New Jersey Stage

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey kicks off 2011 Play Reading Series with Jane Austen's The Notorious Lady Susan

(MADISON, NJ) — The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will launch the 2011 Lend Us Your Ears play reading series with The Notorious Lady Susan, adapted by Tom Fontana from the novel Lady Susan by Jane Austen.   The reading will be held on Monday, April 4 at 7:00 pm at the Shakespeare Theatre's Main Stage, the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Ave. (at Lancaster Road) in Madison.   Tickets are $15 each for adults and $10 for students. The Lend Us Your Ears series, featuring three readings is $36 for adults and $24 for students.   For tickets or more information, call the box office at 973-408-5600 or visit  

Lend Us Your Ears provides patrons the opportunity to join the Shakespeare Theatre's directors, actors and artistic staff explore three diverse and exciting plays.  These script-in-hand readings will feature members of The Shakespeare Theatre's esteemed company of actors as well as prestigious guest artists, and will begin with background information about the play.   Following the reading will be a talk-back session with director, cast and audience which provides valuable feedback on the play and its potential for future production.   

The novel Lady Susan is Jane Austen's first novel which was not published or titled until 1871, more than 50 years after her death.    Television screenwriter, playwright and producer Tom Fontana adapted Austen's witty epistolary novel about a widowed woman who is determined to find herself a young new husband -- without regard to the consequences -- while pushing her daughter into an unwanted marriage.  Fontana's screenwriting and producing credits include the hit television series St. Elsewhere, Oz, Homicide: Live on the Street, The Bedford Diary, The Jury and the new French series currently in production, Borgia.  He is the recipient of several Emmy Awards, Peabody Awards and Writer's Guild Awards.

The Lend Us You Ears play reading series will also include readings of Eve of Ides by David Blixt, which imagines Caesar and Brutus on the night before the assassination debating politics, family, history, and the future; and the compelling The Winslow Boy by British playwright Terence Rattigan.  Eve of Ides will be Monday, September 19 at 7:00 p.m. and The Winslow Boy will be Monday, November 14 at 7:00 pm.  All readings will be held at the F. M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre.


Tickets for the reading series are $15 each for adults or a discount price of $36 for all three.   Student tickets are $10 each or $24 for all three readings.   For tickets, call the box office at 973-408-5600, visit or email

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 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

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.