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Two River Theater Company Presents BAREFOOT IN THE PARK, Opens 2/9

Two River Theater Co. will present Neil Simon's Tony nominated romantic comedy: BAREFOOT IN THE PARK, directed by Two River Founder and Executive Producer, Robert M. Rechnitz. Barefoot in the Park begins previews on Tuesday, February 9, opens Saturday, February 13, and runs through Sunday, February 28.

Says director Rechnitz: "When I founded the theater sixteen years ago, it was with the intent to produce ‘serious' theater-that is, plays of significance and import-be they the great tragedies, dramas, and comedies. Barefoot in the Park is just one of those plays. In its structure and form, it is incredibly ‘serious'. Henry Irving said on his deathbed that "comedy is hard". Well, Neil Simon knows comedy, and in this play, he makes it look seriously easy. It will be a delight to share his mastery of the comic form with our audiences."

Two River audiences will remember cast members Meg Chambers Steedle (Frog and Toad), and Christopher Coucill (Curse of the Starving Class: the first production directed by Robert M. Rechnitz at Two River Theater Co.). The cast also includes Dori Legg, John Wernke, Paul Nixon, Gary Powell, and Demetrios Bonaros.

Robert M. Rechnitz (Director) (PhD, University of Colorado) was Professor of American Literature at Monmouth University for over thirty years. He published scholarly articles and short stories in various academic journals. In 1994, he founded and is now the Executive Producer of Two River Theater Company. For Two River Theater Company he has directed Curse of the Starving Class (for which he received Newark's Star-Ledger's nomination for Best Director of a Comedy), True West, A View from the Bridge, The Glass Menagerie, Thieves' Carnival, Uncle Vanya, and American Buffalo. For the opening production in the new theater, he directed the classic American comedy, You Can't Take It with You. In 1996, Newark's Star-Ledger named him one of "20 New Jerseyans to Watch" in the new century. In 2001, Monmouth University awarded Dr. Rechnitz the Maurice Pollak Award for Distinguished Community Service. Dr. Rechnitz was honored in 2007 by the Monmouth County Arts Council with the Celebration of Excellence Award.

Demetrios Bonaros (Telephone Man) is a NY-based actor, singer and composer. Various credits: Measure for Measure, The Winter's Tale, The Taming of the Shrew and The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Hipgnosis Theatre Co; A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hudson Warehouse); Opa!, Queens Theatre in the Park; Dinner and Delusion, Center for Contemporary Opera; The Island, Pig Iron Theatre Co. and Sogno di una Notte di Mezza Estate, International Opera Theatre, Orvieto, Italy. Studies: mathematics, theatre (Swarthmore College, Villanova University); piano/music theory/harmony (Conservatory of Athens); Commedia dell'Arte with Antonio Fava; neutral mask/clown/bouffon with Sarah Sanford and Giovanni Fusetti; and voice with Julian Rodescu.

Christopher Coucill (Victor Velasco) appeared in Robert Rechnitz's acclaimed production of The Curse of the Starving Class at TRTC. Broadway: Buffalo Bill in Annie Get Your Gun with Bernadette Peters; Gen. Harrison Howell in Kiss Me Kate with Brian Stokes Mitchell; and The Graduate with Lorraine Bracco. Tours: Lank Hawkins in the First National Company of Crazy for You. Regional favorites: Lear in King Lear, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival; Hamlet in Hamlet, Shakespeare & Company; Caesar in Caesar and Cleopatra, Playmakers Repertory; and solo performances of Underneath the Lintel, Delaware Theatre Company. Television: "Margaret Mead: An Observer Observed", "Law & Order", "American Playhouse", "Deadline", and "One Life to Live".

Dori Legg* (Ethel) Off-Broadway : Shaving The Pickle, Origin Theatre 1st Irish Festival. Regionally: The Women, Arena Stage; This Beautiful City, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Humana Festival; Twelfth Night, Melissa Arctic (both directed by Aaron Posner), Macbeth, Great Expectations, Folger Shakespeare Theatre; Recent Tragic Events (Helen Hayes nomination), Woolly Mammoth Theatre; The Diary of Anne Frank, Delaware Theatre Co; Escape From Happiness, Season's Greetings, Round House Theatre; Durang, Durang, The Women, Studio Theatre; A Christmas Carol, Ford's Theatre; Prides Crossing, Enchanted April, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Glorious, Fulton Opera House. Films: El Camino, Double Negative, Guilty As Charged. TV: Law and Order: CI, Homicide, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, As The World Turns.

Paul Nixon (Delivery Man) is a retired high school teacher who lives in Manchester, NJ. Since his retirement he has been very active in community theater in Ocean and Monmouth counties, playing leading roles in The Sunshine Boys, I Never Sang For My Father, Ten Little Indians, and Visiting Mr. Green, among many others. He is very excited about appearing at the Two River Theater Co. with such a talented cast. He wishes to express his appreciation to his beloved wife for enduring his love of the theater for so many years before she left this world several years ago.

Gary Powell (Delivery Man) is making his debut Two River Theater Company, but is certainly no stranger to the stage. He has performed for over 40 years in such theaters as 13th Street Theatre, Village Gate and Actors Playhouse in NYC, as well as such regional theaters as Club, Princeton Players, Westwood Dinner Theatre, Kobe Dinner Theatre and Spring Lake Theatre Company. His credits include leading roles in The Star-Spangled Girl, Blithe Spirit, Moon for the Misbegotten, Man of La Mancha, Anything Goes, 1776, and Camelot. For the past 8 years he has performed as Scrooge in the Strand Theatre's production of Scrooge, The Musical in Lakewood.

Meg Chambers Steedle (Corie Bratter) is thrilled to return to Two River Theater Company! Previously, she appeared as Turtle/Bird among other fun critters in TRTC's production of A Year with Frog and Toad. Regional: Picnic, Triad Stage; Real Girls Can't Win, Victory Gardens Theater. American Music Theatre Project: Asphalt Beach, world premiere musical by Andrew Lippa; The Boys are Coming Home, directed by Gary Griffin. Northwestern University: Sally Bowles in Cabaret (William Daniels Award); The Bald Soprano (Mary). Education: B.A. in Theatre Arts (cum laude) from Northwestern University.

John Wernke (Paul Bratter) was most recently in The Royal Family on Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club. Other MTC productions include The American Plan and Accent On Youth. Regionally notable shows include The Fantasticks and Theophilous North, People's Light and Theatre Co.; Twelfth Night and Beard of Avon, Portland Center Stage; and Betrayal, Hangar Theatre. TV/Film : "The Good Shepherd", "NYC Serenade", "Broken English", and "Life on Mars".

The creative team is made up of Marion Williams (scenic and costume designer) who was most recently at Two River Theater Co. designing the costumes for 26 Miles, F. Mitchell Dana (Lighting Designer) who was most recently at Two River with Heartbreak House, and Karin Graybash (Sound Designer) who most recently designed the sound for Macbeth, as well as True West, and You Can't Take It With You.

Barefoot in the Park is scheduled to run Tuesday, February 9 through Sunday, February 28. Tickets are $35 - $61. Get more information online at, call 732.345.1400, or visit the Two River Theater Company Box Office in Red Bank, located at 21 Bridge Avenue. Box Office Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10am-6pm; Sunday: 12pm-5pm.

Two River Theater's Marketing Manager, Sean Murphy, will join the artistic department to lead Before Play, which will be an updated version of the classic game show The Newlywed Game. This pre-show event is scheduled 45 minutes prior to every performance. For interested participants, please contact Liz Green at Post-show discussions are scheduled following the 8pm performance on Wednesday, February 17 at 8pm and following each of the Sunday matinees: February 14, February 21, and February 28 at 3pm, as well as Wednesday, February 24 at 1pm. Discounted group rates are available through the Box Office.

TRTC is accessible to people with disabilities, including wheelchair accessibility, assistive listening devices and large print programs at every performance. Accessible seating is available by reservation. For more information call the Box Office at 732.345.1400.

TWO RIVER THEATER COMPANY is a professional not-for-profit regional theater company providing outstanding plays and educational programs for audiences of central New Jersey and beyond. Two River was founded in 1994 by Joan and Robert Rechnitz and over the past 15 seasons has grown into one of the most vital and dynamic arts organizations in the region. From Shakespeare to Quiara Alegría Hudes, the Tony-nominated author of the Broadway smash hit In The Heights, Two River produces a range of great theater to inspire and engage our audiences. Two River received great acclaim for its production of Macbeth, co-directed and co-conceived by Teller and the theater's artistic director Aaron Posner. The theater has co-produced plays with theaters around the country including California Shakespeare Theater in Orinda, California, the Folger Theatre in Washington D.C., and the Roundhouse Theatre in Bethesda, Maryland. The company received "Theatre of the Year" awards from the New Jersey Theatre Alliance in 2006 and from The Star-Ledger in both 2006 and 2008.


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