The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, currently presenting “Timon of Athens” on the main stage, and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in the Greek style amphitheatre on the campus of The College of St. Elizabeth (Read our reviews) will continue in August the summer portion of its 49th season with Dario Fo’s wincingly funny Accidental Death of an Anarchist.
Performances begin August 3rd and continue through August 28th at The Theatre’s Main Stage – the intimate F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre. For tickets or for more information, call the box office at 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org. The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is located at 36 Madison Avenue (at Lancaster Road), in Madison.
Written by Italian playwright, actor, satirist and former politician Dario Fo, Accidental Death of an Anarchist is a hysterically sly and caustic slapstick farce inspired by a real-life event involving a man accused of a crime who “fell” from the window of a police station. Filled with physical and linguistic acrobatics, Accidental Death of an Anarchist embodies the modern Fo-brand of commedia theatre that has helped define him as a playwright of the people. In awarding Fo the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1997, the Prize committee called him “a writer who emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden.” Today, Fo remains an active participant and campaigner on various political, social, and cultural issues in Milan. The translation from the original Italian script is by Ed Emery.
Kevin Isola returns for his fourth season with The Shakespeare Theatre as the clever “Maniac” who tries to outsmart police investigators. Previous credits with The Theatre include: Around the World in Eighty Days, King Lear, and As You Like It. Isola also appeared on Broadway in Brooklyn Boy and has also appeared at Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, 59E59 Street Theatre, NYSF/The Public Theater, and Lincoln Center. His film credits include How the Grinch Stole Christmas and he has also appeared on television inBoston Legal, Law and Order, and All My Children.
Playing the interrogator Inspector Bertozzo is Philip Goodwin, who returns for his second season with The Shakespeare Theatre having previously appeared in The Little Foxes. Goodwin has appeared on Broadway in the productions of Tartuffe, The Diary of Anne Frank, and The School for Scandal. Goodwin received a Drama Desk nomination for his performance as Henry VI with Theater for a New Audience. As a company member of the Shakespeare Theatre Company of Washington, D.C., he received Helen Hayes awards for Twelfth Night, Timon of Athens, and An Enemy of the People. He has also appeared in the films The Pink Panther, The Pink Panther 2, Men and Black II, and the TV show, Law and Order.
Returning for his sixteenth season with The Shakespeare Theatre is Edmond Genest, who plays the Superintendent. Most recently, he appeared in the Shakespeare Theatre’s productions of No Man’s Land, Noises Off, Around the World in Eighty Days, King Lear, The Time of Your Life, Pride and Prejudice, The Cherry Orchard, Life of Galileo and many others. On Broadway, Genest appeared in The Elephant Man with Billy Crudup, A Few Good Men, Whose Life is It Anyway?, Onward Victoria, and Dirty Linen and New-Found Land. Off-Broadway, he appeared in the original production of Real Inspector Hound and Later Life at Playwrights Horizons. Genest has also worked with several the Long Wharf Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Yale Repertory Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, among many others.
Andrew Weems returns for his sixth season with The Shakespeare Theatre as the “Inspector in the Sports Jacket.” His Shakespeare Theatre credits include Noises Off, The Time of Your Life, Rhinoceros, King John, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Weems appeared on Broadway in Born Yesterday, Inherit the Wind, The Green Bird, and London Assurance, as well as in several off-Broadway productions. Weems is the recipient of the Actor’s Equity Bayfield Award for Troilus and Cressida, a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Cymbeline, and the San Diego Theatre Critics Award for Don Juan.
Returning for his twelfth season with The Shakespeare Theatre is Jeffrey M. Bender as The Constable. He has appeared in the Theatre’s productions of The Servant of Two Masters, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), The Rivals, Life of Galileo, The Tempest, Enrico IV, Three Sisters, The Blue Bird, and many others. Recently, he appeared at the Denver Stage in Reckless and in A Time to Kill at Arena Stage at D.C. He has also appeared at the Old Globe in San Diego, Seattle Rep., Lincoln Center , Delaware Theatre Company, Capital Repertory Theatre, and Shakespeare on the Sound.
Rounding out the cast is Kristie Dale Sanders who plays the determined journalist Maria Feletti. Sanders returns for her seventh season with The Shakespeare Theatre where she has appeared The School for Wives, King Lear, Measure for Measure, The Rivals, Illyria, andThe Threepenny Opera. Sanders appeared on Broadway in The Phantom of the Opera, Urinetown, and The Sound of Music. Her television credits include All My Children and The Wire.
With this production, director Paul Mullins celebrates his twentieth season with The Shakespeare Theatre where has also directed The Lion in Winter, Noises Off,Private Lives, The Time of Your Life, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Richard II, Illyria, King John, The Illusion, Tartuffe, Rhinoceros, Measure for Measure, All’s Well That Ends Well andThe Threepenny Opera. As an actor, Mullins has appeared in many of The Theatre’s productions including No Man’s Land, Richard III, Othello, Carnival!, Three Sisters, The Forest, Blithe Spirit, The Winter’s Tale, The Homecoming andDiary of a Scoundrel. He has also directed productions at The Old Globe, The Studio Theatre, DC; Chautauqua Theatre Company, Portland Stage, Dorset Theatre Festival, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, Yale School of Drama and The Juilliard School.
The Artistic Staff
Setting the stage for Accidental Death of an Anarchist are set designer Michael Schweikardt, costume designer Jacqueline Firkins, lighting designer Shelly Sabel, and sound designer Rich Dionne.
Single tickets for Accidental Death of an Anarchist are now on sale and start at $32. Student Rush tickets are available a half-hour before curtain for $10 with a valid student ID. For tickets, call the box office at 973-408-5600, visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org or email [email protected] Single ticket prices include a $2 facility fee not subject to discount.
Preview performances for Accidental Death of an Anarchist are August 3rd at 7:30 pm, August 4th and 5th at 8 pm, and August 6th at 2 pm. 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 August 3rd and purchase a ticket for what you are able to pay for that evening’s 7:30 preview performance (offer subject to availability). Pay What You Can is made possible in part by a generous grant from the Stone & Magnanini LLP/Smart Family Foundation, an independent family foundation.
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 Accidental Death of an Anarchist will be Tuesday, August 9 at 7:30 pm, and Saturday, August 13 and 20 at 2 pm.
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 onthe production. Know the Show will be held on August 11th at 8:00 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 pm performance on August 20th 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.