Two River Theater Announces 2012-2013 Season: PRESENT LAUGHTER Starring Michael Cumpsty and More


Two River Theater Company today announced the lineup of productions for its 2012-13 Season. The eight-play season will kick off in September with Suzan-Lori Parks directing her award-winning play Topdog/Underdog on the 10th anniversary of its winning the Pulitzer Prize. The season will also include classics and modern masterpieces, new works, and a commissioned world-premiere musical, A Wind in the Willows Christmas, which will be developed at the theater this year and debut in December.  


“This season reflects our ambition to make Two River a home for a family of artists and a community of audiences,” says Dias. “Many of the great theater artists who have made this current season so fulfilling will be returning, along with other great writers and directors who will be working at Two River for the first time. We’re thrilled to have so many theater luminaries and exciting new talent here, working on exceptional plays and musicals, and participating in the vital cultural life of Red Bank.”  


Discount ticket packages (ranging from three to seven productions) are on sale now. Individual tickets and, for a limited time, a discount four-pack for A Wind in the Willows Christmas are also available.  Tickets are available from or 732.345.1400. Single tickets for all other productions will go on sale July 1. Please see the end of the release for detailed information about ticket prices.  



Written and Directed by Suzan-Lori Parks

September 8-30, 2012

Rechnitz Theater 

Suzan-Lori Parks is one of America’s most surprising and provocative playwrights. In 2002, she became the first African-American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for her Broadway hit Topdog/Underdog. On the 10th anniversary of that history-making award, Parks will direct her darkly comic tale of two brothers, Lincoln and Booth—names given to them as a joke by their father. Obsessed with a street con game, three-card monte, the brothers are haunted by their own pasts—and our country’s history.Topdog/Underdog contains adult language and content and is recommended for mature audiences. Suzan-Lori Parks most recently adapted the book of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, which has received 10 Tony Award nominations including Best Revival of a Musical for its current Broadway production. In 2007 her 365 Plays/ 365 Days was produced in more than 700 theaters worldwide, creating one of the largest grassroots collaborations in theater history.


Written by Ethan Lipton

Music Composed and Performed by Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra 

Directed by Leigh Silverman

October 6-November 4, 2012

Marion Huber Theater 


The corporation where he’s worked for the past 10 years is moving to another planet, and Ethan Lipton doesn’t want to go. Commissioned and originally produced by Joe’s Pub, No Place to Go is Lipton’s irreverent, deeply compassionate musical ode to America’s work force—and a love letter to friends, family, and country. The songs of Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra are steeped in American musical traditions (including jazz, blues, folk, country, and lounge) but his subjects are thoroughly contemporary, winning him acclaim as a modern troubadour. Director Leigh Silverman is an Obie Award winner and Associate Artist at Two River Theater. She directed David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish on Broadway and will direct a revival of his play Golden Child at Signature Theatre this fall. 



By William Shakespeare

Directed by Michael Sexton

October 20-November 11, 2012

Rechnitz Theater 


Having inherited the throne, Henry must live down his wild adolescent past and unite his people. A young, vital, and ambitious leader, he commits his troops to war—and must then examine the cost of glory. Brimming with intrigue, battles, comedy, and romance, Henry Vwill feature some of New York’s most accomplished young Shakespearean actors. Michael Sexton is Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the enjoyment, understanding, and appreciation of Shakespeare’s works through performance, commentary, and educational activities. 



Based on the Novel by Kenneth Grahame

Music by Mike Reid        Lyrics by Sarah Schlesinger

Book by Mindi Dickstein 

Directed by Amanda Dehnert

December 8-30, 2012

Rechnitz Theater 

Continuing its tradition of engaging multigenerational audiences with a family production during the holiday season, Two River has commissioned A Wind in the Willows Christmas, a world-premiere musical based on the classic of children’s literature by Kenneth Grahame. The beloved tale of one Mole’s search for a place to call home follows the adventures of the Water Rat, Mr. Toad, and Mr. Badger as they discover that home is where your friends are. A Wind in the Willows Christmas will be the fifth collaboration from the team of Grammy Award-winning composer Mike Reid and lyricist Sarah Schlesinger; their musical In This House had its world premiere at Two River this season. Bookwriter Mindi Dickstein wrote the lyrics for the Broadway musical Little Women, which toured the US after its run in New York. Amanda Dehnert’s recent credits include Julius Caesar at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the world premiere ofThe Verona Project, which she wrote, composed, and directed for California Shakespeare Festival. 



