New Jersey Stage

Sunday, October 6, 2013


(RED BANK, NJ) -- Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, announces the launch of a new program, A Little Shakespeare, as part of its expanded Education programming in its 20th Anniversary Season.

In February 2014, during the run of Shakespeare's As You Like It in the Rechnitz Theater, Two River will present a 75-minute version of the play adapted and directed by Jason McDowell-Green in its black-box Marion Huber Theater. The production will be performed by high-school students for audiences of young people ages 9-12; there will also be three performances open to the general public. Auditions are scheduled for Monday, October 14 and Tuesday, October 15. Actors with musical ability are encouraged to audition. For more information, including the complete rehearsal and performance schedule, visit or contact Heidi Schoenenberger at .
Two River Theater is also seeking student directors, designers, and stage managers to assist the professional artists working on the production. For information about how to apply, contact Kate Cordaro at .

Created as part of Two River's ongoing commitment to foster a love for Shakespeare among all audiences and encourage young people to get excited by Shakespeare's language, A Little Shakespeare will also include a series of in-school workshops and residencies offered in connection with both the abridged student production and the theater's mainstage production of As You Like It, tailored for grades 4-6 and 7-12, respectively. Teachers and administrators can select one pre-show workshop or a three-day residency with Two River Theater staff and teaching artists.

For more information about all aspects of A Little Shakespeare, contact Heidi Schoenenberger, Education Assistant, at 732.345.1400 ext. 1804 or .

Two River Theater was founded 20 years ago by Joan and Robert M. Rechnitz, a Professor of American Literature at Monmouth University, who established the company not only to produce great American theater, but also to serve students and multigenerational audiences as an educational center. Two River's Education programs, guided by Artistic Director John Dias and Director of Education Kate Cordaro, are integrated with its productions and create opportunities for young people to engage with artists. Today, the theater offers numerous initiatives that support its goals of building future audiences; inspiring a sense of adventure, risk-taking, and empathy; and fostering academic achievement. 

Two River's Education programs for the 2013-2014 Season include the following:

TheaterWorks, which was developed in collaboration with two of New Jersey's School Based Youth Services Programs The Spot at Asbury Park High School and The SOURCE at Red Bank Regional High Schoolconnects at-risk adolescents to the spectrum of vocational opportunities available in theater. Introduced as a pilot program last season, TheaterWorks consists of afterschool workshops exploring various career opportunities in the performing arts and arts administration. Students also participate in monthly workshops at the theater, each one followed by a matinee performance. The program culminates with a gallery of projects showcasing various career in the arts, inspired by Two River's productions and created by the students, which will be exhibited at the schools and at Two River,

Metro Scholars is a competitive, year-long internship for high school juniors from across the state of New Jersey. Each season, the Metro Scholars assist staff in the theater's Artistic, Education, Development, Marketing, and Production departments. In addition to seeing every show for free, the students participate in moderated conversations following each production, and take specially designed master classes with professionals working at the theater. The 2013-2014 Metro Scholars include students from Neptune High School, OCVTS Performing Arts Academy, Ocean Township High School, Piscataway High School, the Ranney School, Red Bank Catholic High School, and Red Bank Regional High School: VPA.

Student Matinees annually reach more than 2,000 students and teachers from area elementary, middle, and high schools. Through No Seats Empty, an arts-in-education initiative targeting economically disadvantaged students, young people from eligible New Jersey districts receive all of the benefits of the student matinee series at no cost, including transportation to and from the theater if needed. No Seats Empty serves students from Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic, Essex, Mercer, and Union Counties.

Through No Seats Empty 2.0, students from five competitively selected schools also attend in-school pre- and post-performance workshops led by teaching artists and Two River Staff; these workshops are based on a curriculum designed to deepen the students' understanding of and engagement with the theater production. This season, No Seats Empty 2.0 will serve Abraham Clark High School in Roselle; Plainfield Academy for the Arts and Advanced Studies in Plainfield; Henry Hudson Regional High School in Highlands; Neptune High School in Neptune; and Academy Charter High School in Lake Como.


Two River's education programs are supported by The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Monmouth University, the Mary Owen Borden Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation, Investors Foundation, Provident Bank Foundation, the Jorgensen Foundation, and the NJ State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Two River Theater's 20th Anniversary Season is supported in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a division within the Department of State and a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, The Chicago Community Trust, The Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, Jewish Communal Fund, New Tamarind Fund, The Columbus Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Monmouth University, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Durso Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Investors Bank, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation at the Atrium at Navesink Harbor, and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.