Student Matinees

At Two River Theater, your students will experience high quality, professional productions created by accomplished actors, writers, directors, and designers. The themes of our plays will inspire engaging and relevant discussions for your classrooms, after-school clubs, and groups. Every year, over 3000 students and teachers from area schools see a show at Two River Theater.

Tickets are just $15 and include:

  • Convenient 10:00 AM performances*
  • Curriculum Guides to help you integrate our work on stage to your work in the classroom
  • A post-show Q & A with the actors
  • For $3 more per person, we offer a 9:15 AM Pre-Show Workshop to further engage students with the production they are about to see.*

*Student matinees for A Little Shakespeare begin at 10:30 AM, and because TRT will conduct free pre-show workshops at your school for A Little Shakespeare, pre-show workshops at TRT are not available.

Ticket Interest Form  Student Matinee Parking Map

Questions about student matinees?
Please contact or 732.345.1400 x 1839.

2019/20 Student Matinees

Britney Simpson, Actress

By Jason O’Connell and Brenda Withers
Adapted from the play by Edmond Rostand
Directed by Meredith McDonough
A co-production with Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival


Jason O’Connell (Noises Off) leads a five-person cast as the larger-than-life Cyrano, the brilliant thinker, wordsmith, and swordsman. He’s a thorny romantic with an outsized reputation and a barely contained love for his childhood sweetheart, Roxane (Britney Simpson). Filled with wit and heart, this exuberant adaptation of the classic play Cyrano de Bergerac is a delightful combination of comedy and romance.

  • Recommended for: Grades 7–12
  • Student Matinee Dates: Oct 3, Oct 10

Curriculum Guides:

  1. Pre-Show Curriculum Guide
  2. Post-Show Curriculum Guide
  3. Common Core Connections Guide
  4. Theater Etiquette  
Joe Iconis, Playwright, Music and Lyrics

Music, Lyrics and Book by Joe Iconis
Directed by John Simpkins



A turbulent rock romance by Joe Iconis, composer/lyricist of the worldwide sensation Be More Chill! Set in a 1960s Juvie Hall, Love in Hate Nation uses classic “bad girl” movies as the inspiration for the story of young people caught between eras of a changing America. Sixteen-year old Susannah Son is carted off to the National Reformatory for Girls to get her head put on straight. There she meets the aggressively incorrigible Sheila Nail, and a relationship forms which leads to an all-out “revolution in the institution” as they attempt to break out of the boxes society has created around them. Girl Group ‘Wall of Sound’ harmonies are filtered through a punk rock spirit in this rebellious and romantic new musical.

  • Recommended for: Grades 7–12
  • Student Matinee Dates: Nov 21, Nov 26

Curriculum Guides:

  1. Curriculum Guide
  2. Dealing with Suicide-Related Curriculum Recommendations from the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide
Sara Holdren, Director

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Sara Holdren


Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare’s most celebrated plays and, perhaps, his most perfect comedy. Cross-dressing heroines, separated twins, and mistaken identities propel this gender-bending tale which celebrates a world in which every broken heart can be made whole. Director Sara Holdren is a theater artist, theater critic (for New York magazine and, and educator who has staged our last two productions of our popular A Little Shakespeare program:Macbeth and The Comedy of Errors.

  • Recommended for: Grades 9–12
  • Student Matinee Dates: Jan 23, Jan 30
Em Weinstein, Director

By William Shakespeare
Adapted and Directed by Em Weinstein


Celebrating its 7th season as one of Two River’s most popular programs, A Little Shakespeare engages young artists and audiences with the work of the Bard! A 75-minute version of Twelfth Night—adapted, directed and designed by professional artists—will be performed and supported backstage by local high school students.

  • Recommended for: Grades 4–12
  • Student Matinee Dates: Feb 4, Feb 5, Feb 6, Feb 7
Brandon J. Dirden, Director

August Wilson’s
Directed by Brandon J. Dirden


Director Brandon J. Dirden returns to Two River to direct our sixth production from August Wilson’s American Century Cycle—Radio Golf, the Cycle’s 10th and final play, set in 1997. Real-estate developer Harmond Wilks is determined to become the first black mayor of Pittsburgh, and to revitalize the Hill District. Starbucks, Barnes & Noble and Whole Foods are ready to move in. But one particular house on the development site, at 1839 Wylie Avenue, must be torn down, a casualty of urban blight. And that house belonged to Wilson’s legendary Aunt Ester—forcing Harmond, and the Hill District itself, into a battle between the past and the future.

  • Recommended for: Grades 8–12
  • Student Matinee Dates: March 12, March 19
Tony Meneses, Playwright

By Tony Meneses



The Hombres looks at the intimacy of male relationships through the point of view of machismo culture. Set in New Jersey (“somewhere off the NJ Transit line”), the play follows Julián, a gay Latino yoga teacher, as he clashes with the Latino construction workers outside his studio—particularly the older head of the crew, Héctor, who seeks from Julián something he never expected. Tony Meneses is the author of The Women of Padilla and Guadalupe in the Guest Room, both of which had their world premieres at Two River.

  • Recommended for: Grades 9–12
  • Student Matinee Dates: April 23, April 30, May 7

No Seats Empty

NSE is a grant-funded arts-in-education initiative targeting economically disadvantaged schools. Students from eligible New Jersey districts receive all of the benefits of the student matinee series at no cost, including transportation if needed. Limited availability.

No Seats Empty: Total Experience 

A unique opportunity for up to five schools each season to truly engage their students with professional theater. Selected schools attend two to three student matinees in the season, and Two River teaching artists travel to their schools to lead pre- and post-show workshops designed to deepen the students’ understanding of and engagement with the theater production. The deadline to apply for the 2019/20 No Seats Empty: Total Experience program has passed. We are pleased to announce that the following schools have been selected: Arts High School in Newark, Community Charter School of Paterson, Long Branch Middle School, Neptune High School, and Henry Hudson Regional School in Highlands. If you are interested in learning more about the application process for the 2020/21 season, please send an email of inquiry to Amanda Espinoza,

Schools qualify for the No Seats Empty programs if they meet one or more of the following requirements:

  • School is designated as a Priority or Focus School by the NJ Department of Education. These schools are listed here.
  • School is part of an Abbott District, as listed here.
  • NSLP Free and Reduced Lunch eligibility percentage of student population is higher than the NJ statewide average of 35.5%. Look up your school district’s percentage of Free and Reduced Lunch eligibility here.
  • Other extenuating inequities caused by student SES or disaster recovery may be considered on an individual school basis. Schools that feel they may qualify based on these inequities are encouraged to apply.