Photo Flash: The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Presents BLITHE SPIRIT
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey continues its 56th season with its third Main Stage production, Blithe Spirit. Veteran company member Victoria Mack, who was last seen on the Main Stage in this season's Tartuffe, will make her STNJ directing debut. Company favorites Brent Harris, Tina Stafford, Ames Adamson, and Susan Maris will be joined by Kate MacCluggage of The 39 Steps fame in this delightful British comedy by Noël Coward. Performances begin August 15. Patrons can purchase tickets at The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre located at 36 Madison Avenue in Madison by calling the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or by going online at www.ShakespeareNJ.org.
When an eccentric medium is asked to conduct a séance as an evening's entertainment at the country home of Charles and Ruth Condomine, their pristine English country house is turned upside down when Elvira, the stylish ghost of Charles's past wife is conjured up. Hilarious mayhem ensues as the wife from the afterlife and the wife from this life battle over Charles' affections. One of Coward's most popular plays, it has not been presented at The Shakespeare Theatre in over 20 years.
The Cast: After receiving much critical acclaim for his performance as the title character in this season's opener, Tartuffe, Brent Harris returns to play Charles Condomine. Mr. Harris' company credits include The Merchant of Venice, Exit the King, 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.
Kate MacCluggage makes her STNJ debut as Ruth. She was most recently in the Broadway production of The Farnsworth Invention and was in the entire Off-Broadway run of The 39 Steps. Her regional credits include McCarter Theatre Center, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Portland Center Stage and Theatre for a New Audience.
Last seen on the STNJ stage as Mary Hatch in the holiday favorite It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, Susan Maris returns for her seventh season as the spirit Elvira. Her company credits include Much Ado About Nothing, A Christmas Carol, Othello, and The Grapes of Wrath, amongst others. Her film and television credits include Limitless, The Blood Painting, and College Humor.
Tina Stafford returns for her eighth season as the eccentric medium, Madame Arcati. She was last seen opposite Ms. Maris in It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, and her other company credits include A Christmas Carol, Carnival!, and Oliver Twist. Ms. Stafford recently toured for two years in the first national tour of the Broadway musical Once.
In the role of Dr. Bradman, Ames Adamson returns for his 16th season with The Shakespeare Theatre. Blithe Spirit marks his 20th production with STNJ. He was most recently seen in last season's Shakespeare in Love.
Margot White will play Mrs. Bradman for her second season with The Shakespeare Theatre. Ms. White was most recently seen in Broadway's Farinelli and the King, and has also performed in Love, Love, Love at Roundabout Theatre and the national tour of Dirty Dancing. Her film and television credits include Unforgettable, Blue Bloods, and The Leftovers.
Rounding out the cast as Edith, the maid with ESP, and making her STNJ Main Stage debut is Bethany Kay. She can currently be seen on the hit show Dietland. She has appeared in Sleep No More in New York, and her additional television credits include Gotham, Boardwalk Empire, and Difficult People.
The Director: Victoria Mack is in her 10th season with The Shakespeare Theatre and makes her directing debut at STNJ with Blithe Spirit. Her company credits as an actor include Red Velvet, The Guardsman, As You Like It, Othello, The Taming of the Shrew, Pride and Prejudice, Pygmalion, and many others. She has performed on Broadway in Venus in Fur and Off-Broadway in A Fatal Weakness, A Little Journey, Flight, and Happy Birthday, among others.
The Creative Team: Blithe Spirit's design team includes the creative talents of Scenic Designer Charles Calvert, Lighting Designer Michael Giannitti, Costume Designer Hugh Hanson, and Sound Designer Käri Berntson The Production Stage Manager is Alison Cote.
Tickets: Single tickets for Blithe Spirit 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.
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 Blithe Spirit, the symposia will be held following the Tuesday, August 21 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, August 25 at 2:00 p.m., and Saturday, September 1 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 Blithe Spirit will be held on Thursday, August 23 at 7:00 p.m., with the show beginning at 8:00 p.m.
The Shakespeare Theatre now offers Captioned performances and Audio Described performances. Captioned performances will take place the first Sunday performance of every Main Stage production. The captioned performance for Blithe Spirit will be on Sunday, August 19 at 7:30 p.m. For more information, please contact the Box Office. The Audio Described performance for Blithe Spirit will be on Sunday, August 26 at 7:30 p.m.
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. 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 Bank of America, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The F.M. Kirby Foundation, The Edward T. Cone Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, CTW Foundation, The Samuel H. Scripps Foundation, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, and The Merrill G. and Emita E. Hastings Foundation, as well as contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, government agencies and individuals
Photo credit: Jerry Dalia.
Tina Stafford as Madame Arcati