The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Continues Season with THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Continues Season with THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey continues their 56thseason with the popular tradition of an Outdoor Stage production, this year featuring The Servant of Two Masters, directed by Doug West. The adaptation had its world premiere here in 2010 and was heralded as a "delicious production" by The New York Times. Patrons can now enjoy a fresh take on this Italian comedy by Carlo Goldoni and translated and adapted by Bonnie J. Monte, and experience a night of theatre under the stars at the Outdoor Stage.

This wild Italian romp will pull audiences in as Truffaldino, the servant, makes the audience privy to and complicit in his increasingly complicated attempts to serve two masters at one time. As always, patrons are encouraged to pack a picnic for al fresco dining on the lawn before the show begins.

After making his Main Stage directing debut last season with the holiday hit, It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, Mr. West will now focus his talents on the Outdoor Stage. Mr. West said, "I'm extremely excited to work on this play with such a tremendously funny cast and wonderfully talented design team. There will be something for audience members of all ages to enjoy in this summer's production of The Servant of Two Masters."

Performances of The Servant of Two Masters are Tuesdays through Sundays at 8:00 p.m., with a special twilight performance on Sundays at 4:30 p.m. The Theatre is excited to once again offer free tickets for young people 18 and under. Located on the campus of the College of Saint Elizabeth, the Outdoor Stage performances begin onWednesday, June 20, and patrons can purchase tickets by calling the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or online at www.ShakespeareNJ.org.

The Outdoor Stage is generously sponsored by Bank of America. A partner of the Outdoor Stage since 2006, the Bank's committed and generous support has helped make The Shakespeare Theatre's Outdoor Stage a hallmark of the summer season in the region and an annual tradition for many families. Bank of America customers can purchase tickets for the Outdoor Stage for only $28 using the promotional code BOFA. Patrons can also present their bank cards at the Box Office to obtain this offer. The free ticket initiative for young audiences is sponsored in part by The Merrill G. and Emita E. Hastings Foundation and Newman's Own Foundation. Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte praised Bank of America, The Hastings Foundation, and Newman's Own Foundation and said, " Bank of America's longtime support has helped make the Outdoor Stage an eagerly anticipated annual outing for many families, and this year we're also very grateful to The Hastings Foundation and Newman's Own for helping to encourage and support young theatergoers."

The Cast:

Marking his 25th anniversary with The Shakespeare Theatre, James Michael Reilly will play the servant, Truffaldino. Mr. Reilly was most recently seen in Something Shakespeare This Way Comes and last year's It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. Over his quarter-century history with the company, Mr. Reilly has appeared in over 30 productions with The Shakespeare Theatre. He has also performed in the European tour of West Side Storyand in many regional theaters across America.

Izzie Steele will play Beatrice Risponi, one of Truffaldino's masters, for her eighth season with The Shakespeare Theatre. Ms. Steele began with the Theatre's educational training program, went on to tour with Shakespeare LIVE!, and continued on to appear in Main Stage productions The Playboy of the Western World, Henry IV, Part One and All's Well That Ends Well. She most recently co-starred in the second season of BBC America's Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.

As the second master, Florindo, Tug Rice will return for his third season. Mr. Rice's company credits include The Merchant of Venice and The Royal Family. He has performed regionally with Sierra Repertory Theatre, the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre, and Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival.

Jay Leibowitz returns for his 12th season in the role of Pantalone de Bisognosi. His company credits include The Merchant of Venice, Othello, The Grapes of Wrath, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), and Carnival!. Mr. Leibowitz is the primary author of Who Doth Inhabit the Primary Position and VERY VERY, a rock and roll adaptation of Shakespeare's As You Like It.

Raphael Nash Thompson will play Dottore Lombardi in his 10th season with the company. He's been seen on the STNJ stage in Coriolanus, The Merry Wives of Windsor,The Alchemist, Othello, and As You Like It, among others. His television and film credits include Searching for Bobby Fischer, Kiss of Death, Soul Food on Showtime, Ed andThird Watch on NBC.

As Smeraldina, Aurea Tomeski will return for her fourth season. She was most recently seen in last season's Shakespeare in Love; other company credits include Coriolanus and Shakespeare LIVE! tours of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Macbeth. She has performed with A Noise Within, Ars Nova, and Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival.

Connor Carew will play Brighella in his eighth season with The Shakespeare Theatre. His company credits include The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (revised), The Devil's Disciple, and Trelawny of the Wells on the Main Stage. His regional credits include Much Ado About Nothing and Henry V at Two River Theatre and Troilus and Cressida and Julius Caesar at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.

Russell Sperberg will play Silvio as he returns for his second season with The Shakespeare Theatre. He was most recently seen in last season's It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play where he not only played Harry Bailey, but he also provided live accompaniment and original music for the show. Mr. Sperberg also performed in the 2017 Shakespeare LIVE! productions of Julius Caesar and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Rounding out the cast is Miranda Rizzolo who makes her STNJ debut as Clarice. She has performed in New York with The Wild Project, The Davenport Theatre, The Lark, and Fire This Time Festival. Her regional credits include The Olney Theatre Center and Round House Theatre.

The Director:

Doug West is in his 17th season with The Shakespeare Theatre and serves as the Associate Director of Education in addition to being one of the company's resident directors. Mr. West directed last year's It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play and the Shakespeare LIVE! touring production of Julius Caesar. He is also the resident Stage Combat Instructor for the Shakespeare Theatre's Summer Professional Training Program, and his fight choreographer credits include Coriolanus, Romeo and Juliet, and Henry VI: Blood and Roses on the Main Stage.

The Artistic Staff:

The Outdoor Stage will be transformed into a little corner of Venice, Italy by the creative talents of Scenic Designer Jonathan Wentz, Lighting Designer Rachel Miner Gibney,Costume Designer Paul Canada, and Sound Designer Warren Pace. The Production Stage Manager is Christine Whalen.

Tickets:

Single tickets for The Servant of Two Masters are $38 with unassigned festival style seating at the Outdoor Stage. 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 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 our free 18 and under tickets and our Bank of America customer discount.

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