Bender et al. Star in SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS for Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, 6/23-8/1

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The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey continues its popular annual summer tradition of family theatre under the stars with a new translation/adaptation of Carlo Goldoni's comedy The Servant of Two Masters. Performances begin on June 23 and continue through August 1. Performances are Tuesdays through Sundays at 8:15pm at the outdoor amphitheatre on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road in Morris Township. 

The Outdoor Stage is generously sponsored by Bank of America, which has been a sponsor of The Outdoor Stage since 2004.

This new translation and adaptation of the "Moliere of Italy's" popular comedy will delight audiences of all ages. Patrons are invited to picnic before and during the performance on the lawn overlooking the amphitheatre. The grass-and-stone amphitheatre - inspired by the Theatre of Dionysus in Athens, and one of the only theatres of its kind in the United States - debuted as The Shakespeare Theatre's Outdoor Stage in 2002.

Audience members may bring their own food and beverages, or purchase fresh popcorn, Italian Ice, cotton candy snacks and soft drinks on-site. Patrons can bring a blanket or low beach chair, or rent a stadium seat for $3.00. Complimentary hand-held fans will be provided courtesy of Air Group Heating and Air Conditioning Co., while supplies last. Seating is general admission.

Carlo Goldoni's zany comedic masterpiece has kept audiences in stitches for more than 250 years. Considered by many to be one of the great European playwrights of his era, Goldoni took the popular commedia dell'arte form and elevated it to a new level, creating a bridge between the rowdy improvisational style of commedia with the growing popularity of the comedy of manners of the Restoration. The insane hijinks of Truffaldino, the servant of two masters, are brought to life in this new adaptation created especially for The Shakespeare Theatre by artistic director Bonnie J. Monte.

Shakespeare Theatre favorites Jeffrey M. Bender, Jordan Coughtry and Caralyn Kozlowski lead the ensemble cast.

Bender has been with The Shakespeare Theatre for 11 seasons and most recently appeared on the Outdoor Stage in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). On the Main Stage he appeared in The Rivals, The Life of Galileo and The Tempest among others. At The Old Globe in San Diego, he appeared in Opus, The Mystery of Irma Vep and Lost in Yonkers.

Jordan Coughtry most recently appeared in the title roles of Romeo and Juliet and Amadeus at The Shakespeare Theatre. For the Looking Glass Theatre in NYC, he appeared in The Busybody and at The Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC he appeared in Othello, The Comedy of Errors, Don Juan and Love's Labour's Lost.

Caralyn Kozlowski returns for her 8th Season at The Shakespeare Theatre where she has appeared in Private Lives, The Play's The Thing and The Importance of Being Earnest among many others. At The Old Globe, she appeared in Secrets of a Soccer Mom and Restoration Comedy, and she appeared in The Milliner at Classic Stage Company.

Other Shakespeare Theatre veterans joining the cast are Colin McPhillamy (Amadeus, The Play's The Thing and Broadway's Waiting in the Wings); William Metzo (Henry VI: Blood and Roses, Julius Caesar and Broadway's Cyrano); Amanda Duffy, Susan Maris, and Matthew Simpson.

Making his Shakespeare Theatre debut in the role of Truffaldino, the servant who manages to serve two masters, is Alex Morf. Morf most recently appeared at The Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington DC in The Alchemist. He has also appeared at The California Shakespeare Theater, American Conservatory Theatre and in Women Beware Women at the Red Bull Theater.

The Servant of Two Masters is directed by Jason King Jones. Jones returns to The Shakespeare Theatre for his 12th season and most recently directed the Outdoor Stage hit production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). On the Main Stage he directed Merry Wives of Windsor. He has also directed for Shakespeare Festival/LA, NJ Rep. and The Public Theatre of Kentucky. He has taught and directed at TVI Studios, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Purdue, Nebraska Wesleyan, The University of Scranton, and Fairleigh Dickinson. He was the 2004 and 2007 Staff Repertory Director with John Houseman's The Acting Company.

The first preview performance of The Servant of Two Masters on Wednesday, June 23th at 8:15 p.m. offers opportunities for reduced-price tickets, as an incentive to first-time theatergoers. For who would otherwise not be able to afford a night at the theatre, the first preview performance is Pay What You Wish night -- name your own admission price for that evening's 8:15 p.m. preview performance. Offer is subject to availability. Call the box office at 973-408-5600 for details.

For no more than the cost of a regular ticket, Symposium Series performances include the addition of a post-play discussion with the cast and artistic staff, on Tuesday, June 26 at 8:15 p.m. and Saturday July 3 and 10 at 8:15 p.m.