By Noël Coward

February 16-March 10, 2013

Rechnitz Theater


Michael Cumpsty, a 2012 Tony Award nominee for his performance in the Broadway production of End of the Rainbow, returns to Two River to star in Noël Coward’s great classic Present Laughter. Acclaimed for his performance as Benedick last season in Much Ado About Nothing, Cumpsty will star in this sparkling, sophisticated comedy as the debonair matinee idol Garry Essendine, the center of a vortex of friends, lovers, producers, and playwrights—all of whom invade his glamorous, 1930s art-deco style London home, demanding his attention. This valentine to the theater is the third play by Noël Coward produced by Two River Theater, following Blithe Spirit and Private Lives



By Stefanie Zadravec

Directed by May Adrales

April 6-May 5, 2013

Marion Huber Theater 


Folk tales and folklore infuse this moving, powerful, and hopeful story about damaged people, unexpected relationships, and what it means to live in the center of your own life. A group of lost souls are brought together by an accident, and form unlikely connections that will change all of their lives. At the center of this new play is the magical child of a Romanian mother and Nigerian father, who glows with an unearthly light. The Electric Baby contains adult language. Stefanie Zadravec is a playwright and actor. Her play Honey BrownEyes won the 2009 Helen Hayes Award for Best New Play or Musical and was published in the February 2009 issue of American TheatreMagazine, which also published her first-person essay about the writing of The Electric Baby in March 2012. May Adrales directed the world premiere of In This House at Two River Theater earlier this season.  



Written and Performed by Lisa Kron

Directed by Mark Brokaw

April 20-May 12, 2013

Rechnitz Theater 


Lisa Kron pulls off the impossible,” says The New Yorker about 2.5 Minute Ride, a solo performance that interweaves her father’s history as a child of the Holocaust with her family’s annual trip to an amusement park in Ohio. Written and performed by one of the most remarkable storytellers in the American theater, 2.5 Minute Ride is a poignant, funny, complex meditation on tragedy, grief, and family.Lisa Kron’s plays include Well, which opened to critical acclaim on Broadway in 2006 and received two Tony nominations, and In the Wake2.5 Minute Ride has received an Obie Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations, L.A. Drama-Logue and GLAAD Media Awards, and was named the best autobiographical show of 1999 by the New York PressMark Brokaw’s production of Nicky Silver’s The Lyons is now running on Broadway. He directed 2.5 Minute Ride at The Public Theater and new plays Paula Vogel, Craig Lucas and many other writers. 



Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson

June 1-23, 2013

Rechnitz Theater


This season, Two River Theater produced August Wilson’s Jitney to critical acclaim and an extended run. In 2012-2013, Wilson and director Ruben Santiago-Hudson will return to Two River with a new production of Wilson’s Two Trains Running, the 1960s play from Wilson’s 10-play cycle about the African-American experience in each decade of the 20th century. Two Trains Running illuminates the personal stories of ordinary people against the backdrop of social change and political upheaval. Reviewing the original Broadway production in The New York Times, Frank Rich called the play “Wilson’s most adventurous and honest attempt to reveal the intimate heart of history.” Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s production of Athol Fugard’s My Children! My Africa! is now running at New York’s Signature Theatre.  


Plays, artists, and dates are subject to change. For additional information, visit


Low-priced ticket packages (ranging from three to seven productions) are on sale now; prices range from $88.80 to $318.50. Individual tickets for A Wind in the Willows Christmas ($25 for children and $50-$55 for adults) are also available; for a limited time, patrons can purchase four tickets to A Wind in the Willows Christmas at a discounted rate of $120. Tickets are available from or 732.345.1400. Single tickets for all other productions will go on sale July 1.  

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