(MADISON, NJ) -— The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will present six Main Stage productions and the world's most famous comedy on its famed Outdoor Stage during its 49th Anniversary Season, the Theatre announced today. "Our season theme this year is 'Follow the Gleam' borrowed from a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson," said Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte, who is beginning her third decade as the leader of The Shakespeare Theatre. "Together, these three words create a mysterious and mystical directive. We invite our audiences to follow the gleams of shimmering light – both literal and metaphorical—that will emanate from all our stages this year!"
Advance orders for full season Complete Works subscriptions are now available and include tickets to all Main Stage productions as well as the opportunity to add on the Outdoor Stage production at a significant discount. For information, or to purchase a subscription, call the box office at 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.
The 2011 Season begins with the 17th century comedy of manners The Misanthrope. Moliere's enduring comedic masterpiece about the hypocrisy of polite society bites as sharply and as hilariously now as it did in Paris in 1666 where overzealous honesty proves as destructive as overwhelming sycophancy. Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte directs The Misanthrope which runs June 1 through June 26.
For its annual Outdoor Stage production at the Greek amphitheater at the College of St. Elizabeth in Morris Township, The Shakespeare Theatre will present the world's most popular comedy, Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. This newly conceived, zany, 90-minute production will be perfect for children and families of all ages and will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Outdoor Stage. Cameron Watson directs A Midsummer Night's Dream which will run from June 22 through July 31 and will include new 4:30 p.m. twilight performances on select Saturdays and Sundays in addition to 8:15 pm performances Tuesdays through Sundays.
Back on the Main Stage, the Shakespeare Theatre will present resident director Brian B. Crowe's remarkable vision of Shakespeare's rarely-produced Timon of Athens. This extraordinary explosion of imaginative staging is a sublime blend of Grand Guignol, Vaudeville, and Brechtian theatricality. Timon of Athens will run July 6 through July 24.
Next, the Shakespeare Theatre will present Noël Coward's rarely-seen, hilarious tour-de-force for two actresses, Fallen Angels. This domestic comedy about the "seven-year itch" embroils two couples and a romantic French lover from the past in a marriage-changing catfight. Fallen Angels will begin performances on August 3 and continue through August 28.
The Fall portion of the season will kick-off with Shakespeare's great tragedy Othello, featuring Keith Hamilton Cobb (television's Andromeda) as the Moor of Venice. Not seen on The Shakespeare Theatre stage since 2003, this tale of love, jealousy, and betrayal remains as compelling today as when it first exploded onto the stage in 1604. Often described as Shakespeare's most perfect play, the epic downfall of the Moor of Venice and his beautiful Desdemona at the hands of the uber-villian Iago, remains one of the world's most heartbreaking tales. Bonnie J. Monte directs Othello which will begin performances on September 7 and continue through October 2.
Next is Christopher Sergel's stage adaptation of Harper Lee's beloved American classic To Kill A Mockingbird. Featuring the characters Atticus Finch, Scout, and Boo Radley who have become iconic figures in the American consciousness and conscience, this Pulitzer-prize winning tale is considered to be one of the most important novels of the 20th century. The production will feature an extended six-week run in anticipation of unprecedented student and audience demand. To Kill A Mockingbird will be directed by Associate artistic director Joe Discher and will begin performances on October 12 and continue through November 20.
The 49th Anniversary season will close with Neil Bartlett's A Christmas Carol from the novel by Charles Dickens. The Shakespeare Theatre presented the East Coast premiere of this unique and haunting stage version of one of the most beloved and moving holiday tales in 2007, and audiences have been requesting its return ever since. Directed by Bonnie J. Monte, A Christmas Carol will begin performances on December 1 and continue through January 1.
Advance orders for Complete Works subscriptions, including tickets to all six Main Stage productions, are now being taken. Complete Works subscriptions range in price from $108 for Previews to $378 for Opening Nights. Student subscriptions are available for $60. Call The Shakespeare Theatre Box Office at 973-408-5600. The Complete Works subscription features up to 43% percent savings off the cost of regular tickets, the best seats to all Main Stage productions; free, easy and unlimited ticket exchanges should schedules change; discounts on additional tickets; and the convenience of having tickets in hand and dates scheduled in advance. Call the box office at 973-408-5600. Look for more information at www.ShakespeareNJ.org. Dates and titles are subject to change.
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's Main Stage, the 308-seat F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, is conveniently located in Madison at 36 Madison Avenue (Route 124) at Lancaster Road (on the Drew University campus), just minutes from routes 287, 78 and 10. Parking is free. The Outdoor Stage is located on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown. The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is barrier free with access into the Theatre via a ramp and elevator access to all floors. Wheelchair seating and transfer seating is available. Braille and large print programs are available. Infrared listening devices are available free of charge. Some performances are audio described. Contact the theatre for more information. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.
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 100,000 adults and children annually, it is New Jersey's only 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.