(MADISON, NJ) — The Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey (STNJ) concludes its 60th anniversary season with its final main stage production of Shakespeare Twelfth Night. Jason King Jones, who last starred on STNJ in 2009, directed one of the Bard’s most celebrated comedies just in time for the holiday season. Veteran company members Jon Barker, Jeffrey M. Bender and Tony Award nominee Robert Cuccioli join a diverse cast of 14 actors. Twelfth Night will be on the main stage from December 7, 2022 to January 1, 2023.
Nothing could be more perfect for the holiday season than this comedy masterpiece – considered by many to be Shakespeare’s finest. This tale of twins shipwrecked off the coast of Illyria is chock-full of his best comedy—as well as romance, music, and beautiful verse. Twelfth Night will brighten up your holiday celebrations and is perfect for the family. The theater will present special family matinee performances on Friday December 23rd and Wednesday December 28th.
Longtime STNJ veteran Robert Cuccioli returns to the STNJ stage for his 12th season as the puritanical malcontent Malvolio. Last seen in production of 2018 Titus AndronicusMr. Cuccioli received a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, and a Tony Award nomination for his performance as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the Broadway production of Jekyll & Hyde. His other Broadway credits include Les Miserables and Spiderman: Turn off the darkness. He has appeared on stages nationwide, most recently as Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd: Fleet Street’s demonic barber in St. Louis and in A Touch of the Poet at the Irish Repertory Theater in NYC.
STNJ lead actor Jon Barker will play Duke Orsino. Jon was last seen in Pinter’s this season The janitor. Twelfth Night marks Jon’s 26th production at the Shakespeare Theater over the course of 12 seasons with the company. Three other veteran STNJ alumni, Jeffrey M. Bender, Patrick Toon and Tarah Flanagan, will provide the show’s comic relief as Sir Toby Belch, Andrew Aguecheek and Maria, respectively.
The theater is pleased that Eliana Rowe will make her main stage debut in the role of viola. Eliana started with STNJ at Shakespeare LIVE 2022! Tour Productions by Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
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Billie Wyatt, who has quickly become one of the company’s most versatile leading actresses, will play Olivia. Last seen in this season’s productions of The Metromaniacs and Florence and Mojo. Most recently, she played the title role in Camille and Minnie Fly west at the Quintessence Theater Group in Philadelphia.
A number of other well-known and new faces complement this extraordinary cast. These include Jeffrey Marc Alkins as Sebastian, Jabari Carter as Curio, Dino Curia as Antonio, Jeffrey Dunston as Sea Caption, Cedric Lamar as Feste, Ty Lane as Fabian and Cameron Nalley as Valentine.
director Jason King Jones began his professional career in the summer of 1999 at the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey. Jason directed the outdoor stage The Grouch, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), The Servant of Two Mastersand The Comedy of Mistakes (2012), as well as The Merry Wives of Windsor on the main stage. Jason was recently named Artistic Director of the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival and remains Artistic Director of National Players, the nation’s longest-running classical touring group. Jason was Senior Associate Artistic Director at the Olney Theater Center for a decade and is a proud graduate of Boston University’s School of Theatre.
The design team for Twelfth Night includes the creative talents of set designer Brittany Vasta, lighting designer Andrew Hungerford, sound designer Steven Beckel, costume designer Hugh Hanson, fight director Doug West and original music composed by Cedric Lamar. The director of the production phase is Denise Cardarelli.
Single tickets for Twelfth Night Price range between $39 and $69. The theater offers several money-saving options, including $15 Student Rush tickets, available 30 minutes before each performance with a valid student ID, and a limited number of Pay-What-You-Can tickets for each performance at one First come. First serve basis. STNJ also has a $30 Under 30 ticket option that offers $30 tickets for guests under the age of 30 with valid ID. Other discounts are available, including a 10% discount for Bank of America customers and employees, THIRTEEN TV show members, AAA members, and others. For more information or to purchase tickets, customers can call or visit the Box Office at 973-408-5600 ShakespeareNJ.org.
Special services: For the same price as regular admission, the Symposium series performances feature a post-show discussion with the cast and artistic staff. To the Twelfth NightThe performances of the symposium will be Tuesday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, December 17 at 2:00 p.m.
The Know-the-Show preliminary talks are offered free of charge with the purchase of an introduction ticket. Before the performance on Thursday 15 December at 7pm there will be a pre-performance discussion for interested visitors. The performance this evening follows at 8:00 p.m.
The Shakespeare Theater also offers closed caption performances and audio-described performances throughout the season. The titled performance for Twelfth Night takes place on Thursday, December 15 at 8:00 p.m. The audio-described performance will take place on Thursday, December 22 at 8:00 p.m. For more information, please contact the cashier.
The FM Kirby Shakespeare Theater is located at 36 Madison Avenue in Madison, New Jersey.