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New Jersey STAGE: Two River Theater Selected as Recipient of the 2021 Literary Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Arts

by NJ Stage

(RED BANK, NJ) — Two River Theater has been selected as a recipient of the coveted 2021 Literacy Landmark Award. The award is being bestowed on the theater for its outstanding contributions to the New Jersey arts community; bringing world class theater, community events and providing arts education to over 55,000 annually. The designation is being awarded by the New Jersey Center for the Book, a state affiliate within the Library of Congress.

“Two River Theater is honored to be selected by the New Jersey Center for the Book for this prestigious award. When the theater was founded by Joan and Robert Rechnitz in 1994 one of the guiding principles was a desire to bring world-class dramatic literature to the stage here in Monmouth County. Celebrated productions of American and world classics, new plays and musicals have enriched and enlightened audiences at Two River and extol the literary talents of these playwrights. The Literary Landmark Award recognizes and honors Bob and Joan’s visionary impact on the cultural landscape of New Jersey and beyond”, says John Dias, Artistic Director of Two River Theater.

Over the last 20 years the New Jersey Center for the Book has celebrated the diverse cultural contributions made by seven distinguished organizations and institutions throughout the state. The Center is pleased to award the designation of its eighth Literary Landmark to the Two River Theater.

“The Library of Congress / New Jersey Center of the Book is proud to designate the Two River Theater as a literary landmark in the state of NJ. Nominated as one of the 10 best regional theaters in the United States, it brings culture and a unique theater experience to citizens of the great state of NJ.  Other literary landmarks include the Walt Whitman House in Camden, the Flyaway Bird Migratory Pine Barron and the Newark Public Library. The NJ Center of the Book prides itself as being a foremost advocate for the art of the written word”, Renee Swartz, Chair, New Jersey Center of the Book

There will be a presentation of this award on stage before Two River’s performance of August Wilson’s Radio Golf at the 3:00pm matinee on Sunday, November 14. A post-show reception in the lobby will follow the performance for all in attendance. Tickets to the show and presentation start at $25 and are available at, 732.345.1400 or 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank.

New Jersey Center for the Book is affiliated with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress which was established in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books, reading, and libraries. The School of Communication and Information at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey in New Brunswick, NJ, hosts the NJ Center’s operations since its beginning in 2002. It is the 44th of the 52 state affiliates in a network that also includes the District of Columbia.

Renee B. Swartz, a New Jersey library advocate and trustee who has wide experience throughout the state, became the coordinator and Chair of the Board of Directors. “Our home at Rutgers will help us take advantage of that institution’s wonderful resources in New Brunswick and across the state. We look forward to becoming part of this important national endeavor.”

The advisory board for the New Jersey Center for the Book includes representatives from a broad range of institutions, including Rutgers University, the New Jersey State Library, the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, the New Jersey Literary Hall of Fame, the New Jersey Historical Association, and several other organizations and individual libraries.

The New Jersey Center for the Book’s mission is “to celebrate books, reading, libraries, and the diverse literary heritage of New Jersey.”

For information about the Library of Congress Center for the Book’s programs, publications, and the activities of its affiliated centers for the book visit its Web site at

Photo by Yurik Lozano