THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE OF NEW JERSEY 2017 SEASON

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2016 Season at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey 

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Robert Cuccioli
Previews begin May 17

A money-obsessed, patriarchal, dysfunctional society where wealth bestows power; one in which women cannot determine their own fate, and one marked by religious and racial prejudice. Sound familiar? Shakespeare's dark comedy could not be more resonant for our time. A play that offers no true villains or heroes, his Venice presents a culture as complex and troubling as our own, where the situations and questions posed ask us to examine the "quality of mercy" in myriad ways.

 

On the Outdoor Stage:

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Bonnie J. Monte
Previews begin June 14

Featuring an exuberant array of music, dance, and visual surprises, Ms. Monte's fresh new vision for Shakespeare's most popular comedy features a world constructed almost entirely of objects that would normally be on their way to a landfill. Delight in seeing how her inventive bands of fairies transform trash into whimsical treasure. Picnic under the stars with family and friends as art, nature, and the ancient tradition of outdoor theatre all come together!


THE BUNGLER

By Molière
Translated by Richard Wilbur
Directed by Brian B. Crowe
Previews begin July 5

This rarely-produced hilarious comedy by the great French master will help you leave the world behind and let laughter rule the day. This side-splitting romp is Molière at his frothiest and silliest, and if laughter is good medicine, then this show will cure all ills. Follow the adventures of a clueless young lover as his clever servant attempts to help him win the heart and hand of a beautiful gypsy girl. Alas, the lover bungles every wily ruse his servant concocts!

WHAT THE BUTLER SAW

By Joe Orton
Directed by Paul Mullins
Previews begin September 6

First performed in 1969, two years after Orton's murder at the age of 34, this scathing farce shocked audiences when it was first produced. Now, almost 50 years later, what were racy subjects are far less so, and we are able to both laugh more and see better the acid bullets that Orton fires in a startling pace from beginning to end. This hilarious comedy unveils the fragile state of truth in the hands of those in power, and the power of truth despite our easy ability to twist it. This play is not a play for children, and it will include partial nudity.


SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE

Based on the screenplay by Marc Norman & Tom Stoppard
Adapted for the stage by Lee Hall
Music by Paddy Cunneen
Directed by Bonnie J. Monte
Previews begin October 11

This exuberant theatrical "love-letter" is based on the award-winning film of the same name and it's no less a joy than the original screen version. Filled with music, a huge cast of colorful characters (including a fiesty little dog) the play captures the Bard as he struggles with writer's block and a forbidden romance with the woman who becomes the muse who inspires some of his greatest work. An epic Elizabethan extravaganza, it is rousing, funny, and a beautiful homage to love, art, and Shakespeare himself.



IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY

Adapted by Joe Landry
Directed by Doug West
Previews begin November 30

A group of actors and technicians gather in a 1940's radio station at holiday time to perform a live broadcast of "It's a Wonderful Life." Replete with Foley sound effects, commercials from the era, and sprinkled throughout with a generous dose of music and humor, this charming piece brings the famous story to life in a new way and fills the theatre with the inspiring spirit of the holidays.