(MADISON, NJ) -- After almost two years of darkness, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ) will light up its Main Stage again for the holidays. The company’s long-awaited return to indoor, in-person performances will kick off with an all-new production of A Child’s Christmas in Wales, based on the classic story by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas and adapted for the stage by Jeremy Brooks and Adrian Mitchell. Performances begin December 8 and run through January 2 at the beautiful F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre on the campus of Drew University.
Based on Thomas’ classic story about his childhood holidays in Wales in the 1920s, this heartwarming piece about a time gone by rejoices in the simple joys of childhood, the spirit of goodness, the comfort of family, and the magic that music and imagination bring to us all. STNJ’s Bonnie J. Monte will be directing the play and plans to embrace the mantra that “necessity is the mother of invention.” She shared, “I will be creating a landscape for this gorgeous piece of theatre that relies for the most part on the artistry of our actors, the power of music, the purity and appeal of the tale, the beauty of the language, the limitless power of our collective imaginations – along with a lot of shredded paper, which trust me when you hit it with light becomes a most magical affair!”
Tickets to this holiday classic start as low as $40. Prices range from $40 - $55. For tickets, call the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or visit ShakespeareNJ.org.
A Child’s Christmas in Wales was last produced during the STNJ 2016 season, critics and audiences alike praised the production, encouraging those who had not yet seen it to come and "experience the wonder and joy that will become a treasured part of your holiday season" (BroadwayWorld). The production features traditional music from the British Isles and is sure to touch the hearts of all who see it.
The cast is headed up by Broadway veteran Jeff McCarthy, who will be playing D.J. Thomas, Dylan’s father. McCarthy has also worked extensively in regional theatres across America, playing leading roles at The Guthrie, Long Wharf Theater, Arena Stage, Barrington Stage, ACT San Francisco, Denver Center Theater, and many others. He has also appeared in numerous films and television series.
Dylan Thomas will be played by Isaac Hickox-Young, who has become one of STNJ’s most versatile leading men over the past few years. He has appeared in numerous Shakespeare Theatre productions since his debut with the company in 2018. He was most recently seen in Snug and The Comedy of Errors this past summer at the company’s Outdoor Stage.
Tina Stafford, having appeared in the 2016 production of the show, returns to reprise her portrayal of Dylan’s mother. Tina’s prodigious list of credits includes the first national tour of the Broadway musical, Once. She has appeared at prestigious theatres across the nation and this show will mark her ninth season with STNJ.
Andy Paterson, another returning company member, and real-life spouse of Ms. Stafford will play the revolutionary uncle Glyn and Dai, the postman. Andy was the original Dylan Thomas for STNJ when it was first performed back in 1999, and has appeared in every STNJ production of the show since.
The full cast of 16 actors will be announced within the next few days.
The Director: Bonnie J. Monte, has just begun her 32nd season as the company’s Artistic Director. Under her leadership for over three decades, the Theatre has evolved into one of the most respected classical theatres in the nation. Since 1990, she has directed over 80 productions for The Shakespeare Theatre.
The Artistic Team: Robert Long returns as the show’s Musical Director, marking Mr. Long’s third collaboration with The Shakespeare Theatre. He is an accomplished pianist and vocal coach and has performed as an organist at Carnegie Hall, pianist in recital at Weill Recital Hall-Carnegie Hall, on the Noonday Series at Trinity Church in New York, as well as having served as Music Director on shows at STNJ and other theatres. Paul Canada, one of STNJ’s most celebrated costume designers will return as the production’s Costume Designer, and Matthew Weisgable is Lighting Designer. Ms. Monte is designing the set. Julie Foh is Dialect Coach, and Alison Cote is the Production Stage Manager.
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey offers various cost-saving opportunities, including $15 student rush tickets, which are available 30 minutes prior to each performance, with a valid student ID, and a limited number of Pay What You Can tickets for every performance on a first-come, first-serve basis. To book, please call 973– 845 – 6742. STNJ also has a $30 Under 30 ticket option, which offers $30 tickets for patrons aged 30 and under, with valid ID.
For the same price as a regular ticket, the Symposium Series performances offer a post-show discussion with the cast and artistic staff. For A Child’s Christmas in Wales, the Symposia will be held on Tuesday, December 14 at 7:30pm, Saturday, December 18 at 2:00pm, and Saturday, January 1 at 2:00pm.
Special Limited Capacity & Family Matinee Performances: Limited capacity performances will be held on Wednesday, December 15, Tuesday, December 21, Wednesday, December 22 (matinee and evening), Tuesday, December 28, and Wednesday, December 29. All Limited Capacity performances begin at 7:30pm.
The Know the Show pre-show talks are offered free of cost. Prior to the Thursday, December 16th performance at 7:00pm, Ms. Monte will conduct a pre-show talk and Q&A for interested patrons. This program is free with the purchase of a performance ticket. The performance that night follows at 8:00pm.
Audio Description will be available for the show on Thursday, December 16 at 8:00pm.