While not exclusively devoted to comedy — one of its offerings, after all, will be Shakespeare’s bloody tragedy “Titus Andronicus” — the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s 56th season, scheduled to begin in May, has been given the slogan of “Comic Relief.”
“Not only does this perfect centuries-old theatrical term describe this season’s roster of plays perfectly, but is an apt description of what we will provide for our audience,” the theater’s artistic director, Bonnie J. Monte, said in a press release. “Some shows will supply purely joyous and delightful comic relief, and others mix it up with an ample dose of darker comedy and satire — but the main focus of this season is to give our audience some blissful hours free from the woes of the world where hearts can beat together as one, and laughter will lift the roof as well as our spirits.”
The season will include six shows on the the company’s main stage, at Drew University in Madison, and, as usual, one outdoor, summertime production at the College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown.
The theater has not presented “Titus Andronicus” in more than 30 years, and two plays, Sam Shepard’s “Buried Child” and Brandon Thomas’ “Charley’s Aunt,” will be making their STNJ debuts.
Here is the schedule, by starting dates:
May 16: “Tartuffe,” by Molière (translated by Richard Wilbur)
June 20 (on outdoor stage): “The Servant of Two Masters,” by Carlo Goldoni (translated and adapted by Bonnie J. Monte)
July 18: “Titus Andronicus,” by William Shakespeare
Aug. 15: “Blithe Spirit,” by Noël Coward
Sept. 19: “Buried Child,” by Sam Shepard
Oct. 24: “Charley’s Aunt,” by Brandon Thomas
Dec. 5: “The Winter’s Tale,” by William Shakespeare
Subscriptions are now on sale and single tickets will go on sale in late March. Visit ShakespeareNJ.org.