Two River Theater Presents TWELFTH NIGHT Starring Joey McIntyre

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Two River Theater Presents TWELFTH NIGHT Starring Joey McIntyre

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, will kick off the new year with Shakespeare's romantic comedy Twelfth Night, directed by Sara Holdren with original songs composed by the band/theater collective The Lobbyists. Performances will begin in Two River's Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, on Saturday, January 11 and continue through Sunday, February 2. The opening night performance is Friday, January 17 at 7pm. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or tworivertheater.org. Two River Theater's 2019/20 Season Sponsor is Hackensack Meridian Health Riverview Medical Center. Twelfth Night is sponsored by Monmouth University.

After a shipwreck leaves fraternal twins Viola and Sebastian separated on the shores of Illyria, each thinking the other lost, Viola disguises herself as a man and joins the court of the Duke Orsino. Orsino, loves the fair Olivia. Olivia loves the handsome Cesario. Cesario, however, is actually Viola-in disguise, and in love with Orsino. This tempestuous love triangle is further complicated by a motley crew that includes Olivia's drunken uncle, pompous steward, scheming servant, and witty fool. The result is a sublime comedy and one of Shakespeare's most celebrated plays.

Twelfth Night will feature Hannah Rose Caton, making her Two River debut, as Viola and Joey McIntyre, a veteran of Broadway's Waitress and Wicked and a member of 1980s pop group New Kids on the Block, as Orsino. The full company includes Celeste Ciulla (Maria), Tommy Crawford (Feste), Richard Hollis (Malvolio), Carman Lacivita (Antonio), Kathleen Littlefield (Olivia), Luis Quintero (Sir Andrew Aguecheek), Kurt Rhoads (Sir Toby Belch), Rudy Roushdi (Sebastian), Will Turner (Sea Captain), and Tony Aidan Vo (Fabian).

"Twelfth Night is, perhaps, Shakespeare's most perfect comedy," says director Sara Holdren. "It is also, paradoxically and gorgeously, his farewell to the purely comic genre-poignant and tinged with music, melancholy, mortality amidst the silliness and joy. Separated twins, mistaken identities, and questions of identity, loneliness, and love propel this gender-bending tale, which asks if it is ever possible truly to know the soul of the loved one, or truly to reveal our own."

Holdren previously directed Two River's A Little Shakespeare productions of Macbeth and The Comedy of Errors. She is the Artistic Director of Shakespeare Academy @ Stratford and Artistic Director/co-founder of the theater company Tiltyard. From 2017-2019 she served as the theater critic for New York Magazine and Vulture.com. Her recent credits include The Merchant of Venice at Cleveland Play House with the MFA actors of the Case Western MFA program.

The creative team includes scenic designer Claire DeLiso, costume designer Fabian Aguilar, lighting designer Caitlin Smith Rapoport, sound designers Kate Marvin and Kathy Ruvuna. The casting is by Binder Casting/Chad Eric Murnane, CSA, the assistant stage manager is Larry Copeland and the production stage manager is Brett Anders.

Ticket prices for Twelfth Night range from $40 to $70, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $25 tickets are available for every performance; $25 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $25 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from tworivertheater.org or 732.345.1400.

In conjunction with Holdren's mainstage production, Two River will produce A Little Shakespeare: Twelfth Night, creating the opportunity for audiences of all ages to experience Shakespeare's language.

A Little Shakespeare is a series of professionally produced, abridged versions of Shakespeare's plays that are directed and designed by theater professionals, and performed and supported backstage by high school students. From January 31-February 9, Two River will produce A Little Shakespeare: Twelfth Night, adapted and directed by Em Weinstein in the theater's black box Marion Huber Theater, with a cast of 14 high school students. There will be four student matinees and eight public performances.

Weinstein is a writer and a director of new plays, films, musicals, and interactive installations. At Yale School of Drama, where they received their M.F.A. in directing in May 2019, Weinstein's credits include the first workshop production of Slave Play by Jeremy O. Harris and an all-female, pop-infused Romeo & Juliet set in a Catholic high school. As an educator, they ran the Guerrilla Filmmaking Program for Teens and directed the teen ensemble's touring production of A Midsummer Night's Dream for the 52nd Street Project. They were also a Fall Festival Director for Shakespeare & Company and directed in its Shakespeare in the Courts program for adjudicated youth.

Since A Little Shakespeare launched in 2013, more than 130 students have participated in six productions, which have reached more than 5,000 audience members as young as nine years old. When students attend a "Little Shakes" student matinee performance, it is often their first time seeing one of Shakespeare's plays. Schools are offered a one-hour in-school pre-show workshop conducted by Two River teaching artists who are highly experienced in both artistic and educational settings. Additionally, after each student matinee, students are invited to participate in a Q&A session with members of the cast and crew to discuss their experiences learning about Shakespeare and the production process.

Tickets for A Little Shakespeare: Twelfth Night are $20 for adults and $15 for children 12 and younger. Tickets are available from tworivertheater.org or 732.345.1400. A Little Shakespeare: Twelfth Night is sponsored by Ocean First Foundation and Rumson Country Day School.



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