(MADISON, NJ) -- The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ) concludes its 60th Anniversary Season with its final Main Stage production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Last seen at STNJ in 2009, Jason King Jones directs one of the Bard’s most celebrated comedies just in time for the holidays. Veteran company members Jon Barker, Jeffrey M. Bender, and Tony Award nominee Robert Cuccioli are among a diverse cast of 14 actors. Twelfth Night will be on the Main Stage from December 7, 2022 – January 1, 2023.
Nothing could be more perfect for the holiday season than this masterpiece of a comedy — considered by many to be Shakespeare’s best. This tale of twins shipwrecked on the shores of Illyria is chock full of his best comedic devices — as well as romance, music, and beautiful verse. Twelfth Night will brighten your holiday celebrations and is perfect for the family. The Theatre will present special family matinee performances on Friday, December 23rd and Wednesday, December 28th.
Long-time STNJ veteran, Robert Cuccioli, returns to the STNJ stage for his 12th season as the puritanical malcontent Malvolio. Last seen in the 2018 production of Titus Andronicus, Mr. Cuccioli earned a Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, and a Tony Award nomination for his performance as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the Broadway production of Jekyll & Hyde. His additional Broadway credits include Les Misérables and Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark. He has appeared on stages across the nation, most recently as Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in St. Louis, and in A Touch of the Poet at Irish Repertory Theatre in NYC.
STNJ leading man, Jon Barker, will play Duke Orsino. Jon was last seen this season in Pinter’s The Caretaker. Twelfth Night marks Jon’s 26th production at The Shakespeare Theatre over the course of 12 seasons with the company. Three other seasoned STNJ alums, Jeffrey M. Bender, Patrick Toon, and Tarah Flanagan will provide the show’s comic relief as Sir Toby Belch, Andrew Aguecheek, and Maria respectively.
The Theatre is excited that Eliana Rowe will debut on the Main Stage in the role of Viola. Eliana began with STNJ in the 2022 Shakespeare LIVE! touring productions of Romeo & Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Billie Wyatt who has risen quickly to be one of the company’s most versatile leading ladies will play Olivia. Last seen in this season’s productions of The Metromaniacs and Florence and Mojo. She recently played the title role in Camille and Minnie in Flyin’ West at Quintessence Theater Group in Philadelphia.
A number of other familiar and new faces add to this extraordinary cast. They include Jeffrey Marc Alkins as Sebastian, Jabari Carter as Curio, Dino Curia as Antonio, Jeffrey Dunston as Sea Caption, Cedric Lamar as Feste, Ty Lane as Fabian, and Cameron Nalley as Valentine.
Director Jason King Jones began his professional career at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in the summer of 1999. On the Outdoor Stage Jason has directed The Grouch, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), The Servant of Two Masters, and The Comedy of Errors (2012), as well as The Merry Wives of Windsor on the Main Stage. Jason has recently been appointed the Artistic Director of the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival and remains the Artistic Director of National Players, the country’s longest-running classical touring company. Jason was Senior Associate Artistic Director at the Olney Theatre Center for a decade and he’s a proud graduate of Boston University’s School of Theatre.
The design team for Twelfth Night includes the creative talents of Set Designer Brittany Vasta, Lighting Designer Andrew Hungerford, Sound Designer Steven Beckel, Costume Designer Hugh Hanson, Fight Director Doug West, and original music composed by Cedric Lamar. The Production Stage Manager is Denise Cardarelli.
Single tickets for Twelfth Night range in price 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 television’s THIRTEEN, AAA members, and others. For more information or to purchase tickets, patrons can call the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or visit ShakespeareNJ.org.
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 Twelfth Night, Symposium performances will be held on Tuesday, December 13 at 7:30pm and Saturday, December 17 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, December 15th performance, at 7:00pm, there will be a pre-show discussion 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 Twelfth Night will be on Thursday, December 15th at 8:00pm. The Audio-Described performance will be on Thursday, December 22nd at 8:00pm. For more information, please contact the Box Office.
The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is located at 36 Madison Avenue in Madison, New Jersey.