(RED BANK, NJ) — Two River Theater has announced an exciting theatrical season for 2022-23 featuring world premiere work as well as plays with some of American theater’s most lauded talents. Artistic Director John Dias says, “Each of these plays centers on artwork: painting, sculpture, poetry, or music and celebrates the transformative power of art to provoke and stimulate, to make us laugh and rejoice, to help us grieve and heal, but mostly to bring us together to affirm our common humanity.”
Opening the season will be Wine in the Wilderness, written by the trailblazing playwright Alice Childress, and directed by Obie Award-winner Brandon J. Dirden. Kicking off the new year will be the complex and darkly funny world premiere of Living and Breathing by Mando Alvarado, which was part of the 2019 Two River Theater Crossing Borders Festival. In spring of 2023 Two River will present Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet in a modern verse translation by Hansol Jung, produced as part of the NAATCO (National Asian American Theatre Company) National Partnership Project. Finally, the passionate tale of revolution, art, and forbidden love, Two Sisters and a Piano, written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Nilo Cruz will end the season, giving audiences a glimpse into the shifting global politics surrounding 1990s Havana.
The season will also celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the wildly successful youth education program, A Little Shakespeare, in which local students work with professional artists to stage a 75-minute adaptation of Romeo and Juliet.
WINE IN THE WILDERNESS (October 15 – November 6, 2022) by Alice Childress; Directed by Brandon J. Dirden. As an uprising rocks his Harlem neighborhood on a hot summer night, artist Bill Jameson is more focused on finishing his latest work: three paintings representing three types of Black womanhood. More than his artistic vision is challenged by the arrival of an unexpected muse, who refuses to be bound by his shallow assumptions of all that Black womanhood can be. This reflection on how art truly reflects life is directed by Obie Award-winner Brandon J. Dirden (Director of August Wilson’s Radio Golf and King Hedley II) and features Crystal Dickinson (A Raisin in the Sun, August Wilson’s Seven Guitars).
LIVING AND BREATHING (January 28 – February 26, 2023) by Mando Alvarado; Directed by Rebecca Martínez. The impulsive purchase of some provocative art – a living Latino man who is paid to behave as a statue – shatters a multi-ethnic friend group by sparking questions of commodification, stereotypes, and complacency. While the validity of the artist’s vision might be up for debate, one thing is undeniable: the friendship between these three men is much more fragile than they had realized. Complex, darkly funny, and thought-provoking, this play by Mando Alvarado was part of the 2019 Two River Theater Crossing Borders Festival.
ROMEO AND JULIET (April 8-30, 2023) by William Shakespeare; In a modern verse translation by Hansol Jung. The classic tale of star-crossed love is infused with contemporary vitality by playwright Hansol Jung (Wolf Play, Wild Goose Dreams, Cardboard Piano). Seen in 2020 as part of Two River Theater’s Two River Rising online reading series, this new take on Shakespeare’s ode to young love was originally commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Play On! project. It is produced as part of the NAATCO (National Asian American Theatre Company) National Partnership Project.
TWO SISTERS AND A PIANO (June 3-25, 2023) by Nilo Cruz. Although trapped under house arrest, novelist Maria Celia and her sister Sofia can still hear the rumors of shifting global politics growing in 1990s Havana. As they await changes for Cuba, as well as changes to their situation, it’s uncertain whether freedom will come through government regime change, Maria Celia’s far-off husband, or the charismatic military officer who has begun insinuating himself into the sisters’ lives. A passionate tale of revolution, art, and forbidden love written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Nilo Cruz (Anna in the Tropics).
YOUTH EDUCATION PROGRAM
A LITTLE SHAKESPEARE: ROMEO AND JULIET (December 3-11, 2022) by William Shakespeare. Celebrating ten years of engaging young theater artists with the work of the Bard! Each season, Two River Theater produces a 75-minute adaptation of a Shakespeare play—directed and designed by theater professionals, and performed and supported backstage by high school students.
Tickets: Three- and four-play subscription packages will be available for the 2022/23 season. Subscribers save 25% on tickets and enjoy additional benefits. Season subscriptions may be purchased now by calling 732.345.1400 or by visiting our Box Office at 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank. Single tickets on sale August 2022.
Adding a donation to your subscription purchase opens the door to extra benefits as part of our Backstage Pass program. Starting now and through the entire 2022/23 Season, subscribers who donate $120, or $10 per month, enjoy a benefits upgrade to the UNDERSTUDY level which includes:
* Free and unlimited ticket exchanges.
* Complimentary tea or coffee from concessions.
* Two vouchers for a complimentary beverage from concessions. (2022/23 Season)
* Two souvenir beverage cups that may be used in the theater. (2022/23 Season)
For more information about Backstage Pass and a complete list of all benefits, click here.
Plays, artists, dates, and ticket prices are subject to change.
HEALTH & SAFETY PROTOCOLS: For this production, vaccines are not required. All guests, regardless of age or vaccination status, are required to wear masks while inside the theater building. Exceptions are only made for patrons eating and/or drinking in designated areas, one hour prior to the showtime. Two River Theater will follow any forthcoming state mandates related to Covid-19. All requirements are subject to change, allowing us to best prioritize the safety of our audience members, artists, staff and community
SPONSORSHIP: Two River Theater’s 2022/23 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, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Private support includes Bank of America, Mary Owen Borden Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Helen Clay Frick Foundation, The Merrill G. and Emita E. Hastings Foundation, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Investors Foundation, Jewish Communal Fund, The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Manasquan Bank Charitable Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William T. Morris Foundation, OceanFirst Foundation, PNC Foundation, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The John Ben Snow Memorial Trust, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Visiting Nurse Association Health Group, Zager Fuchs, PC, Zynergy Retirement Planning, and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.
Two River Theater produces a theatrical season that includes American and world classics, new plays and musicals, programs for young people, and festivals of new work. Each year, we also offer 40+ events that reflect our diverse community of Red Bank, New Jersey. Two River produces work on two stages—the 350-seat Rechnitz Theater, and the flexible 110-seat Marion Huber Theater. The theater’s recently opened Center for New Work, Education and Design is a three-story facility that includes two rehearsal studios, artist labs, classrooms, expanded shops and centrally located offices. 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 Playwright-in-Residence Madeleine George (which won an Obie Award for its Off-Broadway run). In June 2019, Two River was nationally recognized by USA TODAY as one of “10 great places to see a play” across the U.S. Two River serves thousands of students and community members through arts and humanities programs at the theater, in schools and throughout its region. Two River Theater is led by Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst.