The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Presents Shakespeare's Most Notorious King

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A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will be available through the month of October when The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, in partnership with Drew University, presents a "double-bill" experience for students and adults. From October 6th - 30th, a single copy of the original First Folio, one of the world's most valuable, rare and influential books will be on public display at Drew University's Mead Hall. The renowned Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. launched an historic tour of the book in early 2016 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.

The precious volume will be exhibited at one chosen site in each of the 50 states. Drew University, in partnership with The Shakespeare Theatre, was awarded the opportunity to be the New Jersey site for the First Folio exhibit. In conjunction with the exhibit, The Shakespeare Theatre will present one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies, Richard III, which depicts the events leading up to Richard, Duke of Gloucester's bloody ascent to the throne of England. Performances will be presented at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Ave in Madison on the campus of Drew University, just a few feet away from the First Folio exhibit. Performances begin on October 5th and run through November 6th. Tickets to this brilliant, historical thriller can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or go online at ShakespeareNJ.org. Visitors can visit the First Folio exhibit before or after the show on matinee days and prior to evening performances.

Since the recent discovery of The Remains of King Richard III, both the real life monarch and Shakespeare's monstrous version of him have been much talked about - his arch-villain of all villains - the intense, discontented, crippled, larger than life "protagonist," Richard, Duke of Gloucester dominates this seething history from start to finish. Paul Mullins, who played the title role ten years ago, directs. Derek Wilson, a long-time company member has returned from Los Angeles to portray the charismatic and insidious king. Mr. Wilson was recently a featured player on the hit AMC show Preacher and will be returning to L.A. after his stint as Richard III to begin work on a new series.

As the chosen New Jersey destination for the Folger Shakespeare Library's First Folio tour, the folio will be on display along with other exhibits, lectures and performances to celebrate this once-in-a-life anniversary and opportunity. To find out more information about the many events or to schedule a tour, visit: http://www.drew.edu/events/events/category/first-folio/. The Theatre will also host a small exhibit, centered around the rich history of the play and its notorious anti-hero.

Bonnie J. Monte, the Theatre's Artistic Director, expressed her excitement about this unique event, "We are so grateful to so many entities for making this possible for our audiences and for students across the state. The Folger Shakespeare Library, Drew University, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the John Bickford Foundation and many other generous donors have all joined to make this First Folio/Richard III experience come to fruition. It is a marvelous thing that 400 years after the world lost Shakespeare, that we can view the book that preserved his immortal works and then just a few steps away and minutes later, see the book leap to life on stage with this provocative production of one of the Bard's greatest tragedies. I hope thousands of people will take advantage of this chance to experience the amazing staying power and immense influence of Shakespeare on the world by attending the exhibit and the production."

The Cast:
In the title role, veteran company member Derek Wilson returns to The Shakespeare Theatre as the monstrous monarch, Richard III. His company credits include: Romeo and Juliet, Henry IV, Part One, No Man's Land, The Comedy of Errors, Henry VI: Blood & Roses, Mr. Wilson is best known to national audiences for his role on the AMC hit show Preacher.

Marking his sixth season with Shakespeare Theatre, John Hickok plays Buckingham. Last seen in the company's 2015 production of The Learned Ladies, his various company credits include Pericles, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet and Henry VI: Blood and Roses. Mr. Hickok is a seasoned Broadway veteran having appeared in such hits as Aida, Little Women, and Parade.

Gretchen Hall plays Queen Elizabeth in her Shakespeare Theatre debut. She's appeared on Broadway in Stickfly and she has also been seen Off-Broadway at Lincoln Center in Saturn Returns and Theater Row in The 7th Monarch. She's appeared in numerous prestigious theatres across the nation and her television credits include The Blacklist, The Path, Elementary, Gossip Girl and Law & Order.

As Queen Margaret, Carol Halstead returns to STNJ for her second season. She was last seen on the STNJ stage as Mrs. Van Daan in last season's production of The Diary of Anne Frank. She has also appeared on Broadway in Gore Vidal's The Best Man and in many regional theatres across America.

After last season's production of The Merry Wives of Windsor, Ames Adamson returns as Lord Hastings for his fourteenth season with STNJ. Richard III marks his eighteenth production with the company. Recently, Ames was seen in the acclaimed Off-Broadway production of Butler in the title role.

Amaia Arana, one of STNJ's burgeoning leading ladies, plays Lady Anne, the doomed bride of Richard III. Amaia was previously seen at STNJ in Coriolanus and Pericles, multiple tours of Shakespeare LIVE! and the Next Stage Ensemble in 2015. Film credits include Sara.

John Keabler takes on the role of Clarence in his STNJ debut. He has performed regionally with The Shakespeare Theatre of D.C., Kentucky Repertory and Virginia Stage Company, among many others. His television credits include Madam Secretary, 30 Rock, American Genius, and All My Children.

Chris Hietikko makes his Shakespeare Theatre debut as, Edward IV, brother of King Richard. He has performed many times at The Shakespeare Theatre in D.C. and the Rep Theatre of St. Louis over the last 25 seasons. His on screen credits include Law and Order, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and the film Reaching for the Moon.

Oge Agulué makes his STNJ debut as Lord Rivers. He was most recently seen in Comedy of Errors at Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival and has performed in New York and regionally with Lincoln Center, SPACE on Ryder Farm, and various others.

Sheffield Chastain returns to Shakespeare Theatre in the role of Catesby. His company credits include The Guardsman, The Devil's Disciple, and A Most Dangerous Woman. Broadway credits include White Christmas, Is He Dead?, and The 39 Steps.

As the Duchess of York, Ellen Fiske makes her STNJ debut. Her Broadway credits include The Royal Family directed by the famed Ellis Rabb. Regionally, she has been on stage at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse and various others.

Rounding out the cast are company members Connor Bond as Marquess of Dorset, Mike Magliocca as Lord Grey, and Metin Akcay, Ben Hajek, and James Suggitt as the young princes.

The Director
Director Paul Mullins continues his twenty-fifth season with the company, directing his second STNJ production this season. His most recent company credits include 2016 season opener, A Song at Twilight, as well as The Devil's Disciple, The Playboy of the Western World, The Liar, The Accidental Death of an Anarchist, The Lion in Winter, Noises Off, Private Lives, and The Time of Your Life amongst many others. Mr. Mullins has worked with The Old Globe, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, The Studio Theatre, DC, Portland Stage, Dorset Theatre Festival, and Connecticut Repertory Theatre.

The Artistic Staff
The visual landscape for this production of Richard III has been conceived by set designer Brittany Vasta, lighting designer Tony Galaska, Sound Designer Benjamin Furiga, and costume designer Kristin Isola. Margot Whitney serves as the Production Stage Manager.

Tickets:
Single tickets for RICHARD III start as low as $25 for preview performances and $32 for regular performances. Prices range from $25 - $75. This season, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is initiating their 30 UNDER 30 Program, which offers $30 tickets for patrons aged 30 and under, with valid ID, tickets subject to availability. For tickets, 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, and a Pay What You Can Night on October 5th. Student matinees are offered at the very affordable price rate of $17 a ticket and are offered throughout the run. Schools are encouraged to book soon as availability is going fast. To book, please call (973) 845 - 6742.

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 Richard III, the symposia will be held on Tuesday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, October 15 at 2:00 p.m., and Saturday, October 22 at 2:00 p.m.

The Know the Show pre-show talks are offered again in 2016 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 Richard III will be held Thursday, October 13 at 7:00 p.m., with the show commencing at 8:00 p.m.



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