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"Two Trains Running" by August Wilson at Two River Theatre in Red Bank, N.J. in 2013. Pictured: Owiso Odera, Roslyn Ruff, James A. Williams, Anthony Chisholm, Chuck Cooper and John Earl Jelks. (Photo by Michael Daniel)

Two River Theater Announces 2015–16 Season

The seven productions of the 2015–16 season revolve around the theme of family.

RED BANK, N.J.: Two River Theater has announced its 2015–16 season, including Sondheim, August Wilson, a world premiere and a U.S. premiere.

“The 2015–16 season is built around the theme of family, ” said artistic director John Dias in a statement. “Both in the content of the plays, which each deal with the complicated bonds between families—those you are born to and those you build within a community—and for Two River Theater itself.  We have always believed that theatre is a place for artists and audiences to come together and examine and celebrate the bonds that connect us as humans, and managing director Michael Hurt and I are proud that our season will be full of these rich opportunities.”

To begin the season is August Wilson’s Seven Guitars (Sept. 12–Oct. 4), about a blues guitarist in Pittsburgh in the year 1948. Crystal Dickinson and Jason Dirden will star. Brandon J. Dirden will direct.

Next will be A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Nov. 14–Dec. 13), with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart.  The production will feature an all-male cast, including Christopher Fitzgerald. Denis Jones will choreograph and Jessica Stone will direct.

Following will be the world premiere of Robert Rechnitz and Kenneth Stunkel’s Lives of Reason (Jan. 9–Feb 7, 2016), which explores the challenges of intellectual life. John Ahlin and Maureen Silliman will star. Former artistic director Jonathan Fox will direct.

Next is the American premiere of Bárbara Colio’s Ropes (Feb. 20–March, 20, 2016), about three brothers and their reunion with their estranged father, a world-renowned tightrope walker. There will be select performances in Spanish as part of the theatre’s Nosotros program, to further engage the Latino community in theatre. English translation is provided by Maria Alexandria Beech. Lisa Rothe will direct.

Following will be Shakespeare’s Pericles (April 16–May 8, 2016), with original music and additional lyrics by Rinde Eckert, who will also appear in the cast. David Schweizer will direct.  Two River will be producing a 75-minute version of the show to be performed by high school students in December 2015.

Next is John Van Druten’s I Remember Mama (June 4–26, 2016), about a working-class Norwegian family in the turn of the century in San Francisco. Barbara Andres will star and Jack Cummings III will direct.

To close the season will be Where the Wild Things Are (June 9–12, 2016), originally adapted for the stage by Tag Theatre of Glasgow from Maurice Sendak’s children’s book. The Presentation House Theatre of Vancouver, Canada will produce, and Kim Selody will direct.

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