Presented by The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, performances begin Sept. 18 at The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre and continue through Oct. 12.
Directed by Tony Award winner Richard Maltby, Jr. (Fosse, Ain't Misbehavin'), the cast includes Aedin Moloney (Dancing at Lughnasa) as George Eliot, Ames Adamson (Timon of Athens, Hamlet) as George Henry Lewes, John Little (Poetic License) as John Blackwood, Deanne Lorette (La Bête) as Barbara Bodichon, Rob Krakovski (Bill W) as Isaac Evans, Andy Paterson (The Tempest) as George Combe, Devin Norik (The Smoking Gun) as Edward and Sheffield Chastain (Is He Dead?) as Herbert Spencer.
"An outcast, living a socially unconventional life, Mary Ann Evans was forced to write under the assumed name of George Eliot, not only to escape having her work judged by virtue of her gender, but to avoid having it judged by virtue of her scandalous life," press notes state. "Ironically, her success as George Eliot only led her deeper and deeper into a world of secrets and deception."
Eliot's novels include "Adam Bede," "Middlemarch," "The Mill on the Floss" and "Silas Marner."
"Out of the isolation she suffers — born of her own passion and need — she develops a preternatural insight into hidden and secret lives and the suffering of ordinary men and women, who, dramatically, are as rich and compelling as the kings and queens we find in Shakespeare," Tempelsman said in a statement. "She was the most brilliant, fascinating person I had ever read about — her life was entirely modern and unconventional. I just felt that such a dramatic, controversial life belonged in the theatre." The creative team includes set designer Nicholas Dorr, costume designer Hugh Hanson, sound designer Rich Dionne and lighting designer Tony Galaska. Kathy Snyder serves as production stage manager. Academy Award and Grammy Award-winning composer David Shire will provide original incidental music for the production.
Tickets or more information are available by calling (973) 408-5600 or visiting ShakespeareNJ.org.