New Jersey Stage

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


(RED BANK, NJ) -— Two River Theater Company Artistic Director John Dias announces the lineup of plays for the theater's 2011-12 Season, the first chosen under his artistic leadership. Subscription packages are available now from or 732.345.1400. The subscription season will include five productions in the Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater and two productions in the Marion Huber Theater. In addition, Two River will present Honk! A Musical Tale of The Ugly Duckling as its annual family production during the holiday season.

"This season will include the work of some of the most exceptional artists working in the theater today," says Dias. "We begin with Shakespeare, continuing this theater's tradition of great productions of the classics, and I'm excited to offer Two River's first-ever productions of plays by August Wilson and Alan Ayckbourn, and to bring Nilaja Sun and Maureen McGovern to our stage. I am also thrilled that two of the plays we have been developing in this season will go on to full productions in the Marion Huber Theater—our first use of this performance space for the subscription season."

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Sam Buntrock
September 10 – October 2, 2011
Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater
Two River's season will launch with Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare's great and witty romantic comedy. The production will be directed by Tony Award-nominee Sam Buntrock and star acclaimed Shakespeare actor Michael Cumpsty (winner of an Obie for his performance as Hamlet at Classic Stage Company) as Benedick. Buntrock and Cumpsty have previously collaborated on the recent Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park with George and Take Flight at McCarter Theatre. 

Music by Mike Reid
Lyrics by Sarah Schlesinger
Book by Jonathan Bernstein and Sarah Schlesinger
October 15 – November 6, 2011
Marion Huber Theater
An intimate chamber musical, In This House is the fourth collaboration from the team of Sarah Schlesinger and Grammy Award-winning composer Mike Reid, a Nashville songwriter.  The musical evokes the universal experience of being in love and the challenges and rewards of navigating a relationship, through the accidental meeting of two couples—one at the beginning, the other at the end of their time together.

Written and Performed by Nilaja Sun
Directed by Hal Brooks
November 1 – November 20, 2011
Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater
Nilaja Sun will perform her play No Child..., a multi-award-winning, tour-de-force solo performance based on her experiences as a teaching artist in the New York public schools. Transforming herself into a multitude of characters, Sun captures the voices of students, teachers, parents, janitors and more, and shows—with tenderness, insight, and humor—the transformative power of art.


By August Wilson
Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson
January 31 – February 19, 2012
Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater
Actor, director, and playwright Ruben Santiago-Hudson directs August Wilson's Jitney, the eighth in his Pittsburgh Cycle of plays about the African-American experience in the 20th century. Jitney, Wilson's first full-length play, is set in the 1970s, in a station for jitney (or unlicensed cab) drivers. As an actor, Santiago-Hudson's Broadway credits include Wilson's Seven Guitars (for which he won a Tony Award) and Gem of the Ocean; he later directed revivals of those plays for the Signature Theatre and McCarter Theatre, respectively.


By Madeleine George
March 3 – March 25, 2012
Marion Huber Theater
Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England, a new play by Madeleine George, is a satirical ‘academic sex comedy' about tangled relationships in a New England college town. The recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the Princess Grace Playwriting Award, George is a founding member of the Obie Award-winning playwrights' collective 13P (Thirteen Playwrights, Inc.).

Maureen McGovern in CARRY IT ON
Co-conceived and Written by Philip Himberg and Maureen McGovern
Directed by Philip Himberg
April 3 – April 22, 2012
Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater
In a career spanning 40 years, two-time Grammy nominee Maureen McGovern has been hailed as the "Stradivarius Voice" and acclaimed for her concerts and Oscar-winning/Gold records, as well as her theatrical performances on Broadway. In her powerful musical memoir, Carry It On, she brings her story to life with extraordinary interpretations of the songs of her generation—music by the Beatles, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, and many others.

By Alan Ayckbourn
Directed by Nicholas Martin
May 15 – June 3, 2012
Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater
Nicholas Martin directs Alan Ayckbourn's acclaimed 2009 comedy about the British middle class, as seen through the eyes of a child. Winnie is an Anglo-Caribbean, nine-year-old girl with a school assignment to write an essay about her day—which, by chance, she is spending in the home of a minor television celebrity, where her mother is a cleaner. As Winnie quietly observes, Ayckbourn captures the foibles, and failed hopes and dreams, of the adults around her in what becomes an increasingly frenetic domestic farce.

Holiday Show: HONK!
A Musical Tale of The Ugly Duckling
Music by George Stiles
Book and Lyrics by Anthony Drewe
Directed by Matt Pfeiffer
December 6, 2011 – January 1, 2012
Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater
Based on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Ugly Duckling," Honk! tells the story of an odd-looking baby duck, Ugly, and his quest to find his mother after he is lured away from his home by a wily cat. Winner of the London's Olivier Award for Best Musical, Honk! will be directed by Matt Pfeiffer, who previously staged Two River's holiday productions of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Charlotte's Web.

Plays, artists, and dates are subject to change. For additional information, visit

Subscription packages are on sale now from or 732.345.1400, ranging in price from $217 to $329 for a seven-play season. Two River Theater also offers three-, four-, five-, and six-play packages and a flexible Two River Pass for the convenience of its patrons.