Outdoor Tempest, With Cummings, De La Fuente, Mewbron and More, Opens in NJ June 27

News   Outdoor Tempest, With Cummings, De La Fuente, Mewbron and More, Opens in NJ June 27
 
A. Bernard Cummings, a veteran of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's Pericles, Henry IV, Part I and A Midsummer Night's Dream, plays shipwrecked magician Prospero in the troupe's outdoor summer production of the bard's The Tempest, opening June 27 after previews from June 24.
Joel de la Fuente above Rachel Mewbron and Michael Ellison
Joel de la Fuente above Rachel Mewbron and Michael Ellison Photo by Gerry Goodstein

In 1991 Cummings played Ariel in artistic director Bonnie J. Monte's The Tempest — her inaugural production at The Shakespeare Theatre. His director this time around is associate artistic director Joe Discher, whose production will play through Aug. 2 at the Greek Theatre on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth in Morris Township.

The cast for the late-career romance by Shakespeare includes Joel de la Fuente (technician Ruben Morales on "Law & Order: SVU") as Ariel; Mark Mineart as Caliban; Rachel Mewbron as Miranda, daughter of Prospero; Bill Christ (Broadway's recent Inherit the Wind) as Alonso, the King of Naples; Michael Ellison as Ferdinand, the Prince of Naples; Andy Paterson as the jester Trinculo; Jay Leibowitz as the drunken butler Stefano; Bryan Hicks (Broadway's A Few Good Men) as Antonio; and John Seidman as Gonzalo. Rounding out the cast are Jake Berger, Tim Nicolai and Ian Michael Austin.

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According to Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey notes, "This abridged two-hour production of The Tempest is appropriate for families; for lovers of Shakespeare and for those experiencing Shakespeare for the first time. Patrons are invited to picnic before and during the performance on the lawn overlooking this pastoral setting. The beautiful grass-and-stone amphitheatre — inspired by the Theatre of Dionysus in Athens, and one of the only theatres of its kind in the United States — debuted at The Shakespeare Theatre's Outdoor Stage in 2002. Audience members may bring their own food and beverages, or purchase snacks and soft drinks on-site.

"In Shakespeare's romance, a powerful, sage and exiled nobleman, Prospero, is marooned on a mysterious island full of magical creatures. He prepares to wreak havoc on those who have wronged him, only to learn that compassion and forgiveness are far richer rewards. This mystical fantasy, replete with comedy, romance and music, is perfect for families and people of all ages to experience Shakespeare under-the-stars." Creating the world of The Tempest are set designer Charles Calvert, costume designer Alixandra Gage Englund, lighting designer Andrew Hungerford and sound designer Charles Harbert. Christine Whalen is the production stage manager.

Tickets are $32 for adults and $16 for ages 17 and under. For tickets or more information, call (973) 408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.

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The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's Outdoor Stage, the Greek Theatre on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth, is located at 2 Convent Road, off Madison Avenue (Rt. 124) in Convent Station, minutes from routes 287, 78 and 10.

Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes is currently playing NJ Shakes' indoor mainstage, the 308-seat F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, at 36 Madison Avenue (Route 124) at Lancaster Road (on the Drew University campus), in Madison, NJ.

A. Benard Cummings and Rachel Mewbron in <i>The Tempest</i>
A. Benard Cummings and Rachel Mewbron in The Tempest Photo by Gerry Goodstein
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