2003 - What's in a name?


A Message from the Artistic Director

"What's in a name?" Nothing and everything. It's true, as Juliet says, "that which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet," — but Cassio's words from OTHELLO ring true as well: "reputation, reputation, reputation...the immortal part...of myself..."

In February, New Jersey Shakespeare Festival officially change its name to The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. We are the same institution; our mission, programs and the essence of our work are all intact, but much has changed here since I arrived in late 1990. Thirteen years ago, we were a small company struggling to reinvigorate, reinvent, rebuild a reputation, and grow. We have done all that and more! We are still a "rose," but of a different hue; and our new title is not only an emblem of that transformation but, hopefully, a change that will allow the public's perception of us to transform as well.

We determined that the word "festival" has been skewing the public's perception of who and what we are. To those who don't know us, our company is often misperceived as a short term, seasonal "event."

Now, in our 41st season of continual operation, we are one of the largest and most acclaimed Shakespeare theatres in America, the oldest on the east coast, with a company of nationally prominent artists. Our theatre is recognized as the place to go for Shakespeare in the state of New Jersey, and audiences are now coming from far beyond our state's borders as well. Our Shakespeare LIVE! touring company, one of our many education programs, reaches students throughout the region, from Pennsylvania to Conneticut. Those programs, in combination with our six annual Main Stage productions of classical masterworks, now connect with 100,000 people annually. Plus, as you may know, through our recent partnership with the College of Saint Elizabeth in Convent Station, we have added a second performance venue — the Outdoor Stage — where we are able to perform under the stars in a breathtaking and utterly unique 1,000-seat Greek amphitheatre, nestled atop the College's lovely grounds.

Add to this our desire to give Shakespeare "top billing" in our title, our pride in being a key player in New Jersey's remarkable cultural landscape, and you have The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. The plays we produce are timeless, and by virtue of their unviverality are both the most elite and the least elitist plays of humanity's collected consciousness. As we endeavor to extend our reach, we hope that you, our audience, will help us spread the word — not only about who and what we are, but why — why we are the place to go, to revel in, and to support.

On a final, more somber note: as I'm sure you know, the arts in New Jersey have recently been placed on the "endangered species" list. It is vital that you voice your thoughts on the proposed budget cuts to our legilators and our governor — the arts are not a luxury; they are not a frivolous extracurricular activity. They are a necesity of any society that calls itself civilized. In addition to their immense intangible value, in this state alone the arts create and sustain aneconomic sphere of substantial impact — to the tune of $1.027 billion per year. To hearken back to Cassio's words, "reputation, reputation, reputation...the immortal part..." — how tragic it would be to go from being a state witha national reputation of having an exceedingly rich and varied cultural life, to a legacy of bein a state with none.

2003 Season Plays

Click each title below for more info

Much Ado About Nothing

by William Shakespeare
Directed by Bonnie J. Monte

The battle between the sexes is rarely as lively — or as funny — as that between Beatrice and Benedick, who engage in a war of sharp wits, determined to convince themselves that they’re not in love. Foul deeds and desperate measures bring them together in this most sparkling and sophisticated comedy. The inimitable Benedick will be portrayed by Sherman Howard, who thrilled audiences last season with his powerful performance in Enrico IV. Broadway veteran Donna Bullock, last seen there in the Tony Award-winning Ragtime, debuts at The Shakespeare Theatre as the prickly and clever Beatrice, who foils Benedick’s (and her own!) commitment to single life. Mr. Howard and Ms. Bullock, real-life husband and wife, pair up for this delightful “mating dance.”

The Crew
Director - Bonnie J. Monte
Costume Designer/Draper - Frank Champa
Production Stage Manager -Alison Cote
Choreographer - Leah Kreutzer
Lighting Designer - Shelly Sabel
Scenic Designer - James Wolk

The Cast
Beatrice - Donna Bullock
Borachio - David Foubert
Don John - Edmond Genest
Dogberry - Eric Hoffmann
Benedick - Sherman Howard
Leonato - Robert Lanchester
Margaret - Victoria Mack
Hero - Ali Marsh
Don Pedro - Paul Niebanck
Antonio/Verges - Larry Swansen
Claudio - Curtis Mark Williams
Messenger/Friar Francis - Jonathan Brathwaite
Conrade - Len Childers
George Seacoal - William DeMeritt
Watchman Secondo - James Earley
Balthasar/A Sexton - Michael X. Izquierdo
Ursula - Erin Lynlee Partin
Girl - Hannah Sherman

The Glass Menagerie

by Tennessee Williams
Directed by Robert Cuccioli

This semi-autobiographical account of the author’s early days in 1940s St. Louis mirrors the turmoil of his inner and domestic life with that of the nation, as World War II envelops the globe. Williams' haunting and poetic portraits of his mother, “Amanda Wingfield,” and his sister, “Laura,” have become icons of the American stage. In this beautiful, desperate tale of the author’s struggle to break free of the burdens of his past and present, we see the forces that formed Williams' brilliance as a writer; and we become privy to a world “lit by lightning” as well as the soft glow of fragile candlelight.

The Crew
Director - Robert Cuccioli
Lighting Designer - Bruce Auerbach
Composer/Violinist - Jonathan Dinklage
Sound Designer - Richard M. Dionne
Costume Designer - Hugh Hanson
Production Stage Manager - Mindy Richardson
Scenic Designer - Brian Ruggaber

The Cast
Amanda - Wendy Barrie-Wilson
Laura - Katherine Kellgren
Tom - Robert Petkoff
The Gentleman Caller - Kevin Rolston

That Scoundrel Scapin

by Molière
Directed by Joe Discher

Hopelessly in love with ladies who don't meet their fathers' approval, a pair of starry-eyed suitors enlist the help of a mischievous servant, Scapin, who paves the way for true love while exacting his own revenge on two miserly merchants. In classic commedia dell'arte style, Molière's rollicking farce has been tickling funny bones with its comic hijinks since 1671. Perennial audience favorite James Michael Reilly returns to portray the wily Scapin, whose outrageous schemes will delight adults and children alike. Directed by Joe Discher, Molière's rollicking farce also features Tony Award nominee Robert LuPone.

The Crew
Director - Joe Discher
Lighting Designer - James H. Aitken
Scenic Designer - Cameron Anderson
Sound Designer - Steven L. Beckel
Production Stage Manager - Josiane Lemieux
Costume Designer - Mattie Ullrich

The Cast

The Equity Company
Leander - Clark Carmichael
Octavio - Christian Conn
Silvester - Jay Leibowitz
Géronte - Robert LuPone
Hyacintha - Erica Piccininni
Scapin - James Michael Reilly
Argante - Bruce Winant

The Non-Equity Company
Zerbinetta - Molly McCann
Nerine - Jean Walker

King John

by William Shakespeare
Directed by Paul Mullins

Shakespeare's rarely performed and woefully underrated revisionist history of the king who was forced to enact the Magna Carta explores one of Shakespeare's great obsessions -- the nature of good government and the ethics of rule. Thirteenth-century politics prove as complex and unnerving as those of today, as the men and women of the Plantagenet dynasty manage to wreak havoc upon the nations of Britain and France -- as well as each other -- in epic fashion. This fascinating tale of the past provides sage cautionary messages for our own time.

The Crew
Director - Paul Mullins
Production Stage Manager - Alison Cote
Lighting Designer - Michael Giannitti
Costume Designer - Lora LaVon
Composer & Sound Designer - David Maddox
Fight Director - Rick Sordelet
Scenic Designer - Anita Stewart

The Cast
The Equity Company

Hubert - John Ahlin
Arthur - Austin Colaluca
Salisbury - Eric Hoffmann
Philip, King of France - Edward James Hyland
Philip Faulconbridge, the Bastard - Ian Kahn
Queen Eleanor - Cristine McMurdo-Wallis
Cardinal Pandulph - Brian Reddy
Constance - Laila Robins
Lewis, the Dauphin - Haynes Thigpen
King John - Andrew Weems

The Non-Equity Company
Pembroke - Ames Adamson
Chatillon - Jonathan Brathwaite
Lady Faulconbridge - Carole Caton
Robert Faulconbridge/Melun - Matthew Cavanna
English Messenger - Len Childers
Citizen of Angiers - William DeMeritt
Prince Henry - Ryan Mills
Blanche - Meredith Napolitano
Duke of Austria - Michael Rossmy
Citizen of Angiers/Bigot - Doug West


by George Bernard Shaw
Directed by Bonnie J. Monte

Eliza Doolittle, the downtrodden, cockney flower girl, is transformed by Henry Higgins into a dazzling society lady. Inspired by the ancient myth of Pygmalion and Galatea, Pygmalion, in turn, inspired My Fair Lady. This brilliant satire of middle-class morality, social distinctions and obsession with appearances is both enthralling and thought-provoking. Passion, marriage and personal relations are all examined under Shaw’s sometimes brutal, sometimes affectionate “microscope.”

