Photo Flash: Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's OLIVER TWIST Begins Previews Tonight, 9/12

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The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will launch the Fall portion of its 50th Anniversary Season with the critically acclaimed stage adaptation of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist by British playwright, author, and director Neil Bartlett. The production begins tonight, September 12, with several preview performances, and continues through Oct. 7 at The Shakespeare Theatre's Main Stage - the intimate F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre. Get a first look at the cast onstage in the photos below!

Using only Dickens' words, and featuring an ensemble of 13 esteemed actors who play more than 30 roles, the visceral landscape of Victorian England's dark and dangerous underworld comes to vivid life in this dynamic vision of the classic novel.

In addition to writing Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist for the stage, award-winning writer Neil Bartlett has also adapted works by Marivaux and Moliere, as well as Dickens' Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol. In all of his adaptations, Barlett only uses text from the original source material.

Longtime company member Ames Adamson plays Fagin. The brutal thief Bill Sikes is played by JeffreycM. BenderCorey Tazmania plays Nancy, the soft-hearted but doomed anti-heroine of the piece. Quentin McCuiston returns for his second season at The Shakespeare Theatre to play the orphan Oliver Twist. Robbie Collier Sublett, in his fourth season at the Shakespeare Theatre, plays the Artful Dodger. Returning to the Shakespeare Theatre after 10 years is Andrew Boyer who plays Mr. Sowerberry, the undertaker. Tina Stafford plays Mrs. Corney, matron of the workhouse. Eric Hoffman plays Mr. Bumble. The benevolent gentleman MR. Brownlow is played by John Little, who returns for hisfifth season with The Shakespeare Theatre. Andy Paterson plays the thief Charley Bates. Also in the cast are George Abud, David A. Laws, and Meg Kiley Smith.
 
Brian B. Crowe (director) is in his seventeenth season with The Shakespeare Theatre where he is currently the Director of Education. His directing credits include Timon of Athens, The School for Wives, The Winter's Tale, Henry VI: Blood & Roses, Julius Caesar, Love's Labour's Lost, The Tempest (2002) and The Comedy of Errors (2001) on the Main Stage, A Midsummer Night's Dream (2007) and The Taming of the Shrew (2006) on the Outdoor Stage and the 1999 world premiere of his original script, Wonderland (...And What Was Found There) on the Other Stage. The Star-Ledger called Mr. Crowe "one of the state's most ingenious directors" for his work on Love's Labour's Lost and named him Best Director of a Drama (Julius Caesar and Wonderland). He has also directed over twenty Shakespeare LIVE! touring productions including Nevermore, his original piece based on the writings and mysterious death ofEdgar AllanPoe. Other directing credits include Red Herring and A Perfect Ganesh at 12 Miles West; Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest (DayTony recipient), Noises Off, the Midwest regional premiere of and The Beauty Queen of Leenane and Patient A with The Human Race Theatre Company.

Creating the world of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist is set designer Brian Ruggaber, costume designer Nancy Leary, lighting designer Andrew Hungerford, and sound designer Steven Beckel. Josiane M. Lemieux serves as production stage manager and music direction is byKris Kukul.

The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is located at 36 Madison Avenue (at Lancaster Road), in Madison. For more information about tickets, performance schedule, special events and more, visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.

The acclaimed 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 largest 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.

Photo credit: Gerry Goodstein

Photo Flash: Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's OLIVER TWIST Begins Previews Tonight, 9/12

Photo Flash: Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's OLIVER TWIST Begins Previews Tonight, 9/12
Jeffrey M. Bender as the brutal thief Bill Sikes and Corey Tazmania as Nancy, a thief and prostitute

Photo Flash: Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's OLIVER TWIST Begins Previews Tonight, 9/12
Eric Hoffmann as Mr. Bumble, a parish beadle and (rear) Quentin McCuiston as Oliver Twist

Photo Flash: Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's OLIVER TWIST Begins Previews Tonight, 9/12
(center) Robbie Collier Sublett as the Artful Dodger, a young pickpocket, shows off his stolen goods to the gang of thieves

Photo Flash: Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's OLIVER TWIST Begins Previews Tonight, 9/12
The Artful Dodger played by Robbie Collier Sublett threatens Fagin, the receiver of stolen goods played by Ames Adamson

Photo Flash: Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's OLIVER TWIST Begins Previews Tonight, 9/12
Ames Adamson as Fagin--the receiver of stolen goods, schools his newest gang member, Oliver Twist played by Quentin McCuiston

Photo Flash: Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's OLIVER TWIST Begins Previews Tonight, 9/12
Robbie Collier Sublett as the Artful Dodger; Ames Adamson as Fagin, a receiver of stolen goods; Jeffrey M. Bender as Bill Sikes, a brutal thief with Quentin McCuiston (rear) as Oliver Twist

Photo Flash: Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's OLIVER TWIST Begins Previews Tonight, 9/12

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