The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey ushers in the Fall portion of its 2011 Season with Othello -- Shakespeare’s tragic tale of love, jealousy and betrayal featuring a prestigious cast of Shakespeare Theatre veterans including Lindsay Smiling and Robert Cuccioli. Performances of Othello begin on September 7 and continue through October 2 at the Theatre’s Main Stage, the intimate F.M. Kirby Theatre. For tickets or for more information, call the box office at 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org. The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is located at 36 Madison Avenue (at Lancaster Road), in Madison. Performances are held Tuesday through Sunday evenings and Saturday and Sunday matinees. Several 10:30 a.m. performances for school groups are also scheduled. To book a school group for these matinees, call 973-408-3983.
Not seen on The Shakespeare Theatre stage since 2003, this epic tale of love and jealousy remains as compelling today as when it exploded onto the stage in 1604. Often described as Shakespeare’s most perfect play, the epic downfall of the Moor of Venice and his beautiful Desdemona at the hands of the world’s most infamous villain Iago is one of Shakespeare’s most fascinating and heartbreaking tales.
Playing noble Moor Othello is Lindsay Smiling who returns for his second season with the Shakespeare Theatre after appearing as Polixenes in the 2008 production of The Winter’s Tale. He recently appeared off-Broadway in Treasure Island and in Charlotte’s Web at Two River Theatre Company. Smiling has also appeared in several productions at the Human Race Theater, the Wilma Theater, Victory Gardens Theatre, and the Walnut Street Theater. His television and film appearances include Hack, As the World Turns, The Daily Grind, and Brother.
Tony Award-nominee Robert Cuccioli returns for his ninth season with The Shakespeare Theatre to play the master manipulator Iago. Cuccioli’s Shakespeare Theatre credits include Hamlet, Amadeus, Julius Caesar, Carnival!, Antony and Cleopatra, and the title role in Macbeth. On Broadway, Cuccioli appeared as Javert in Les Miserables, and received a Tony Nomination, a Drama Desk nomination, and Outer Critics Circle awards for his performance in the 1997 production of Jekyll and Hyde. Off-Broadway, he appeared in Dietrich and Chevalier, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris and many more. Most recently he appeared in The Sound of Music and Jesus Christ Superstar at Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. He received the prestigious Jefferson Award for his starring role in the touring production of Jekyll and Hyde. Cuccioli is also featured on television and film in Sliders, Baywatch, and The Guiding Light.
Returning for her eighth season with The Shakespeare Theatre as the beautiful and innocent Desdemona is Victoria Mack. Her company credits include The Taming of the Shrew, King Lear, Pride and Prejudice, As You Like It, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Of Mice and Men, and Pygmalion. Mack appeared in The 39 Steps at The Denver Center and A Little Journey, Mr. Pim Passes By and The Truth About Blayds at The Mint Theatre. Her television and film credits include appearances on Law & Order: Criminal Intent and MTV.
Playing Iago’s wife, the loyal Emilia, is Jacqueline Antaramian who is in her second season with The Shakespeare Theatre. She previously appeared as Gertrude in the Theatre’s 2009 production of Hamlet. Antaramian has appeared on Broadway in Master Class, Mary Stuart, Coram Boy, and Julius Caesar with Denzel Washington. Antaramian received a Barrymore Award for her performance in the one-woman play, Nine Parts of Desire. She has also appeared on television and film in The Siege, Lipstick Jungle, Third Watch, Sopranos, and Law and Order.
Returning for his fourth season with The Shakespeare Theatre is Jon Barker, who plays Cassio, the honorable lieutenant to Othello. Barker recently appeared in the Theatre’s production of The Misanthrope , All’s Well That Ends Well, The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, The School For Wives, The Winter’s Tale, Romeo and Juliet, A Streetcar Named Desire, King Lear, and Amadeus. He was also seen in Spilling Stuff and Breaking Things at the Terrace Theater in the Kennedy Center. Later this year he will appear in the premiere of The Dangers of Electric Lighting at Luna Stage.
Company veteran Matthew Bradford Sullivan returns as the gullible Roderigo. Sullivan recently appeared as Clitandre in this season’s The Misanthrope as well as company productions of I Capture the Castle, Twelfth Night, Noises Off, and King Lear. Sullivan appeared in Macbeth and Coriolanus at the New York Shakespeare Festival as well as The School for Scandal at the National Actor’s Theatre. He has also worked on many regional productions, including shows with Baltimore’s Center Stage, The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C., The Hartford Stage, Geva Theatre, St. Louis Rep, and Dallas Theatre Center.
