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Moliere's THE BUNGLER to Bring Side-Splitting Romp to The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey


Continuing its acclaimed 55th season, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will begin performances of The Bungler on July 5. Translated by Richard Wilbur, Molière's giddy, side-splitting romp will be directed by STNJ's Brian B. Crowe. The play highlights Molière at his frothiest and silliest as it follows the hilarious adventures of a clueless young lover and his clever servant attempting to help him win the heart and hand of a beautiful gypsy girl.

Patrons can purchase tickets at The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey located at 36 Madison Avenue, Madison, or by calling the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or by going online at

Director Brian B. Crowe said, "The Bungler is like a delicious sorbet on a hot summer day; sweet, refreshing and an ideal treat. Molière's brilliant wit, colorful characters, and unexpected twists - not to mention the delightful costumes and sets from this stellar design team - are sure to inspire giddy laughter for people of all ages."

Kevin Isola returns for his eighth season at The Shakespeare Theatre in the role of Mascarille. Company credits include Equivocation, The Alchemist, and The Liar, among many others. He has appeared on Broadway in Brooklyn Boy and has appeared on many New York stages including Cherry Lane Theatre, 59E59, and Playwrights Horizons.

Aaron McDaniel returns for his second season with The Shakespeare Theatre in the role of Lélie. He previously appeared at the Theatre in the 2015 production of Love's Labour's Lost. He has performed in New York in The Woodsman, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Make It Play.

Veteran company member James Michael Reilly returns for his 24th season in the role of Anselme. Company credits include Equivocation, The Alchemist, Our Town, and To Kill a Mockingbird. Television credits include Boardwalk Empire, The Blacklist, and Law and Order. Mr. Reilly has performed internationally with the European tour of West Side Story.

Making his STNJ debut is Sam Ashdown in the role of Léandre. He has performed regionally with Utah Shakespeare Festival, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, American Players Theatre, and Montana Shakespeare in the Park.

Sophia Blum begins her fifth season with The Shakespeare Theatre in the role of Célie. She began her STNJ career in the Theatre's education programs including the Apprentice and Next Stage Ensembles. Additionally, she has appeared regionally with Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Manhattan Rep. Theatre, and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company.

Eric Hoffmann is in his 10th season with The Shakespeare Theatre as Trufaldin. Company credits include Henry VIII, Oliver Twist, Timon of Athens, and King Lear, among many others. His film and television credits include Gone Fishing, Fisher King, and Law and Order.

In the roles of Pandolfe and Ergaste is Drew Dix for his third season. Company credits include Henry IV, Part One and Man of La Mancha. He has performed regionally with Luna Stage, Open Book Theater, and Firebone Theater.

Rounding out the cast are Devin Conway as Hippolyte and Danilo Ottaviani as Andrès and Messenger.

Director Brian B. Crowe is in his 22nd season with The Shakespeare Theatre, where he currently serves as Director of Education. His directing credits include Coriolanus (named one of the Star-Ledger's Top 10 Productions of 2016), Pericles, Love's Labour's Lost (2004), Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, and Timon of Athens on the Main Stage, among many others; Love's Labour's Lost (2015), The Learned Ladies, and The Taming of the Shrew on the Outdoor Stage; and the 1999 world premiere of his original script, Wonderland (...And What Was Found There) on the Other Stage. He has also directed over 20 productions of Shakespeare LIVE!, including the 2017 touring production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Mr. Crowe received BFA degrees in directing and acting from Wright State University, and was a Fellow at the 2000 International Salzburg Shakespeare Seminar.

The visual landscape for The Bungler is being created by Scenic Designer Richard Block, Lighting Designer Andrew Hungerford, and Costume Designer Paul Canada. The Production Stage Manager is Kathy Snyder.

Single tickets for The Bungler begin at $29 for preview performances and $49 for regular performances. Prices range from $29 - $69. The Theatre is proud to bring back its successful 30 UNDER 30 program for the 2017 season. Patrons aged 30 and under can purchase tickets for only $30 with valid ID, subject to availability. For tickets, patrons can call the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or visit

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey offers various cost-saving opportunities, including $15 student rush tickets, which are available 30 minutes prior to each performance, with a valid student ID, and a limited number of Pay What You Can tickets for every performance on a first come, first serve basis. Season Memberships and subscriptions are also available and provide a variety of cost savings.

Special Performances: For the same price as a regular ticket, the Symposium Series performances offer a post-show discussion with the cast and artistic staff. For The Bungler, the symposia will be held following the Tuesday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, July 15 at 2:00 p.m., and Saturday, July 22 at 2:00 p.m. performances.

The Know the Show pre-show talks are offered free-of-cost. Prior to the show, an artist from The Shakespeare Theatre presents a pre-performance talk providing background information and an inside perspective on the production. This program is free with the purchase of a performance ticket, and for The Bungler will be held on Thursday, July 13 at 7:00 p.m., with the show beginning at 8:00 p.m. The Know the Show talk will be broadcast live on the Theatre's Facebook page so patrons can watch and interact live from home on their electronic device.

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 approximately 100,000 children and adults 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.

Illustration by Scott McKowen.

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