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The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Presents Comedy Under the Stars for the Whole Family

MADISON, NJ — Continuing the celebration of its 50th Anniversary Season, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will present a hilarious slapstick comedy on its Outdoor Stage – the Theatre’s enormously popular annual summer venue for family theatre-going under-the-stars.  Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors begins performances on June 20th and continues through July 29st.    Performances are Tuesdays through Sundays at 8:15 p.m. with additional twilight shows on Sundays at 4:30 p.m. at the amphitheatre on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road (off Madison Avenue/Rt. 124) in Morris Township.   This replica of an ancient Greek theatre nestled into the hillside of the bucolic campus offers a theatrical event unique on the East Coast.  Tickets range from $27 - $33 for adults; tickets for ages 17 and under are $15.   For tickets or more information, call 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.  Groups of 10 or more are eligible for group discounts.

The Outdoor Stage is generously supported by Bank of America.  A partner of The Outdoor Stage since 2004, their continued support has helped make The Shakespeare Theatre’s Outdoor Stage one of the most unique and anticipated summer theatrical events in the region.  

The large lawn surrounding the Theatre is ideal for picnicking.  Audience members may bring their own food and beverages, or purchase snacks and soft drinks on-site.  Patrons are encouraged to bring blankets or low beach chairs into the amphitheatre.   Stadium seats are available for rental for $3.00 while supplies last.  Complimentary hand-held fans will be provided courtesy of Air Group Heating and Air Conditioning Co., while supplies last.  Seating is general admission.   

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The Comedy of Errors, a family-friendly, 95-minute version of the Bard’s hilarious comedy is directed by Jason King Jones who also directed The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) and The Servant of Two Masters on the Outdoor Stage.  Two sets of identical twins, mistaken identities, outrageous characters and a madcap chase sequence (to rival all chase sequences!) conspire to make this caper a thrill for children and adults of all ages.   

“We want to guarantee that people of all ages can help us celebrate our 50th Anniversary Season” said The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Artistic Director, Bonnie J. Monte.  “What better way than to invite family audiences to the incredibly beautiful setting of our Outdoor Stage for a delightful evening of class comedy?  We are so grateful to the College of St. Elizabeth, our gracious host, for making it possible for this wonderful, 6-week event to occur each year.”

The Cast

Playing one of the identical twins Antipholus of Ephesus is Philip Mutz who is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and is celebrating his fifth season with The Shakespeare Theatre.  At the Theatre, he has performed in The Comedy of Errors, Henry V, and Cymbeline on the Main Stage and A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the Outdoor Stage. He was a member of the 2005 Next Stage Ensemble where his company credits included Coriolanus and London Assurance. He has performed in King John with the New York Shakespeare Exchange, and Taming of the Shrew at Shakespeare Santa Cruz.   Playing his identical twin, Antipholus of Syracuse, is Matthew Simpson, who is in his fourth season with The Shakespeare Theatre.  Most recently he appeared  in The Servant of Two Masters on the Outdoor Stage. He has also toured with the 2008 Shakespeare Live! touring company, and the 2007 Next Stage Ensemble. Other credits include the Guthrie Theatre’s production of Hay Fever, and the Resident Ensemble Players productions of Dancing at Lughnasa, The Homecoming, Our Town, and the world premiere of O Beautiful! 

A second set of identical twins, Dromio of Ephesus and Dromio of Syracuse, are played by Sean Hudock and Jack Moran respectively.  Hudock is in his sixth season with The Shakespeare Theatre, where his Main Stage company credits include The Lion in Winter, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, and The Life of Galileo. He also performed with Shakespeare Live! and with the Next Stage Ensemble. Other credits of his include The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial with LA Theatre Works, and BoyGirlBoyGirl with NYC International Fringe.   Jack Moran is in his ninth season with The Shakespeare Theatre, and his company credits include The Taming of the Shrew, The Grapes of Wrath, and Noises Off, The Winter’s Tale, Henry V, Richard III, and The Country Wife on the Main Stage, as well as A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the Outdoor Stage. He has performed Off-Broadway in The Oedipus Cycle and The Constant Couple with the Pearl Theatre Company.

Playing the Duke of Ephesus/Pinch/Balthazar is Phillip Christian who is in his second season with The Shakespeare Theatre. He previously appeared at The Shakespeare Theatre in The Merchant of Venice. He has also performed in Much Ado About Nothing and Julius Caesar at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival; Twelfth Night with the Sonnet Repertory Theatre, and Three Sisters with the Classical Theatre of Harlem.

The merchant Egeon is played by Matt Sullivan, who is in his fifth season with the Shakespeare Theatre. He has previously appeared in Othello, The Misanthrope, I Capture the Castle, Twelfth Night, Noises Off, and King Lear on the Main Stage.  Other credits include Macbeth, and Coriolanus at the New York Shakespeare Festival, and The School for Scandal at the National Actor’s Theatre.

The goldsmith Angelo is played by Shakespeare Theatre veteran Jay Leibowitz, who celebrates his tenth season with the Shakespeare Theatre this year.  His credits includes Othello, The Grapes of Wrath, Around the World in Eighty Days, Life of Galileo, on the Main Stage, as well as The Tempest, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), and That Scoundrel Scapin on the Outdoor Stage.  He also appeared in Beau Jest! at Gulfshore Playhouse, and in The Acting Company’s 2008 national tour of The Tempest and Moby Dick (Rehearsed).