Bill Christ returns to the Shakespeare Theatre to play Desdemona’s father Brabantio. Previous credits with The Shakespeare Theatre include Arms and the Man and Romeo and Juliet on the Main Stage, and The Tempest on the Outdoor Stage. Christ has also starred in multiple Broadway productions including Born Yesterday, The Miracle Worker, Inherit the Wind, and Search and Destroy. He has appeared off-Broadway and in several regional productions with Portland Center Stage, Denver Center Theatre, McCarter Theatre, and George Street Playhouse. His film and TV credits include Die Hard with a Vengeance, The Laramie Project, Law & Order and Law & Order: CI.
Rounding out the cast are Jay Leibowitz as Lodovico, Susan Maris as Bianca, Patrick Toon as Montano as well as Jordan Laroya, David Joseph Regelmann, and Eric Rolland.
Now in her 21st season with the Theatre, Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte has directed more than 40 productions in her two decades at its helm, including The Misanthrope, No Man’s Land, King Lear, Hamlet, and A Streetcar Named Desire. In addition, she has created and directed a number of original translations and adaptations for the stage including Enrico IV, Pride and Prejudice, The Triumph of Love, The Blue Bird, and The Servant of Two Masters which premiered in 2010 on the Outdoor Stage and was recently published by Playscripts, Inc.
The Artistic Staff
Setting the stage for Othello are set designer Bill Clarke, costume designer Paul Canada, lighting designer Steven Rosen, and sound designer Karin Graybash. Kathy Snyder serves as production stage manager.
Single tickets for Othello are now on sale and start at $32. Student Rush tickets are available a half-hour before curtain for $10 with a valid student ID. For tickets, call the box office at 973-408-5600, visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Single ticket prices include a $2 facility fee not subject to discount.
Save with Discount Ticket Packages
Patrons can save up more than 40% off the cost of single tickets by purchasing discount ticket packages. The discount ticket packages feature up to 35% percent savings off the cost of regular tickets, the best seats available; free, easy and unlimited ticket exchanges should schedules change; discounts on additional tickets; and the convenience of having tickets in hand and dates scheduled in advance. Four-play and 3-play discount ticket packages start at $84. Call The Shakespeare Theatre Box Office at 973-408-5600. Look for more information at www.ShakespeareNJ.org
Preview performances for Othello are Wednesday, September 7 at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, September 8 &9 at 8:00 p.m., and Saturday, September 10 at 2 p.m. These Preview performances offer opportunities for reduced-priced tickets while enjoying the excitement of the very first performances in front of an audience. As always, the first Preview performance is Pay What You Can night. Visit The Shakespeare Theatre Box Office between noon and curtain on September 7 and purchase a ticket for what you are able to pay for that evening’s 7:30 preview performance (offer subject to availability). Pay What You Can is made possible in part by a generous grant from the Stone & Magnanini LLP/Smart Family Foundation, an independent family foundation.
For no more than the cost of a regular ticket, three Symposium Series performances are offered for each show and include a post-play discussion with the cast and artistic staff. Symposium performances for Othello will be Tuesday, September 13 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, September 17 and 24 at 2:00 p.m.
For each production, The Shakespeare Theatre presents the popular education program Know the Show. From 7:00 to 7:30 p.m., an artist from The Shakespeare Theatre will present a pre-performance talk that provides background information and an insider’s perspective on the production. Know the Show will be held on September 15 at 7:00 p.m. General admission is $5 for the general public, $4 for ticket package holders. Tickets to that evening’s 8:00 p.m. performance may be purchased separately.
The 2 p.m. performance on Saturday, September 24 will be audio described for those who are blind or have visual impairments. Audio description enables patrons with visual impairments to hear, through an FM transmitter, a live description of the action on the stage. A pre-performance sensory seminar is offered that allows patrons to feel props, costumes and set pieces to further enhance their live theatrical experience. The service is offered free of charge.
The 2011 Season
The 2011 Season continues with To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee and adapted by Christopher Sergel. The characters of Atticus Finch, Scout, and Boo Radley have become iconic figures in the American consciousness and conscience. Harper Lee’s Pulitzer-prize winning novel is considered one of the most important works of the 20th century, and it is a must for every new generation. The story’s enduring spell stems in part from the juxtaposition of the simple, yet astute innocence of a child’s point of view in the face of terrible and terribly complex adult problems and biases. The fundamental lessons about compassion, integrity, and courage are breath-taking and life-changing. To Kill A Mockingbird will run from October 12 through November 15. To Kill a Mockingbird is made possible in part by a generous grant from The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation.
To celebrate the Holiday Season, the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will present Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol adapted for the stage by Neil Bartlett. Bartlett’s unique and inventive adaption is ingenious in its approach to this timeless holiday tale, and profoundly captures the true essence of the original novel. With a cast of nine actors playing more than 50 roles, this production features a new visual landscape which conjures up this delightful, funny, haunted and haunting morality tale that, in the end is always beautifully touching. A Christmas Carol begins performances on December 1 and continues through January 1.
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. Some performances are audio described. Contact the theatre for more information. The Outdoor Stage is located on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road in Morris Township. 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.