New Jersey Stage

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey opens season with The Misanthrope

(MADISON, NJ) — A continent away and exactly 345 years to the day after it premiered at the Theatre du Palais-Royal in Paris, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will officially open its production of Molière's The Misanthrope, translated into English verse by Richard Wilbur.  Preview performances of The Misanthrope begin on June 1, and the official opening is June 4, the exact date the comedy premiered in Paris in 1666.   Performances of The Misanthrope continue through June 26 at the Theatre's Main Stage – the intimate F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre.   For tickets or more information, call the box office at 973-408-5600 or visit    Discount ticket packages for the entire 6-play season, or 5 and 4 choose your own ticket packages are also available.  The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is located at 36 Madison Avenue (at Lancaster Road), in Madison.

Considered one of the world's greatest masters of comedy, Molière is also the author of The School for Wives, Tartuffe, The Miser and The Imaginary Invalid among many others.  The Misanthrope, often considered Molière's finest achievement, features the misanthropic Alceste – a "fallen idealist" whose obsession with honesty and his rejections of society's often hypocritical social conventions wreak havoc on his life.  Molière's enduring masterpiece bites as sharply and as hilariously now as it did in Paris in 1666, and while the play supplies a hefty dose of laughter and delight, it also delivers profound and sharp barbs about humankind's foibles and transgressions.  

The Cast
John Patrick Hayden makes his Shakespeare Theatre debut in the title role of Alceste, the misanthrope.  Hayden appeared on Broadway in Molière's Tartuffe with Brian Bedford, and has appeared in regional theatres throughout the nation including Virginia Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Northern Stage in Vermont.

Elizabeth A. Davis plays Célimène, the love interest of Alceste.  Davis appeared off-Broadway in The 39 Steps, and in Wolves at 59E59 Theatre.  She has also appeared at the Cleveland Playhouse and Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival.   On television, she has appeared in Fringe and All My Children. 

Returning to The Shakespeare Theatre for his 5th season to play Philinte, Alceste's good friend, is Jon Barker.  At The Shakespeare Theatre, Barker appeared in All's Well That Ends Well, The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, The School For Wives, The Winter's Tale, Romeo and Juliet, A Streetcar Named Desire, King Lear, and Amadeus.  He has also appeared at the Kennedy Center, Luna Stage, and the Paramount Theatre.

Marcus Dean Fuller plays Oronte, another of Célimène's suitors.  Fuller has appeared at The Shakespeare Theatre in Pride and Prejudice and King Lear.  Regionally, he has appeared at Yale Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Shakespeare, and A Noise Within.  He has also appeared on Guiding Light and General Hospital.

Returning to the Shakespeare Theatre to play the honest and pure Éliante is Kersti Bryan. Bryan appeared at the Shakespeare Theatre in Pride and Prejudice and appeared off-Broadway at Red Bull Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop and with the SITI Company.

Shakespeare Theatre veteran Matt Bradford Sullivan plays Clitandre, a rival of Alceste who attempts to woo Célimène.    Sullivan most recently appeared in I Capture the Castle at The Theatre and also appeared in Twelfth Night, Noises Off and King Lear.  He appeared in Macbeth and Coriolanus at the New York Shakespeare Festival and The School for Wives at National Actor's Theatre.

Rounding out the cast are Roger Casey, Einar Gunn, Louisa Braden Johnson, and David Joseph Regelmann.

The Director
Now in her 21st season with the Theatre, Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte has directed more than 40 productions in her two decades at its helm, including the recent No Man's Land, King Lear, Hamlet, and A Streetcar Named Desire.  In addition, she has created and directed a number of original translations and adaptations for the stage including Enrico IV, Pride and Prejudice, The Triumph of Love, The Blue Bird, and The Servant of Two Masters which premiered in 2010 on the Outdoor Stage and was recently published by Playscripts, Inc.  While associate artistic director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival, she was part of a writing team that collaborated with Tennessee Williams on an eight-hour, two part production entitled Tennessee Williams: A Celebration – a retrospective tribute to Williams' literary canon.

The Artistic Staff
Creating the world of The Misanthrope are set designer Adam Miecielica, lighting designer Tony Galaska, and costume designer Paul Canada.  Kathy Snyder serves as production stage manager.


Single tickets for The Misanthrope are now on sale and start at $32.   Student Rush tickets are available a half-hour before curtain for $10 with a valid student ID.   For tickets, call the box office at 973-408-5600, visit or email  Single ticket prices include a $2 facility fee not subject to discount.   

Save with Discount Ticket Packages

Patrons can save up more than 40% off the cost of single tickets by purchasing discount ticket packages.  Complete Works subscriptions, including tickets to all six Main Stage productions, as well as 5-play and 4-play choose-your-own discount ticket packages are now on sale.  The discount ticket packages feature 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.   Complete Works subscriptions range in price from $108 for Previews to $378 for Opening Nights.  Student subscriptions are available for $60.   Choose-your-own 5-play and 4-play ticket packages start at $84.  Call The Shakespeare Theatre Box Office at 973-408-5600.   Look for more information at  The 2011 Season features six Main Stage productions as well as a production on the Theatre's Outdoor Stage on the campus of The College of St Elizabeth. 

Special Performances

Preview performances for The Misanthrope are Wednesday, June 1 at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, June 2 and 3 at 8:00 p.m., and Saturday, June 4 at 2 p.m.   These Preview performances offer opportunities for reduced-priced tickets while enjoying the excitement of the very first performances in front of an audience.   As always, the first Preview performance is Pay What You Can night.   Visit The Shakespeare Theatre Box Office between noon and curtain on June 1 and purchase a ticket for what you are able to pay for that evening's 7:30 preview performance (offer subject to availability).  Pay What You Can is made possible in part by a generous grant from the Stone & Magnanini LLP/Smart Family Foundation, an independent family foundation.

For no more than the cost of a regular ticket, three Symposium Series performances are offered for each show and include a post-play discussion with the cast and artistic staff.   Symposium performances for The Misanthrope will be Tuesday, June 7 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, June 11 and 18 at 2:00 p.m.   

For each production, The Shakespeare Theatre presents the popular education program Know the Show. From 7:00 to 7:30 p.m., an artist from The Shakespeare Theatre will present a pre-performance talk that provides background information and an insider's perspective on the production.  Know the Show will be held on June 9 at 7:00 p.m.  General admission is $5 for the general public, $4 for ticket package holders. Tickets to that evening's 8:00 p.m. performance may be purchased separately.

The 2 p.m. performance on Saturday, June18 will be audio described for those who are blind or have visual impairments.  Audio description enables patrons with visual impairments to hear, through an FM transmitter, a live description of the action on the stage.  A pre-performance sensory seminar is offered that allows patrons to feel props, costumes and set pieces to further enhance their live theatrical experience.   The service is offered free of charge.