(RED BANK, NJ) -- Two River Theater has announced its 2023-2024, the company's 30th Anniversary Season. This will be the first slate of programming at Two River for new Artistic Director Justin Waldman and Managing Director Nora DeVeau-Rosen. The season kicks off in September with the groundbreaking rock musical Hair, followed by a World Premiere by one of America's most produced playwrights, Kate Hamill's The Scarlet Letter, based on the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The World Premiere of A Thousand Maids, by Two River favorite Tony Meneses, his fourth production in Red Bank, is up next. The season concludes with August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean, which will be directed by San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award-winner Delicia Turner Sonnenberg (Trouble in Mind, Skeleton Crew), the first woman to direct an August Wilson production at Two River. Gem is the seventh installment in Two River's commitment to produce each play in August Wilson’s The American Century Cycle.
The season will also include the well-loved A Little Shakespeare series, this time presenting the comedy Love’s Labour’s Lost, adapted and directed by Tai Thompson (Warriors Don’t Cry).
“It is a distinct pleasure to celebrate Two River’s 30th Anniversary with a dynamic lineup of spectacular and vital programming,” said Artistic Director Justin Waldman. “A milestone like this is a joyous occasion and what better way to exalt the moment than with rock & roll, laughs, and old friends. In planning our first season in Red Bank, Nora and I wanted to honor the incredible artists and values that have made Two River such an indispensable part of this community while opening up our doors to new adventures in theatrical wonder. The talent on display is exemplary and will take us from musicals to world premieres and thrilling adaptations to towering classics, all while telling stories that resonate and represent the rich tapestry of Monmouth County. As Two River launches into a new decade, optimism is high, the future is bright, and we cannot wait to share the thrill of live theatre.”
TWO RIVER THEATER 2023/2024 SEASON:
SEPTEMBER 30—OCTOBER 22, 2023 | HAIR. The American Love-Rock Musical; Book and Lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado; Music by Galt MacDermot; Directed by James Vásquez; Original Choreography by Matye Natalio - The Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater. Let the sunshine in! During the Summer of Love, a group of young Americans dream of a beautiful future filled with harmony and understanding. The groundbreaking rock musical includes the Grammy Award™-winning hits “Aquarius,” “Good Morning Starshine,” and the title song’s ode to long, brilliant, beautiful “Hair!” Opening Two River Theater's 30th anniversary season, Director James Vásquez (Old Globe Resident Artist, American Mariachi) and choreographer Mayte Natalio (Love in Hate Nation) bring their 2021 staging from the Old Globe Theatre, which was hailed as “A first-class production. A Hair to seek out (San Diego Story).” Peace now, freedom now, Hair now!
FEBRUARY 3—25, 2024 | THE SCARLET LETTER (a World Premiere) By Kate Hamill, based on the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne; Directed by Shelley Butler - The Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater. Hester Prynne dares to strive for a better life for herself and her daughter. Kate Hamill (Pride and Prejudice,Little Women), one of American theater’s most celebrated contemporary playwrights, reimagines Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic tale of courage. This world premiere, directed by Shelley Butler (Beautiful: The Carol King Musical, A Doll’s House Part 2), showcases the strength of a woman who will not let the rules of an unjust society define her.
MARCH 1-10, 2024 | A LITTLE SHAKESPEARE: LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST by William Shakespeare; Adapted and Directed by Tai Thompson - The Marion Huber Theater. The King of Navarre and his classmates have sworn an oath to hit the books and swear off dating for three years. Can their vow survive the arrival of the brilliant Princess of France and her charming friends? Back for the 11th year as Two River’s most popular education program, A Little Shakespeare presents an abridged version of Shakespeare’s comedy. This raucous celebration of head versus heart is directed and designed by theater professionals, and performed and supported backstage by high school students.
APRIL 6—28, 2024 | A THOUSAND MAIDS (a World Premiere) by Tony Meneses; Directed by May Adrales - The Marion Huber Theater. Cordelia’s stuck. Cordelia needs to design a maid’s costume, but she can’t stop thinking about The Help and Maid in Manhattan and Gone with the Wind and As Good As It Gets and… and… and… How can she find a way to show these women for who they really are? Two River favorite Tony Meneses (The Hombres, Guadalupe in the Guest Room) returns with this world premiere comedy, directed by May Adrales (The Electric Baby, Vietgone).
JUNE 8—20, 2024 | AUGUST WILSON'S GEM OF THE OCEAN Directed by Delicia Turner Sonnenberg - The Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater. Citizen Barlow is looking for peace. To get it, he’ll knock at Aunt Ester’s door every day if that’s what it takes. Set in 1904, the opening installment in August Wilson’s The American Century Cycle includes the playwright’s most fantastical journey, where the secrets of the past point towards future liberation. Featuring beloved Two River artists Crystal A. Dickinson (Wine in the Wilderness, A Raisin in the Sun) and Brandon J. Dirden (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Topdog/Underdog), Gem of the Ocean is the seventh production in the theater’s commitment to stage all ten of Wilson’s visionary epics.
Bios and photos of all participants can be found at www.tworivertheater.org.
TICKET INFORMATION : Subscriptions to the 2023/2024 season are now available. Two River Theater is currently offering both 3-play and 4-play packages. Renewing subscribers are encouraged to complete their renewals before June 30th in order to keep their seats. Click here or call 732.345.1400 to purchase subscription tickets. Single tickets for Hair will go on sale in July. A Little Shakespeare: Love’s Labour’s Lost is not part of the subscription series.
Two River Theater’s 2023/2024 30th Anniversary Season Sponsor is Hackensack Meridian Health/Riverview Medical Center.
Two River Theater is supported in part by public support through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Private support includes Bank of America, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Helen Clay Frick Foundation, The Merrill G. and Emita E. Hastings Foundation, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Citizens Charitable Foundation, Investors Foundation, Jewish Communal Fund, The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Manasquan Bank Charitable Foundation, OceanFirst Foundation, PNC Foundation, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The John Ben Snow Memorial Trust, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Stolfe Zeigler New Jersey Family Law Group, Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey, Zager Fuchs, PC, Zynergy Retirement Planning, Monmouth University 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