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Two River Theater’s next production: Molière’s 'The School for Wives'

View of the Two River Theater
View of the Two River Theater
Two River Theater

Two River Theater’s next production will be Molière’s classic comedy The School for Wives, translated into English verse by Richard Wilbur and directed by Mark Wing-Davey. Performances will begin in Two River’s Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, on Saturday, September 13 and continue through Sunday, October 5. The opening night performance is Friday, September 19 at 8pm. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or tworivertheater.org. The lead production sponsor is Monmouth University.

Two River will open its season with Molière’s classic comedy about a rich, middle-aged bachelor named Arnolphe (Robert Stanton), whose plan to groom his innocent young ward (Phillipa Soo as Agnès) into the “perfect” wife suddenly goes awry. Can this pompous bachelor really be a match for a rival suitor (Korey Jackson as Horace), inept servants (real-life sister-and-brother Bree Elrod and Carson Elrod as Georgette and Alain), and the wit of his soon-to-be bride? Rounding out the company of this French farce are Billy Eugene Jones (Chrysalde), Steven Rattazzi (Enrique/Notary), and Keith Reddin (Oronte).

Director Mark Wing-Davey’s production will be set in France in the late 1950s, with a production design inspired by the films of Jean-Luc Godard (one of the leaders of the French “New Wave” film movement) and the influential street photography of Henri Cartier-Bresson. Wing-Davey first came to prominence in the United States with his highly acclaimed 1992 production of Caryl Churchill’s Mad Forest at New York Theatre Workshop. Since then he has worked extensively in New York City for NYTW, Manhattan Theatre Club, Lincoln Center Theater, Playwrights Horizons, and The Public Theater. Also an actor, he has appeared in such cult classics asAbsolutely Fabulous and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in his native England. He is Chair of Graduate Acting at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

The creative team includes scenic designer David Gallo; costume designer Emily Rebholz; lighting designer Michael Chybowski; composer/sound designer Brandon Wolcott; and wig designer Mary-Kay Yezerski-Bondoc. The fight direction is by UnkleDave’s Fight-House, the casting is by Heidi Griffith and Kate Murray, and the stage manager is James Latus.

“Director Mark Wing-Davey is a theatrical maverick,” says Artistic Director John Dias. “He is rigorous about language and text, but he brings a fresh and bold take to his productions of the classics—and his staging of The School for Wives is sure to be an adventure. He has assembled a company of masterful clowns who will revel in this French farceur’s brilliant silliness.”

Ticket prices range from $37 to $65, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from tworivertheater.org or 732.345.1400.

Inside Two River is a series of events specially curated for each Two River Theater production. For more information or to reserve seats, patrons should visit tworivertheater.org or call 732.345.1400.

Molière 101 with Artistic Director John Dias: Thursday, August 21 at 7:30pm in the Victoria J. Mastrobuono Library

Ever wonder how American theater artists tackle the neo-classical fun of Molière’s plays? Artistic Director John Dias will explore how actors make his language accessible to audiences (there may even be a few rhyming couplets!) and discuss how directors and designers make choices about sets and costumes.

Open Rehearsal, Thursday, September 4 at 7:30pm in the Rechnitz Theater

Director Mark Wing-Davey and cast members from The School for Wives will explore select scenes from the play in this free event, which will be followed by dessert and coffee in the lobby.

Book Club: The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman, Sunday, September 21 at 5:30pm in the Victoria Mastrobuono Library (following the 3pm performance)

Literary Manager Anika Chapin will lead a discussion of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., Adelle Waldman’s 2013 novel about a man trying to find the perfect woman in contemporary Brooklyn.

Before Play and Lobby Display

Audiences will learn about Molière in Two River’s Before Play lecture series, which takes place 45 minutes prior to every performance, and Lobby Display.

Post-Play Conversations

Discussions with the cast and a member of Two River’s Artistic staff will take place on Wednesday, September 24 at 7 pm; Sunday, September 28 at 3pm; and Wednesday, October 1 at 1pm.

An audio-described performance is scheduled for Wednesday, October 1 at 1pm, and an open-captioned performance is scheduled for Saturday, October 4 at 3pm. Tickets are available at a discounted rate of $25 for patrons using these services. To reserve wheelchair-accessible seating or tickets to a performance listed above, patrons should call 732.345.1400 or e-mail boxoffice@trtc.org.