VIDEO: Director John Simpkins Talks LOVE IN HATE NATION at Two River
Rehearsals have begun and it feels like sha la la for Love in Hate Nation, an original rock romance set in a 1960s Juvie Hall that features book, music and lyrics by Tony Award nominee Joe Iconis, directed by John Simpkins. Love in Hate Nation has music direction and vocal arrangements by Annastasia Victory, music supervision and orchestrations by Charlie Rosen, and choreography by Mayte Natalio. Performances will begin in Two River's Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, on Saturday, November 9 and continue through Sunday, December 1. The opening night performance is Friday, November 15 at 8pm. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or tworivertheater.org.
Watch director John Simpkins speak with Two River Theater about the show below!
Love in Hate Nation uses classic "bad girl" movies as the inspiration for the story of young people caught between eras of a changing America. Sixteen-year old Susannah Son is carted off to the National Reformatory for Girls (a.k.a. Nation) to get her head put on straight. There she meets the aggressively incorrigible Sheila Nail, and a relationship forms which leads to an all-out "revolution in the institution" as they attempt to break out of the boxes society has created around them. Girl Group Wall of Sound harmonies are filtered through a punk rock spirit in this rebellious and romantic new musical.
Joe Iconis is the Tony Award-nominated composer/lyricist of the worldwide sensation Be More Chill. Iconis and Joe Tracz wrote Be More Chill as a commission for Two River Theater, where the show was developed and premiered in 2015 before going on to a sold-out limited engagement Off-Broadway and Broadway run. Director John Simpkins has worked with writer Joe Iconis on six projects prior to Love in Hate Nation, including Bloodsong of Love, The Black Suits and all 11 years of the Joe Iconis Christmas Extravaganza. He is Head of Musical Theatre at Penn State School of Theatre, where Love in Hate Nation was commissioned and developed.
The cast of Love in Hate Nation, previously announced, includes Sydney Farley (Gloria "Ya Ya" Meeks), Amina Faye (Susannah Son), Jasmine Forsberg (Brenda "Rat" Ratowski), Lauren Marcus (Miss Asp), Kelly McIntyre (Sheila Nail), Lena Skeele (Dorothy Donaldson), Emerson Mae Smith (Kitty Minx), Ryan Vona (The Guy), and Tatiana Wechsler (Judith Ramone).
The design team includes scenic designer Meredith Ries, costume designer Karen Perry, lighting designer Isabella Byrd, and sound designer Palmer Hefferan. The hair & wig designer is J. Jared Janas and the fight director & intimacy consultant is Rocío Mendez. The casting is by Telsey + Casting, Rachel Hoffman, CSA and Lily Schneider. The assistant stage manager is Nicole Kuker and the production stage manager is Amanda Michaels.
Ticket prices 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.