(MADISON, NJ) -- The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ) has announced its roster of productions for its 61st season — featuring an eclectic mix of comedy, romance, historical drama, and a fantastical holiday offering. The company will present five plays on its Main Stage at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre and one summer production on the Outdoor Stage - the Greek amphitheater on the campus of Saint Elizabeth University in Florham Park. The 2023 season will include several contemporary classics never before seen on the STNJ stage, one Shakespeare play on the Main Stage, as well as a number of Shakespeare add-on options.
The season kicks off in epic style in June with Tennessee William’s The Rose Tattoo, his tale of Serafina Delle Rose, a Sicilian widow living on the turbulent Gulf Coast outside of New Orleans. It is an astonishing and poetic ode to the irresistible force of sensuality and the power of longing, hope, and desire. Replete with a Greek chorus-like cast of colorful characters, the play is a boisterous and beautiful celebration of life and love.
Next on the Main Stage is And a Nightingale Sang… by C.P. Taylor. This tender play about a middle-class family in London during the Blitz of WWII is, at turns, hilarious, romantic, moving, and inspiring; a celebration of life in the midst of death and destruction, with fortitude, music, and humor as the protagonists main weapons against despair.
On The Outdoor Stage will be Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies’ Shipwrecked! An Entertainment—The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (as Told by Himself). This rollicking 95-minute voyage takes audiences from the streets of 19th-century London, to the high seas, to the wilds of Aboriginal Australia and back, on a non-stop, exhilarating world tour. Its surprising denouement, is equally surprising in its relevance, as it raises the issue of fact versus fiction, and how far some are willing to go to stand out in the world – and how much they come to believe their own fabrications. Featuring live Foley sound score, an endearing dog, and of course, the airplanes! This is a perfect romp for all ages.
In September, the Main Stage will dive deep into Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. Originally slated for the 2020 and 2021 seasons, this masterwork is considered one of the most groundbreaking and important works of 20th-century literature. Godot has fascinated and infuriated audiences since it burst upon the world in 1953. This funny, cruel, moving, enigmatic metaphor is “theatre of the absurd” at its most breathtaking pinnacle.
In late October, A Man for All Seasons will open on the Main Stage. Never was a “season” more apt than now for Robert Bolt’s depiction of Sir Thomas More and the story of his clash with Henry VIII over Henry’s desire to divorce Catherine of Aragon in defiance of the Catholic Church, Spain, and the Pope. Sir Thomas, a consummate man of conscience and principle, loved by his family and the commoners, remains faithful to his moral code to the very end, despite immense pressures, enticing alternatives, and the threat of death. Thematically rich, stuffed with matters of import, the play is, at the same time, an often funny, moving and compelling historical drama.
A Midwinter’s Night Dream by William Shakespeare and “re-seasoned” by Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte and Joseph Discher will cap off the season. There is great glee in watching something so familiar and beloved be transformed into something new simply by changing its season. This wintry re-working of Shakespeare’s hilarious, romantic comedy will warm the hearts of young and old. Chock full of delightful surprises, this glimmering, sparkling holiday gift will transport one and all to an enchanting winter wonderland of a dream.
Complete Works subscription renewals and Memberships are now on sale. New subscriptions including smaller, flexible discount packages will go on sale in March, and single tickets will go on sale for the 2023 season in early April. The Shakespeare Theatre will continue its successful $30 under 30 ticket program in the 2023 season, as well as its Pay What You Can ticket program. For more information regarding the Theatre’s productions, programs, subscription packages, and other options, visit ShakespeareNJ.org or call the Box Office at 973-408-5600. Student matinee performances are available for select productions and dates. For more information on Student Matinees, visit ShakespeareNJ.org/Education.
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will continue its tradition of presenting special programs and events, including a big “Spring Cleaning Sale” on Saturday, March 25th when the Theatre will hold a giant tag sale featuring hundreds of costumes, props, and other unique items.
In addition to the five Main Stage shows and the annual Outdoor Stage production, for the first time ever, the Theatre will be offering patrons the opportunity to see its two Shakespeare LIVE! productions as Shakespeare Add-ons. At a discounted price of only $15 ($20 for non-subscribers), subscribers can see 75-minute versions of Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream prior to the start of the Main Stage season. Four special performance options will be available for those who want to enhance their immersion into Shakespeare’s universe. Single tickets for these special performances will go on sale on February 3rd.