Saturday, July 14, 2018

Two River Theater sets lineup for 8th annual Crossing Borders-Free Events

RED BANK, NJ— Two River Theater's lineup for its 8th annual Crossing Borders (Cruzando Fronteras) festival of Latinx play readings and celebration of work by Latinx theater artists. The festival will take place August 2-5 and will include free readings of new plays, live music, and conversations with artists. Crossing Borders (Cruzando Fronteras) is sponsored by The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.

This year, the festival will include plays by Hilary Bettis (72 Miles to Go, directed by David Mendizábal), Noah Diaz (Richard and Jane and Dick and Sally, directed by Laurie Woolery), and Tony Meneses (The Hombres, directed by Melissa Crespo).

Two River is also expanding the festival to include more live music than ever before, including a reading of Star-Crossed (Los Desdichados): Love songs and readings from Pablo Neruda’s Spanish translation of Romeo and Juliet, with music by Sofia Rei, directed by Jerry Ruiz; an evening of original work by Latinx singer/songwriters, featuring Jaime Lozano and Michelle J. Rodriguez; and music by Marel Hidalgo and his Quartet.

Crossing Borders (Cruzando Fronteras) is curated by Stephanie Ybarra, who currently serves as the Director of Special Artistic Projects at The Public Theater in New York, where she leads the Mobile Shakespeare Unit and produces the Public Forum series.


Reservations are strongly encouraged; patrons should contact the Two River Theater Box Office at 732.345.1400 or visit Unless otherwise noted, all readings and events will take place in Two River’s Marion Huber Theater.


The Hombres
By Tony Meneses
Directed by Melissa Crespo

The Hombres looks at the intimacy of male relationships through the point of view of Machismo culture. Set in New Jersey (“somewhere off a NJ Transit line”), the play follows Julián, a gay Latino yoga teacher, as he clashes with the Latino construction workers working outside his studio—particularly the older head of the crew, Héctor, who seeks from Julián something he never expected. 

Tony Meneses is the author of The Women of Padilla and Guadalupe in the Guest Room, both of which had their world premieres at Two River Theater.


Star-Crossed (Los Desdichados)
Love songs and readings from Pablo Neruda’s Spanish translation of Romeo and Juliet
Music by Sofia Rei
Directed by Jerry Ruiz

Can falling in love be an act of revolution? That’s the question at the heart of a searing evening of iconic Latin music and excerpts from Pablo Neruda’s impassioned Spanish translation of Shakespeare’s tale of ill-fated lovers, Romeo and Juliet. This concert event will explore the many facets of falling in love: passion, romance, danger, jealousy, joy and more.


72 miles to go
By Hilary Bettis
Directed by David Mendizábal 

Anita is undocumented and has lived most of her life in Tucson, Arizona, quietly working as a maid while raising her three children with her American-born husband, Billy. On her way home one evening, Anita is pulled over, arrested, and then deported for driving without a license. Billy and their three children exhaust every possibility trying to bring Anita home. As their chances of reuniting dwindle, they must find new ways to keep from forgetting each other.

72 miles to go... follows one family over a decade as they quietly come of age, fall in love, fight in wars, and fight for each other, against the backdrop of deportation, Joe Arpaio, DACA, and changing immigration laws. 

An Evening of Original Work by Latinx Singer-Songwriters
Featuring Jaime Lozano and Michelle J. Rodriguez

Two River will present some of today’s most exciting Latinx musical theater writers in the festival’s first evening of musical performances. Singer/songwriters who will perform in this cabaret-style evening will include Mexico native Jaime Lozano (who Lin-Manuel Miranda calls “the next big thing”) and Michelle J. Rodriguez, whose unique blend of bolero, bossa nova, and jazz has captivated audiences in New York and Chicago, where she is based.


Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally
by Noah Diaz
Directed by Laurie Woolery

The classic “Dick & Jane” characters from the ubiquitous 1950s children’s books are grown-up and struggling to stay afloat in a home fractured by grief. Newly widowed Dick (now going by Richard) is raising his two children, Dick Jr. and Sally, who is deaf, while trying to manage a terminal illness that will inevitably leave them orphans. When he calls home his estranged sister, Jane, the family must reconcile and make peace with their shared and misunderstood histories before it’s time for him to go.

A recipient of the Kennedy Center’s Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award, Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally is a dramatic comedy about brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers, with sign language, talking dogs, picnic tables, and Snickers bars.

4pm (approximately)
Music by Marel Hidalgo and his Quartet in the Two River Lobby

Marel Hidalgo is a nine-year-old multi-instrumentalist from Bradley Beach, New Jersey. His performance with his Quartet will bring jazz, blues and Latin music to the festival’s closing celebration.

Unless otherwise noted, all readings and events will take place in Two River’s Marion Huber Theater. Schedule subject to change. 


Crossing Borders is sponsored by The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.

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, Andrew W. Mellon 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.

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