(MADISON, NJ) -- The 60th season for Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will begin on June 8th with Matthew Barber’s Enchanted April, a 2003 Tony Award nominee for Best Play. Based on Elizabeth Von Arnim’s novel of the same name, it is the perfect show to launch STNJ’s re-opening as the company emerges from the pandemic shutdown. Written in the wake of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, it is an uplifting, funny, and moving tale about emerging from despair, and daring to hope and dream again. The production runs June 8-26, 2022.
Enchanted April was a huge hit with STNJ audience members during the company’s Lend Us Your Ears Play Reading Series in 2018. The play was slated to open the 2020 season but was canceled due to the pandemic. Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte, who is also directing and designing the set for this production is thrilled to finally bring this play to life on the company’s Main Stage.
"Never in our company’s history has a play had a more arduous journey moving from page to stage than Enchanted April," explained Bonnie J. Monte. "We’ve been trying to mount a full production since 2019, and it has been delayed for various reasons (mostly the pandemic) three times now. I almost feel as though the play has waited for the exact right time to come to life for our audience. I can think of no better piece of writing to open our 2022 season, which not only marks our 60th anniversary, but also our long-awaited full re-opening after two years of darkness. Enchanted April is truly enchanting and enchanted, and it never fails to leave people feeling infused with hope, happiness and an inspiring sense of joy. Best of all, we are thrilled to welcome back a stellar cast of extraordinary theatre artists who will bring Mr. Barber’s play to exuberant life."
The cast is made up of many of STNJ’s most prestigious veterans including Samantha Bruce who will play the role of Caroline Bramble (last seen in The Royal Family, 2015), Gregory Jackson as Mellersh Wilton (last seen in A Child’s Christmas in Wales, 2016), Monette Magrath as Lotty Wilton (last seen in The Rainmaker, 2019), Tony Marble as Frederick Arnott (last seen in The Rainmaker and As You Like It, 2019), Aaron McDaniel as Anthony Wilding (last seen in Charley’s Aunt, 2018), Elizabeth Shepard as Mrs. Graves (last seen in The Royal Family, 2015), and Carey Van Driest as Rose Arnott (last seen in A Child’s Christmas in Wales, 2016). Newcomer, Celeste Ciulla, will play the role of Costanza.
Director Bonnie J. Monte is in 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 90 productions for The Shakespeare Theatre.
The design team for Enchanted April includes the creative talents of Costume Designer Paul Canada, Lighting Designer Michael Giannitti, and Sound Designer Steven Beckel. The Production Stage Manager is Kelly Merritt.
Single tickets for Enchanted April begin at $39 for preview performances and begin at $59 for regular performances. Prices range from $39 to $69. The Theatre 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. STNJ also has a $30 Under 30 ticket option, which offers $30 tickets for patrons aged 30 and under, with valid ID. Other discounts are available including a 10% discount for Bank of America customers and employees, members of Thirteen, and AAA members. For tickets, patrons can call the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or visit ShakespeareNJ.org.
The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is located at 36 Madison Avenue (at Lancaster Road) in Madison, New Jersey.
This production of Enchanted April has been generously sponsored in part by Dr. W. John Bauer and Nancy B. Boucher, exemplary patrons of the arts in New Jersey.
Special Performances: For the same price as a regular ticket, the Symposium Series performances offer a post-show discussion with the cast and artistic staff. For Enchanted April, Symposium performances will be held on Tuesday, June 14 at 7:30pm, Saturday, June 18 at 2:00pm, and Saturday, June 25 at 2:00pm.
The Know-the-Show pre-show talks are offered free of cost with the purchase of a performance ticket. Prior to the Thursday, June 16th performance, at 7:00pm, an STNJ artist will conduct a pre-show talk and Q&A for interested patrons. The performance that night follows at 8:00pm.
The Shakespeare Theatre also offers Closed-Caption performances and Audio-Described performances throughout the season. The captioned performance for Enchanted April will be on Thursday, June 16th at 8:00pm. The Audio-Described performance will be on Thursday, June 23 at 8:00pm. For more information, please contact the Box Office.