The Crew
Director - Bonnie J. Monte
Sound Designer - Richard M. Dionne
Production Stage Manager - Martin Lechner
Costume Designer - Karen A. Ledger
Speech &: Dialect Consultant - Diego Daniel Pardo
Lighting Designer - Steven Rosen
Scenic Designer - Charles Townsend Wittreich, Jr.

The Cast
The Equity Company

Colonel Pickering - Joseph Costa
Mrs. Eynsford Hill - Mary Dierson
Eliza Doolittle - Victoria Mack
Alfred Doolittle/Sarcastic Bystander - Jim Mohr
Henry Higgins - Paul Niebanck
Mrs. Pearce - Peggy Scott
Mrs. Higgins - Elizabeth Shepherd
Freddy - Steve Wilson

The Non-Equity Company
Parlour Maid/Bystander - Amanda Duffy
Miss Clara Eynsford Hill - Mandy Olsen
Bystander - Derek Wilson


by William Shakespeare
Directed by Scott Wentworth

One of the great tragic masterpieces from Shakespeare’s canon, this definitive study of the power of jealousy, insidious evil and innocent purity delivers a triangle of unforgettable characters — the tormented Moor, Othello; the consummate villain, Iago; and the guileless victim, Desdemona. This passionate, gripping drama remains one of the world’s most timeless and universal tales of love and betrayal. The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey welcomes back one of our most gifted Shakespearean directors, returning after a two-year stint with the Stratford Festival in Canada.

Funding for OTHELLO is provided by a grant from American Express Company.

The Crew
Director - Scott Wentworth
Lighting Designer - Matthew E. Adelson
Sound Designer - Steven L. Beckel
Fight Director - Rick Sordelet
Scenic Designer - Michael Schweikardt
Production Stage Manager - Kelly W. Terrell
Costume Designer - Marion Williams

The Cast
Equity Company

Roderigo - Michael Stewart Allen
Duke - Joseph Costa
Cassio - Gregory Derelian
Brabantio - John FitzGibbon
Lodovico - Greg Jackson
Desdemona - Caralyn Kozlowski
Iago - Paul Mullins
Othello - Raphael Nash Thompson
Emilia - Jennifer Van Dyck
Montano - Mark Elliot Wilson

Non-Equity Company

Officer - Matthew Cavanna
Officer - Andrew Doyle
Gratiano - Joe Fellman
Officer - Adam Meyer
Bianca - Erin Lynlee Partin
Officer - David Villalobos

A Child's Christmas in Wales

by Dylan Thomas
Directed by Robert Duke
Adapted by Jeremy Brooks and Adrian Mitchell

As always, our season finale is a holiday “gift” designed for the whole family. By popular demand, we’re reviving this enchanting musical, which once again features Andy Paterson in the role of young Dylan Thomas. This charming theatrical confection captures all the magic and wonder of holidays past, as seen through the eyes of a young boy. Lilting poetry and traditional Welsh music bring the true spirit of the season to life with simplicity, humor and beauty.

The Crew

Director - Robert Duke
Sound Designer - Steven L. Beckel
Costume Designer - Frank Champa
Dialect Coach - Gillian Lane-Plescia
Choreographer - Jennifer Paulson Lee
Production Stage Manager - Joe Lumia
Musical Director - F. Wade Russo
Lighting Designer - Shelly Sabel
Scenic Designer - Michael Schweikardt

The Cast
The Equity Company

Dylan's Mother - Sue Brady
Dai Post - Darin De Paul
Uncle Tudyr/Smoky, the Park Keeper - John FitzGibbon
Elieri - Melissa Gallagher
Hannah - Eleanor Glockner
Dylan's Father - Bryan Scott Johnson
Dylan Thomas - Andy Paterson
Glyn/Constable Lloyd-Jones - James Michael Reilly
Bessie - Tina Stafford

The Non-Equity Company
Jack/Fireman - Alex Back
Nellie - Suzanne Houston
Jim/Fireman - Chris Landis
Glenda - Erin Lynlee Partin
Brenda - Justine Williams