The 50th Anniversary season of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey concludes with the rarely performed comedic gem Trelawny of the Wells by renowned Victorian playwright Sir Arthur Wing Pinero. Performances begin December 5th and continue through December 30th at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Ave. (at Lancaster Road) in Madison. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by calling the box office at 973-408-5600 or by visiting www.ShakespeareNJ.org.
Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. A special family matinee will be held on Thursday, December 27th at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $32 to $70; student rush tickets are available 30 minutes prior to curtain for $10.
Rose Trelawny, a young star of the London stage, gives up the theatre in order to marry Arthur Gower, her devoted suitor and a member of the aristocracy. When Rose discovers just how stuffy, stiff and repressed her new life will be, she flees back into the arms of her theatrical family and the warm glow of the footlights. From thence, the plot unfolds.
The last major production of Trelawny of the Wells in this region was at Lincoln Center in the mid-1970s and featured a cast of prominent theatre and film luminaries including Mary Beth Hurt, John Lithgow, Mandy Patinkin, and Meryl Streep.
“I assisted my mentor on a production of this play 30 years ago, and fell in love with it,” said Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte. “I’ve long wanted to direct a production of Trelawny…but have been waiting for a very special occasion; the finale of our 50th anniversary season is that perfect opportunity, for it’s a love letter to artists, their admirers, and the art of theatre all at once! It is especially fitting as a tribute to the thousands of actors who have graced our stages over the past five decades, and who have brought some of the world’s greatest plays to life for generations of audiences.”
The 13-member cast is comprised entirely of company members who, in total, have appeared on The Shakespeare Theatre stage nearly 100 times. The cast includes some of the Theatre’s younger company members as well as its eldest. “We’ve put together a troupe of stellar Shakespeare Theatre favorites,” said Monte.
Nisi Sturgis plays the young actress Rose Trelawny. Sturgis appeared at The Shakespeare Theatre in leading roles in To Kill a Mockingbird, I Capture the Castle, Arms and The Man, and as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire opposite Laila Robins. On Broadway, she appeared in The 39 Steps. She has appeared in regional theatres across the nation and is a regular on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. Jordan Coughtry plays Arthur Gower, Rose’s fiancée. Coughtry has appeared at The Shakespeare Theatre in Amadeus, Servant of Two Masters, and Romeo and Juliet among many others, and at many of the nation’s major regional theatres.
John Patrick Hayden plays Tom Wrench, an actor and playwright. Hayden made his Shakespeare Theatre debut in last season’s The Misanthrope and has appeared on Broadway in Tartuffe and most recently in Hedda Gabler at Hartford Stage. Longtime senior company member Edmond Genest plays Sir William Gower. Some of Genest’s many Shakespeare Theatre credits include Accidental Death of an Anarchist, No Man’s Land, Noises Off, Around the World in Eighty Days, and King Lear. On Broadway, he appeared in The Elephant Man and A Few Good Men among many others.
Jennifer Harmon plays Mrs. Mossop. Harmon appeared at the Shakespeare Theatre in All’s Well that Ends Well and on Broadway in Other Desert Party, Amy’s View, The Little Foxes, School for Scandal, The Sisters Rosensweig, and Rumors among others. Shakespeare Theatre veteran Jon Barker plays Ferdinand Gadd. Barker recently appeared the Shakespeare Theatre productions of Henry IV, Part One, Othello, The Misanthrope and All’s Well That Ends Well among many others.