"The Merry Wives of Windsor" by Shakespeare, at Two River Theater in Red Bank, N.J., through March 26. Pictured: Zuzanna Szadkowski, Jason O’Connell, and Nicole Lewis. (Photo by T Charles Erickson)

Two River Theater Announces 6-Play 2017-18 Season

The season will open with Lorraine Hansberry’s ‘A Raisin in the Sun,’ starring Brandon J. Dirden and Crystal A. Dickinson.

RED BANK, N.J.: Two River Theater has announced its 2017-18 season, which will feature six productions.

“The playwrights are all searching out a world that’s new and better, and characters who feel poised on a turning point in time, caught between the trappings of the past and the desire to forge a new path into the future,” said artistic director John Dias in a statement. “They are plays that speak to our current national mood of uncertainty and confusion, and each play in its own way is pointing us forward, whether through laughter or tears or just the telling of a really great story.”

The season will open with Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun (Sept. 9-Oct. 8), starring real-life spouses Brandon J. Dirden and Crystal A. Dickinson. The play explores what happens when the Younger family tries to move into a white neighborhood in Chicago. Carl Cofield will direct.

Next up will be Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest (Nov. 11-Dec. 3), a comedy of manners and mistaken identities. Michael Cumpsty will direct.

El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom (Jan. 6-Feb. 4, 2018), by Matt Barbot, will be next. Set in Brooklyn, the play follows an out-of-work comic book artist who dresses up as one of his creations. Jose Zayas will direct.

Thornton Wilder’s The Bridge of San Luis Rey (Feb. 17-March 18, 2018), adapted by David Greenspan, will be next. The story is about several people who die as a result of the collapse of the Inca rope bridge in Peru.

Next up will be Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa (April 14-May 13, 2018), about five unmarried sisters in Ireland in 1936. Jessica Stone will direct.

The final show of the season will be Regina Taylor’s Oo-Bla-Dee (June 9-July 1, 2018), with original music by Diedre L. Murray. The play follows a group of female, African-American musicians in a bebop band at the end of World War II. Ruben Santiago-Hudson will direct.

The lineup will also include programming for young audiences. Skeletons: A Day of the Dead Bedtime Story Oct. 12-15) is about a young boy whose deceased grandfather comes back to life on the Day of the Dead. The play will be performed in Spanish and English.

The Rainbow Fish (Dec. 15-18), based on the book by Marcus Pfister, is about a beautiful fish who learns to share. The story will be told with puppetry by Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia.

Returning for a fifth time, A Little Shakespeare (March 6-11, 2018) will introduce young audiences to the Bard’s works.

The final TYA offering will be The Young King (April 20-22, 2018), adapted by Nicki Bloom from the shorty story by Oscar Wilde, will be produced by Australia’s Slingsby Theatre. The play follows a young boy raised by goatherds who is the heir to a kingdom.

Founded in 1994, Two River Theatre producers classics and new works and offers new-play development opportunities to support artists and the next generation of theatregoers.

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