Morris County is a suburban cultural mecca that provides first-class entertainment options to residents and visitors. The Mayo Performing Arts Center, the Bickford Theatre, and the East Coast’s oldest theatre company dedicated to the classic repertoire, the New Jersey Shakespeare Theatre, call Morris County home. Additionally, the Morris Museum and a number of historic house museums offer visitors the best in fine and decorative arts. For art lovers, the quarterly “Art Around the Park” is a night for strolling between venues around the Morristown Green to see the latest work of important abstract artists.
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey closes its 51st season with a sparkling and wintery new production of Shakespeare’s Pericles. Performances begin December 4th and continue through December 29th at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Ave. (at Lancaster Road) in Madison. Individual 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 Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays at 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Individual tickets range from $35 to $70; student rush tickets are available 30 minutes prior to curtain for $15.
Inspired by ancient Greek mythology, Pericles is Shakespeare’s grand “once upon a time” adventure tale with equal parts One Thousand and One Nights, Homer’s Odyssey, and the episodic romance of Shakespeare’s own The Tempest, Cymbeline, and The Winter’s Tale. Pericles carries audiences on a voyage across the ancient Mediterranean, encountering everyone from kings, goddesses, pirates, pimps, and magicians along the way. Pericles, Prince of Tyre, discovers a terrible secret in the court of Antioch, and flees, fearing for his life. Thus begins his long and perilous odyssey, filled with adventure, betrayal, joy, sorrow and ultimately, reunion, redemption and renewal.
The tale of this Prince’s adventures proved to be one of Shakespeare’s most popular works in earlier centuries. Renaissance dramatist Ben Jonson famously complained about the play’s lasting popularity, even twenty years after its premiere. Pericles was one of the most produced works when the English theaters reopened after the Restoration in late seventeenth century. Though authorship questions persist because the play did not appear in the First Folio, scholars agree that much of the play bears Shakespeare’s rich character development and linguistic dexterity.
Resident director Brian B. Crowe has revitalized Pericles with his shimmering wintery vision of icy seas, new worlds, and lost souls. In Crowe’s words, “What has made the play endure is the heart Shakespeare creates at the center of the story. What could, in less skilled hands, come across as melodrama or mere spectacle, Shakespeare spins into a glittering tapestry of hope, heartbreak, and ultimate triumph.”
Single tickets for Pericles are now on sale and range from $35 to $70. Student Rush tickets are available a half-hour before curtain for $15 with a valid student ID. For tickets, call the box office at 973-408-5600, visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Discount preview performances for Pericles are Wednesday, December 4th at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, December 5th and Friday, December at 8 p.m., and Saturday, December 7th at 2 p.m. These Preview performances offer opportunities for reduced-priced tickets while enjoying the excitement of the very first performances in front of an audience. As always, the first Preview performance is Pay What You Can night. Visit The Shakespeare Theatre Box Office between noon and curtain on December 4th and purchase a ticket for that evening’s 7:30 p.m. preview performance for what you are able to pay (offer subject to availability).
For no more than the cost of a regular ticket, three Symposium Series performances are offered for each show and include a post-play discussion with the cast and artistic staff. Symposium performances for Pericles will be Tuesday, December 10th at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, December 14th and Saturday, December 21st.
For each production, The Shakespeare Theatre presents the popular education program Know the Show. From 7:00 to 7:30 p.m., an artist from The Shakespeare Theatre will present a pre-performance talk that provides background information and an insider’s perspective on the production. The Know the Show performance will be held on Thursday, December 12th at 7:00 p.m. General admission is $5 for the general public, $4 for ticket package holders and subscribers. Tickets to that evening’s 8:00 p.m. performance may be purchased separately.
The 2:00 p.m. performance on Saturday, December 21st will be audio described for those who are blind or have visual impairments. Audio description enables patrons with visual impairments to hear, through an FM transmitter, a live description of the action on the stage. A pre-performance sensory seminar is offered that allows patrons to feel props, costumes and set pieces to further enhance their live theatrical experience. The service is offered free of charge.
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Main Stage, the 308-seat F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, is conveniently located in Madison at 36 Madison Avenue (Route 124) at Lancaster Road (on the Drew University campus), just minutes from routes 287, 78 and 10. Parking is free. The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is barrier free with access into the Theatre via a ramp and elevator access to all floors. Wheelchair seating and transfer seating is available. Braille and large print programs are available. Infrared listening devices are available free of charge. Some performances are audio described. Contact the theatre for more information. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.
The acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is an independent, professional theatre company located on the Drew University campus. One of the leading Shakespeare theatres in the nation, serving 100,000 adults and children annually, it is New Jersey’s largest professional theatre company dedicated solely to Shakespeare’s canon and other world classics. Through its distinguished productions and education programs, the company strives to illuminate the universal and lasting relevance of the classics for contemporary audiences.
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional major support is received from The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the F. M. Kirby Foundation, The Edward T. Cone Foundation, The Shubert Foundation and Drew University, as well as contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, government agencies and individuals. The 2013 Outdoor Stage production of As You Like It is sponsored by Bank of America.