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Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Announces 2012 “Lend Us Your Ears” Play Reading Series Starring “Guiding Light” actor Grant Aleksander

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will launch its third annual Lend Us Your Ears play reading series on Monday, March 12 at 7 p.m. with Eve of Ides, a new play by author David Blixt.  The series also includes readings of William Shakespeare’sHenry IV, Part Two on July 16 and the provocative comedy Wittenberg by David Davalos on September 24.   All readings will be held at 7:00 pm at the Shakespeare Theatre’s Main Stage, the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Ave. (at Lancaster Road) in Madison.   The Lend Us Your Ears discount subscription series, featuring tickets to all three readings, is $36 for adults and $24 for students.  Individual tickets are $15 each for adults and $10 for students. For tickets or more information, call the box office at            973-408-5600       or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.    

Lend Us Your Ears provides patrons the opportunity to join the Shakespeare Theatre’s directors, actors and artistic staff to explore three diverse and exciting plays.  These script-in-hand readings will feature members of The Shakespeare Theatre’s esteemed company of actors as well as prestigious guest artists.  Following the reading will be a talk-back session with the director, cast and audience which provides valuable feedback on the play and its potential for future production.   

Eve of Ides imagines Caesar, Brutus, and Mark Antony on the night before Caesar’s assassination, debating politics, family, history, and the future.  A Chicago resident, playwright David Blixt is the author of the historical novel “The Master of Verona.”  He is also an accomplished classical actor and has appeared on stage at Michigan Shakespeare Festival, First Folio Shakespeare, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, the Shadow Theatre Company, and the Goodman Theatre.   Eve of Ides will be directed by famed Broadway fight director and Shakespeare Theatre company member Rick Sordelet.    The role of Brutus, Caesar’s friend and ultimately his assassin, will be read by “Guiding Light” actor Grant Aleksander.   Aleksander appeared on “Guiding Light” as character Phillip Spaulding on and off from 1982 through 2009 as well as “All My Children” for two seasons in 1994 and 1995.  He has been nominated several times for Daytime Emmy awards.

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Following on the heals of The Shakespeare Theatre’s Main Stage production of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part One will be a reading of the rarely-done Henry IV, Part Two which continues the story of the young Prince Henry and Falstaff where Part One leaves off, and leads to the prince’s ascension to the throne.   The reading of Henry IV, Part Two will be held on Monday, July 16 at 7:00 p.m.

Closing the Lend Us Your Ears reading series is Wittenberg by David Davalos.   This clever and irreverent comedy portrays Doctor Faustus and Reverend Martin Luther as rival college professors vying for the attention of a star pupil – Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.   The reading of Wittenberg will take place on Monday, September 24 at 7:00 p.m.      

Tickets

Tickets for the reading series are $15 each for adults or a discount price of $36 for all three.   Student tickets are $10 each or $24 for all three readings.   For tickets, call the box office at 973-408-5600, visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org or email boxoffice@shakespearenj.org.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Main Stage, the 308-seat F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, is conveniently located in Madison at 36 Madison Avenue (Route 124) at Lancaster Road (on the Drew University campus), just minutes from routes 287, 78 and 10. Parking is free. 

2012 marks The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s 50th Anniversary. The company’s 50th Anniversary season, which begins in late May and continues through December, includes productions of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part OneThe Liar by David Ives, adapted from the comedy by Pierre Corneille; Shakespeare’s Measure For Measure; Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, adapted by Neil Bartlett; Man of La Mancha by Dale Wasserman, with lyrics by Joe Darion and music by Mitch Leigh; and Trelawny of the Wells by Arthur Wing Pinero.  

The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is barrier free with access into the Theatre via a ramp and elevator access to all floors.   Wheelchair seating and transfer seating is available.  Braille and large print programs are available.   Infrared listening devices are available free of charge.  Some performances are audio described.  Contact the theatre for more information.   For more information, or to purchase tickets, call             973-408-5600  or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.

The acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is an independent, professional theatre company located on the Drew University campus. One of the leading Shakespeare theatres in the nation, serving 100,000 adults and children annually, it is New Jersey’s only professional theatre company dedicated solely to Shakespeare’s canon and other world classics. Through its distinguished productions and education programs, the company strives to illuminate the universal and lasting relevance of the classics for contemporary audiences.

GENERAL INFORMATION

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR:  Bonnie J. Monte

MAIN STAGE:                                                                    

F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre                      

36 Madison Ave. (at Lancaster Rd.)                

Madison, NJ                                                               

TICKETS & INFO:  Call 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org

LEND US YOUR EARS -- SNAPSHOT

Eve of Ides

By David Blixt

directed by Rick Sordelet

Monday, March 12 at 7:00 p.m.

 

Henry IV, Part Two

By William Shakespeare

directed by Joseph Discher

Monday, July 16 at 7:00 p.m.

 

Wittenberg

by David Davalos

Monday, September 24, at 7:00 p.m. 

 

Venue: F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Avenue at Lancaster Rd. in Madison

Tickets: Call the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.

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