Photo Flash: The Shakespeare Theatre Of New Jersey to Present TARTUFFE
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey begins its 56th season with its first Main Stage production, Tartuffe. Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte will direct this masterful French comedy that hasn't been seen on STNJ's stage since 2001. Renowned translator Richard Wilburbrings Molière's witty words to brilliant life for English-speaking audiences. Veteran company member Brent Harris will play the title role and will be joined by STNJ favorites Patrick Toon and Victoria Mack, as well as two-time Tony Award nominee, Vivian Reed. Performances begin May 16.
Tartuffe, the consummate con man, hypocrite, and womanizer, meets his match under Molière's deft pen. A masterpiece of biting social commentary brilliantly enclosed in a swirl of witty verse, outrageous characters, and delightful machinations; the 17th century family featured in this serious comedy will feel very familiar to 21st century Americans.
"This is a season filled with comedy and the wonderful gift of comic relief, which is sorely needed these days. Some of our comedies this season are pure delightful froth and others are deeper, more serious comedies; Molière's Tartuffe is a combination of both," said Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte.
The Cast:Brent Harris begins his seventh season in the title role of Tartuffe. His most recent company credits include last season's opener The Merchant of Venice, as well as Exit the King, The Guardsman, The Alchemist, and To Kill a Mockingbird, amongst others. Mr. Harris has appeared in the national tours of The Lion King as Scar and The Screwtape Letters as Screwtape.
After appearing in last season's production of Shakespeare in Love, Patrick Toon returns for his 12th season in the role of Orgon. He has also appeared on The Shakespeare Theatre stage in A Child's Christmas in Wales, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (revised), The Diary of Anne Frank, and many more.
Two-time Tony Award nominee Vivian Reed will make her Shakespeare Theatre Main Stage debut in the role of Madame Pernelle. Ms. Reed won a Drama Desk Award for her performance in the Broadway production of Bubbling Brown Sugar. She is also the recipient of a Theatre World Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, and NAACP Award, among many others.
Making his STNJ debut is William Sturdivant as Cléante. He has performed regionally in The Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, and Henry V with The Acting Company and A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, and The Merchant of Venice with The Guthrie Theater. He most recently appeared in New York City in X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation.
Victoria Mack returns for her 10th season as Dorine. Ms. Mack has appeared on the STNJ stage in Red Velvet, The Guardsman, Othello, The Taming of the Shrew, Pygmalion, and Pride and Prejudice, among many others. Her Broadway credits include Venus in Fur, and she has appeared in a number of television series including Orange is the New Black, Boardwalk Empire, and The Good Wife.
Aaron McDaniel, after appearing in the title role in The Bungler last season, will play Damis for his third season with STNJ. He is a member of Strangemen & Co., appearing in their original work, The Woodsman at New World Stages. Mr. McDaniel has toured the nation with Aquila Theatre and has worked as a fight choreographer for many productions including Newsies! The Musical and Aladdin.
In her first season with The Shakespeare Theatre, Sarah Nicole Deaver will play Mariane. She recently appeared Off Broadway in The Suitcase Under the Bed at Mint Theater. Regional credits include Hartford Stage and Baltimore Center Stage, and she has appeared on TV in Law & Order: SVU and The Last OG.
Drew Dix will play Monsieur Loyal for his fourth season with The Shakespeare Theatre. His company credits include The Bungler, Henry IV, Part One, and Man of La Mancha. He has performed regionally with the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, Luna Stage, 78th Street Theatre Lab, and Firebone Theater.
Caroline Kinsolving will make her Shakespeare Theatre debut in the role of Elmire. She has performed regionally with Playwrights Horizons, The Old Globe, and San Diego Repertory Theatre, and she has appeared on TV in Medium, Criminal Minds, and Satisfaction.
Rounding out the cast are newcomers Garrett Gray and Mark Hawkins.
The Director:Bonnie J. Monte is in her 28th season with The Shakespeare Theatre and serves as the Artistic Director; under her leadership, the Theatre has evolved into one of the most respected classical companies in the nation. She has directed over 60 acclaimed productions for the company during her tenure, most recently directing last season's Shakespeare in Love and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
The Creative Team:Tartuffe's visual landscape will be brought to life by the creative talents of Scenic Designer Brittany Vasta, Lighting Designer Matthew Weisgable, and Costume Designer Nikki Delhomme. Ms. Monte will also sound design. The Production Stage Manager is Jackie Mariani.
Tickets: Single tickets for Tartuffe begin at $29 for preview performances and begin at $49 for regular performances. Prices range from $29 to $69. The Theatre is proud to bring back its successful 30 UNDER 30 program for the 2018 season. Patrons aged 30 and under can purchase tickets for only $30 with a valid ID, subject to availability. For tickets, patrons can call the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.
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, as well as a limited number of Pay What You Can tickets for every performance on a first come, first serve basis. Season Memberships are also available and provide significant cost savings throughout the year.
Student matinees are offered at the very affordable price of $17 per ticket. Schools are encouraged to book soon as availability is limited. To reserve or for more information, please call 973-845-6742 or email Education@ShakespeareNJ.org.
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 Tartuffe, the symposia will be held following the Tuesday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 26 at 2:00 p.m., and Saturday, June 2 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 Tartuffe will be held on Thursday, May 24 at 7:00 p.m., with the show beginning at 8:00 p.m.
The Shakespeare Theatre will now offer Open Caption performances on the first Sunday performance of every Main Stage production. The Open Caption performance for Tartuffe will be on Sunday, May 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Photo credit: Jerry Dalia.
Victoria Mack and Sarah Nicole Deaver
Sarah Nicole Deaver and Patrick Toon
Brent Harris and Caroline Kinsolving