Amanda Duffy celebrates her fifth season with The Shakespeare Theatre playing Adriana. She has appeared in The Servant of Two Masters and The Grouch on the Outdoor Stage as well as Main Stage productions of Pygmalion and The Tempest.

Rounding out the cast are are Rocio Alexis Mendez, Eileen Glenn, and Allison Layman.

About the Director

Jason King Jones returns to The Shakespeare Theatre for his 13th season.  His company directing credits include The Merry Wives of Windsor on the Main Stage and The Servant of Two Masters, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), and The Grouch on the Outdoor Stage. He has also directed several educational tours for Shakespeare LIVE! and the Next Stage Ensemble. Jason has taught and directed at Boston University’s TVI Studios, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Purdue, Nebraska Wesleyan, The University of Scranton, and Fairleigh Dickinson. He was the 2004 and 2007 staff repertory director at John Houseman’s The Acting Company, and has recently completed his graduate studies at Boston University.

Special Performances

The first preview performance of The Comedy of Errors on Wednesday, June 20th at 8:15 p.m. offers opportunities for reduced-price tickets, as an incentive to first-time theatergoers.  For those who would otherwise not be able to afford a night at the theatre, the first preview performance is Pay What You Can night – pay what you are able for that evening’s 8:15 p.m. preview performance.  Offer is subject to availability.  Call the box office at 973-408-5600 for details. 

For no more than the cost of a regular ticket, Symposium Series performances include the addition of a post-play discussion with the cast and artistic staff, on Tuesday, June 26 at 8:15 p.m. and Saturday July 7 and 14 at 8:15 p.m.  

On Thursday, June 28, The Shakespeare Theatre presents the popular education program Know the Show. From 7:00 to 7:30 p.m., members of the artistic staff will present a pre-performance talk that provides background information and an insider’s perspective on The Comedy of Errors.

General admission to Know the Show is $5 for the general public, $4 for subscribers and ticket package holders. Tickets to that evening’s 8:15 p.m. performance may be purchased separately for $33 or $15 for young people 17 and under.  Single ticket prices include a $2.00 Facility fee not subject to discount. 

 The Artistic Staff

Creating the world of The Comedy of Errors are set designer Charlie Calvert, lighting designer Rachel Miner, costume designer Nancy Leary and sound designer Rich Dionne.  Denise Cardarelli is the production stage manager. 

Tickets & General Information

Performances are Tuesday through Sunday evenings at 8:15 pm; and twilight shows on Sundays at 4:30 p.m.   Tickets are $27 - $33 for adults and $15 for young people under 17.  Children under 5 go free.  Seating is general admission.    For tickets or more information, call the box office at 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.   Groups of 10 or more save up to 25% off the regular ticket price.  

Main Stage Season

Next up on the Main Stage is a playfully wicked, new adaptation of Pierre Corneille’s French farce The Liar.   About its sold-out, critically acclaimed run in Washington, DC, The Washington Post said of this award-winning adaptation, “The Liar and its mischievous adapter, David Ives, want you to savor every meticulously groomed conceit, every stylishly turned-out couplet, every assiduously manicured joke.”  The outrageous hijinks of six young lovers from Parisian high-society in the 1600’s promises to make you laugh till you cry.   The Liar will run from July 4 – 29th and is directed by long-time company member Paul Mullins (Noises Off, Accidental Death of an Anarchist).

The summer continues with Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte directing Shakespeare’s dark comedy Measure for Measure.  This mercurial masterpiece could have been written yesterday.  An age-old tale of scandal, abuse of power and what happens when repression and profligacy get equally out of balance, this is a story for all times, and its contemporary relevance is chillingly palpable.  Measure for Measure will begin performances on August 8th and continue through August 26th

To launch the Fall portion of the season, director Brian B. Crowe will set his imagination in motion for Neil Bartlett’s highly-praised adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist.  Featuring an ensemble of 13 actors who play myriad roles, the visceral landscape of Victorian England’s underworld comes to life in this dynamic theatrical vision of Dickens’classic.  Oliver Twist runs September 12th through October 7th.

Not since 2004 has The Shakespeare Theatre produced a musical, but to celebrate its 50th Anniversary Season, the Theatre will present the award-winning Man of La Mancha, based on Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote de la Mancha, by Dale Wasserman with lyrics by Joe Darion and music by Mitch Leigh.  Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte will direct with Broadway veteran and longtime Shakespeare Theatre company member Robert Cuccioli in the iconic role of Don Quixote.  Man of La Mancha will begin performances on October 17th and continue through November 18th

The Theatre’s 50th Anniversary Season will close with the rarely-seen classic gem Trelawny of the Wells by Arthur Wing Pinero.  This effervescent romantic comedy about life in the theatre in England at the turn of the 19th century is a giddy and moving homage to art and artists.  Directed by Bonnie J. Monte, Trelawny of the Wells runs December 5 – 30. 

For more information about the season, call 973-408-5600, email boxoffice@ShakespeareNJ.org or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.   

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Outdoor Stage, the amphitheatre on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth, is conveniently located at 2 Convent Road, off Madison Avenue (Rt. 124) in Convent Station, just minutes from routes 287, 78 and 10.   Parking is free.   The Theatre is barrier free.  Wheelchair seating is available.  Braille and Large Print programs are available. 

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.   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.  Select performances are audio described, captioned and sign-language interpreted.  For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.

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