On Thursday, July 1, The Shakespeare Theatre presents the popular education program Know the Show. From 7:00 to 7:30 p.m., members of the artistic staff will present a pre-performance talk that provides background information and an insider's perspective on The Servant of Two Masters. General admission to Know the Show is $5 for the general public, $4 for subscribers and ticket package holders. Tickets to that evening's 8:15 p.m. performance may be purchased separately for $32 or $17 for young people 17 and under. Single ticket prices include a $2.00 Facility fee not subject to discount.

Creating the world of The Servant of Two Masters are set designer Kevin Judge, costume designer Paul Canada, lighting designer Andrew Hungerford and sound designer StEve Beckel. Denise Cardarelli is the production stage manager.

Preview performances of The Servant of Two Masters are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday June 23, 24 and 25 at 8:15 p.m. Additional performances are Tuesday through Sunday evenings at 8:15 pm. The July 4th performance begins at 7:15 p.m. to accommodate those who may want to attend fireworks celebrations following the performance.

All tickets are $32 for adults and teens and $17 for young people under 17. Children under 5 are admitted free. Seating is general admission. Groups of 10 or more save up to 25% off the regular ticket price. Patrons can save up to 40% off regular ticket prices by purchasing Discount Ticket Packages. Patrons can select five or four plays of their choice at discount prices. Ticket Packages also offer additional benefits such as discounts on additional tickets and flexible ticket exchange privileges. Patrons may also select FlexPasses -- discounted vouchers that are redeemed for tickets during the season. To order, or for more information call the box office at 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's 2010 Season continues with five additional productions on the Main Stage.

Beginning July 7 and running through August 1 is ARMS AND THE MAN, George Bernard Shaw's 1894 comedy, which remains one of the world's most popular plays. Featuring the famous "Chocolate Soldier," ARMS AND THE MAN is a hilarious and delightful "firecracker of a play" satirizing romantic notions of love, war and heroic sentiment.

A dark masterpiece from one of the world's most important playwrights and the winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature, NO MAN'S LAND, takes the stage August 11 through August 29. It marks director Bonnie J. Monte's first return to the mysterious, haunting world of Harold Pinter since her acclaimed production of The Homecoming in 1995. This disturbing and provocative piece offers up Pinter's biting wit and brilliant use of language at its best. The play contains adult content and is not appropriate for children.

Shakespeare's comedic genius returns to the Main Stage with ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL running September 15 through October 10. Not seen on The Shakespeare Theatre stage in more than a decade, this new vision of Shakespeare's mercurial romance will be directed by longtime company member Stephen Fried.

James Goldman's wickedly biting "domestic comedy" THE LION IN WINTER follows next. Goldman's acerbic comedy of a dysfunctional family dynasty in the year 1183 was nominated for two Tony Awards when it opened on Broadway, and was later made into an Academy Award winning film featuring Peter O'Toole and Katharine Hepburn. THE LION IN WINTER will be directed by veteran company member Paul Mullins and runs October 20 through November 14.

To celebrate the holiday season, the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will present the American East Coast premiere of Dodie Smith's British romantic comedy I CAPTURE THE CASTLE. Most famous for her novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians, I CAPTURE THE CASTLE was Ms. Smith's first novel which she then adapted for the stage. This 1930's coming-of-age classic is perfect for family audiences and is full of colorful Bohemian characters, wit, wisdom, and a fabulous crumbling castle. Directed by Cameron Watson, I CAPTURE THE CASTLE runs December 1 through January 2.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's Outdoor Stage, on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth, is conveniently located at 2 Convent Road, off Madison Avenue (Rt. 124) in Convent Station, just minutes from routes 287, 78 and 10. Parking is free. The theatre is barrier free. Wheelchair seating is available. Braille and Large Print programs are available. Infrared listening devices are available free of charge.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's Main Stage, the 308-seat F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, is conveniently located in Madison at 36 Madison Avenue (Route 124) at Lancaster Road (on the Drew University campus), just minutes from routes 287, 78 and 10. Parking is free. The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is barrier free with access into the theatre via a ramp and elevator access to all floors. Wheelchair seating and transfer seating is available. Braille and large print programs are available. Infrared listening devices are available free of charge. Some performances are audio described, captioned and sign-language interpreted. Contact the theatre for more information. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is an independent, professional theatre company located on the Drew University campus. One of the leading Shakespeare theatres in the nation, serving 100,000 adults and children annually, it is New Jersey's only professional theatre company dedicated solely to Shakespeare's canon and other world classics. Through its distinguished productions and education programs, the company strives to illuminate the universal and lasting relevance of the classics for contemporary audiences.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional major support is received from The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the F. M. Kirby Foundation, The Edward T. Cone Foundation, The Shubert Foundation and Drew University, as well as contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, government agencies and individuals. Crystal Rock Water is the company's official water provider. The 2010 Outdoor Stage production of The Servant of Two Masters is sponsored by Bank of America.

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