show discussion series with Two River’s Playwright-in-Residence, Madeleine George. Patrons are invited to enjoy refreshments and conversation on topics including Thornton Wilder, the play’s themes, elements of the production, and more.  To reserve a free spot, interested patrons should call 732.345.1400 or visit

Book Club: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Monday, March 12 at 6:30pm in the Victoria J. Mastrobuono Library   
Thornton Wilder’s novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey and its message of human connection provided the inspiration for David Mitchell’s 2004 novel (Mitchell even named a character Luisa Rey as a tribute). Comprised of six nested stories with very different styles and settings, Cloud Atlas is an intricate, gorgeous, heartbreaking variation on Wilder’s original theme. The Two River Book Club will discuss the art of interlocking stories, and how works of art can teach us how to live.
To reserve a free spot, interested patrons should call 732.345.1400 or visit

Audience Extras

Before Play and Lobby Display
Audiences will learn about Thornton Wilder, David Greenspan, and The Bridge of San Luis Rey 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 the cast and a member of Two River’s Artistic staff will take place following the performances on Wednesday, February 28 at 7pm and Wednesday, March 7 at 1pm.


Working with Google, Two River has created and launched a virtual tour of its facility, which lives on Google Maps and 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 14 at 1pm, and an open-captioned performance is scheduled for Saturday, March 17 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


Saturday, February 17 at 8pm 
Sunday, February 18 at 3pm
Wednesday, February 21 at 1 pm and 7pm
Thursday, February 22 at 8pm
Friday, February 23 at 7pm (Opening Night)
Saturday, February 24 at 3pm and 8pm
Sunday, February 25 at 3pm
Wednesday, February 28 at 1pm and 7pm
Thursday, March 1 at 10am (student matinee) and 8pm
Friday, March 2 at 8pm
Saturday, March 3 at 3pm and 8pm
Sunday, March 4 at 3pm
Wednesday, March 7 at 1pm and 7pm
Thursday, March 8 at 10am (student matinee) and 8pm
Friday, March 9 at 8pm
Saturday, March 10 at 3pm and 8pm
Sunday, March 11 at 3pm
Wednesday, March 14 at 1pm and 7pm
Thursday, March 15 at 10am (student matinee) and 8pm
Friday, March 16 at 8pm
Saturday, March 17 at 3pm and 8pm
Sunday, March 18 at 3pm


The lead production sponsor is Brookdale Community College. Inside Two River is sponsored by The William T. Morris Foundation. 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, Monmouth University, The Shubert Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Riverview Medical Center, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation,  The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation at The Atrium at Navesink Harbor, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Jorgensen Foundation, US Trust, Wells Fargo, William T. Morris Foundation, Kessler Foundation,  Investors Foundation, The John Ben Snow Foundation, VNA Health Group, Brookdale Community College, and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.

Since its founding in 1994, Two River Theater has been committed to creating great American theater by developing and producing work by some of the country’s leading artists. We are proud to be viewed as a vital cultural resource in the community of Red Bank, New Jersey. Through 10 theatrical productions each year (including world premieres, musicals, classics and theater for young audiences) and 40+ annual events happening around Monmouth County, we produce exceptional theater and cultivate engaged audiences. Two River Theater is under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst. For more information, visit or call 732.345.1400 

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