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Two River Theater presents the World Premiere of "The Scarlet Letter" by Kate Hamill

originally published: 01/11/2024

Two River Theater presents the World Premiere of "The Scarlet Letter" by Kate Hamill

(L-R) Keshav Moodliar, Kevin Isola, Triney Sandoval, Amelia Pedlow, Nikki Calonge, Mary Bacon, Kate Hamill, Shelley Butler. Photo by Trinity Pelina

(RED BANK, NJ) -- A new year, and a world premiere! Riding the wave of its 30th anniversary season, set in motion by audience sensation Hair this past fall, Two River Theater has announced the cast and creative team for its second production of the season: the world premiere of The Scarlet Letter by Kate Hamill (Pride and Prejudice, Little Women), one of the American theater’s most widely produced contemporary playwrights, and directed by Shelley Butler (Beautiful: The Carol King Musical, A Doll’s House Part 2).

Based on the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter showcases the strength of a woman who will not let the rules of an unjust society define her. Instead, Hester Prynne dares to strive for a better life for herself and her daughter. The Scarlet Letter runs from February 3 - 25, 2024 in the Joan and Robert M. Rechnitz Theater.

“It is a true privilege to welcome Kate and Shelley to Two River,” says Artistic Director Justin Waldman. “These are two theatrical practitioners at the top of the game and their timely and theatrical take on Hawthorne’s beloved novel is the perfect way to invigorate the classic through a modern lens. Joined by an incredible team of designers and a knock-out cast, The Scarlet Letter will surely have everyone talking!”

The cast includes: Mary Bacon (Dig, Coal Country) as Goody Hibbins Nikki Calonge (Life of Pi) as Pearl, Kevin Isola (Two River’s My Wonderful Day, Brooklyn Boy) as Chillingworth, Keshav Moodliar (Queen, Romeo & Juliet) as Dimmesdale, Amelia Pedlow (The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, Pride and Prejudice) as Hester Prynne, and Triney Sandoval (Bernhardt/Hamlet, Macbeth) as Governor Hibbins.

The creative team includes: Scenic Designer Takeshi Kata, Costume Designer Sara Ryung Clement, Lighting Designer Philip Rosenberg, Sound Designer & Composer Kate Marvin, Puppet Designer James Ortiz, Puppetry by Will Gallacher, Hair & Makeup Designer Roxanne De Luna, Fight Director and Intimacy Rocío Mendez, Stage Manager Alex Murphy, Assistant Stage Manager Kassi Wilson and Casting by Caparelliotis Casting/David Caparelliotis and Joseph Gery.

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EVENTS - In conjunction with the production, Two River will be hosting several free and low-cost events to the community. A particular highlight will be audience favorite In the Know, a behind-the-scenes conversation hosted by Artistic Director Justin Waldman and featuring playwright Kate Hamill on Wednesday, February 7. Post-play discussions, hosted by a member of the Two River artistic team, will be held after performances on Wednesday, February 14 at 7:00pm and Sunday, February 18 at 3:00pm. The ART of Social Justice program will include a pre-show discussion and post-show writing explorations around the themes of social justice on Sunday, February 25. Other events will include:

* A Women’s Wellness Fair

* An academic discussion hosted by Monmouth University regarding the evolution of the Scarlet Letterstory through various media

* A film viewing and discussion of the feature Unbought Unbossed, about the life and struggles of Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm

* A knitting/crochet collaborative installation

TICKET INFORMATION - Regular ticket prices range from $45-$75, and can be purchased by phone, in person or at Discounts are available for seniors, military, and ticket buyers age 35 and under. Groups of 10 or more receive a 20% discount, and should email directly to book. Three-show subscriptions are also available for purchase, offering a 25% discount on tickets. Subscriptions can be purchased online, by phone or at the Box Office.

Student Matinees are selling fast, and space is extremely limited! Performance dates are February 15th, February 21st and February 22nd at 10:00am. For more information, visit or email

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ACCESS SERVICES - Accessibility services for The Scarlet Letter include an open captioned, audio description and American Sign Language interpreted performance on Saturday, February 24 at 3:00pm.

Caregivers are offered free childcare on the premises while they enjoy a matinee performance by booking the Play Date on Sunday, February 11 at 3:00pm; more information is available here.

A Pay What You Can performance will be on Sunday, February 11 at 3:00pm. For more information, click here

SPONSORSHIP - Two River Theater’s 2023/24 Season Sponsor is Hackensack Meridian Riverview Medical Center. The Production Sponsor for The Scarlet Letter is Monmouth University. The Restaurant Partner is Urban Coalhouse.

Two River Theater is supported in part by public support through the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Private support includes the Achelis & Bodman Foundation, Citizens Philanthropic Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Helen Clay Frick Foundation, The Merrill G. and Emita E. Hastings Foundation, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Investors Foundation, The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, OceanFirst Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation, Stolfe Zeigler New Jersey Family Law Group, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Triumph Brewing Company, UMAMI Girl, Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey Home and Hospice Care, Zynergy Retirement Planning, and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.

Two River Theater produces American and world classics, new plays and musicals, programs for young people, and festivals of new work. Each year, we serve over 20,000 students, families and community members through our 4-6 show season, and 40+ events that reflect our diverse community of Monmouth County. Two River produces work on two stages—the 350-seat Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater, and the flexible 110-seat Marion Huber Theater. In 2020 we expanded our campus to 80,000 square feet with the opening of the Center for New Work, Education and Design. Two River Theater has commissioned and premiered original projects including Be More Chill by Tony Award nominee Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz (the theater’s first Broadway production) and Hurricane Diane by former Playwright-in-Residence Madeleine George (which won an Obie Award for its Off-Broadway run), and in June 2019, Two River was nationally recognized by USA TODAY as one of “10 great places to see a play.” Two River Theater is led by Artistic Director Justin Waldman and Managing Director Nora DeVeau-Rosen. 



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