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NJ MONTHLY: Two River Theater’s New Play Reading Series

By NJ Monthly

Travel around the world and into the future with Two River Theater’s new virtual series of community play readings. Join the Two River Theater Players and a few surprise guests as they journey through four classic, award-winning, and thought-provoking plays.

Last April, The Two River Players, comprised of TRT staff and Sara Holdren, read Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet on Zoom as a way to examine the classic tragedy with our wider community. Hearing the play out loud was a lot of fun and sparked a number of thought-provoking conversations and deeper insights into the tale of star-crossed lovers. This January and February, the Two River Players return to read classic plays by Anton Chekhov, Alice Childress, Jessica Hagedorn, and José Rivera. Each of these writers presents a unique theatrical vision of the world around them and we are eager to see what our community can learn by hearing their words aloud in 2021,” says Taylor Barfield, Two River’s Literary Manager.

These free play explorations will be conducted live over Zoom, each play over two nights, and each part will be followed by a Q&A with the players, moderated by Two River Theater’s artistic director John Dias.

The experience on Zoom with Romeo and Juliet was an unexpected blast! It was great to use that platform to show off some of the hidden talents of the Two River staff and community. Our audience got a kick out of it too. So due to popular demand, we’re bringing back the Two River Players with a slate of plays that celebrates our rich, diverse culture and spans the full breadth of the twentieth century,” says Dias.

The Series Includes:

Three Sisters
By Anton Chekov, translated by Paul Schmidt
Jan 13, 14 @ 7 pm
Set in the Russian countryside at the turn of the 20th century, sisters, Olga, Masha, and Irina dream of their futures in the wake of their father’s death and a changing Russia. From the famed Russian playwright, Anton
Chekhov, Three Sisters is a story about big souls trapped in tiny boxes. Special guest Sara Holdren will read for Masha (Director of Twelfth Night, A Little Shakespeare Macbethand The Comedy of Errors).
To reserve your space, visit: 

By José Rivera
Jan 27, 28 @ 7 pm
José Rivera’s Obie-award winning play has been described as “an apocalyptic urban fantasy, which urges society to ‘wake up’ and somehow find a way to recover the long-lost and much-needed compassion for our fellow man.” The play follows Marisol Perez, a young Puerto Rican woman from the Bronx, who finds herself in the middle of a cosmic struggle spilling out onto the streets of New York City.
To reserve your space, visit:

Wedding Band
By Alice Childress
Feb 10, 11 @ 7 pm PM
Set in South Carolina during the Summer of 1918, Alice Childress’ Wedding Band follows the interracial love story between Julia, a black seamstress, and Herman, a white baker. As the couple dreams of a future where their love can flourish, they must contend with hate from both black and white communities as well as a looming health crisis.
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By Jessica Hagedorn
Feb 24, 25 @ 7 pm
Adapted from the 1990 novel of the same name, Jessica Hagedorn’s Dogeaters presents a Philippines that is “sometimes grim and stark, sometimes beautiful and lush, but always volatile.” Set in Manila in 1982, this epic play follows hustlers and authoritarians; soldiers and beauty queens; filmmakers and revolutionaries as the world’s eyes turn to the Philippines for the first Manila International Film Festival.
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Event Information