Free Shakespeare in the park, some of the things to love about Hoboken this summer….
Mile Square Theatre Returns to the Hudson River Waterfront with Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
Mile Square Theatre, Hudson County’s premiere professional theatre company, returns to Frank Sinatra Park in Hoboken with a free, open-air production of Shakespeare’s beloved cross-dressing comedy of true love, Twelfth Night. Set in 19th century Hoboken, the production imagines a resort destination where Orsino and Olivia leisurely while away summer hours in the name of love.
Directed by MST Artistic Director Chris O’Connor, the cast will feature MST audience favorites, with Matthew Lawler (God of Carnage, The Pavilion) as the puritanical Malvolio, Charlie Kevin (God of Carnage, It’s a Wonderful Life) as Sir Toby Belch, John Keller (It’s a Wonderful Life, Banner Yet Wave) is Orsino, and Jen Ring (Rikki Tikki Tavi, Flare) as Fabiana. Rounding out the cast is NYC actor and circus performer Peter Daniel Straus (Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus) as Feste the Clown. Twelfth Night will feature original music composed by MST resident composer Sean Hagerty (A Christmas Carol, The Pavilion).
Free and open to the public, Mile Square Theatre’s riverfront productions are a great way to cool off on a hot summer evening, and Frank Sinatra Park’s amphitheater is a spectacular venue for summer theatre. With beautiful scenery, costumes, and lighting created by Mile Square Theatre’s resident design team, and set against a breathtaking view of the Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline, the show promises to be a delightful and entertaining evening of theatre.
Twelfth Night plays from June 28 till July 14. Performance nights are Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 8pm. Sinatra Park is located at the corner of 4th Street and Sinatra Park Drive in Hoboken.
Local restaurateur Anthony Pino (Anthony David’s, Bin 14) will serve fresh-made American-style summer fare at the Frank Sinatra Café. The menu will include lobster rolls, barbecue chicken, hot dogs, seared tuna nicoise salad, pulled pork, and beer and wine.
Twelfth Night is supported by Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the City of Hoboken, Bijou Properties, Ironstate, Hoboken Family Alliance, Mason Family Civic League, Party With Purpose, Pearson Foundation, Pisco Porton, The Rockefeller Group, and the Monroe Center for the Arts.
This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, administered by the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Thomas A. Degise, County Executive, and the Board of Chosen Freeholders.
About Mile Square Theatre:
Mile Square Theatre (MST) is the leading professional Equity theatre in Hudson County. Since 2003, MST has presented full-scale productions for adults and children, in addition to providing theatre education programs. Under the artistic direction of Chris O’Connor, MST receives support from The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the Hudson County Division of Cultural Affairs. For company information, please visit www.milesquaretheatre.org.
Twelfth Night Company Bios:
John Keller (Orsino) John recently appeared in Banner Yet Wave in the 2013 7th Inning Stretch. He played George Bailey in MST’s 2011 production of It’s a Wonderful Life. NYC credits include world premieres of Summer by Martin Zuckerman, You Are Now the Owner of This Suitcase and JH3AM with Theater 167 as well as the 2012 off-Broadway revival of The Violet Hour by Richard Greenberg. Recently he appeared in Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s Winter Rep Season playing Roderigo in Othello and Edward in Sense and Sensibility. Other Regional credits include Cohn in the Contemporary American Theater Festival production of Captors directed by Ed Herendeen, Jonathan Harker in Dracula with Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Bart in Inspecting Carol at George Street Playhouse, Bottom in Midsummer with New Brunswick Theater Festival, as well as performing the roles of Banquo in Macbeth, Don Pedro in Much Ado and Duke Orsino in Twelfth Night all with the Worcester Shakespeare Festival. He has also performed internationally at the Balinese International Arts Festival in the original piece Mimpi conceived and directed by Lyn Kremer. John also has taught acting at Rutgers University and at Rider University. Additionally he sits on the Leadership Board of coLAB Arts in New Brunswick and is founder and director of the coLAB Arts Theater Education Initiative. John is also a board member of the Town Clock Community Development Corporation in New Brunswick, dedicated to building permanent supportive housing for women and children escaping domestic violence. John holds an MFA in Acting from Rutgers University and is a proud member of Actors Equity Association.
Charlie Kevin (Sir Toby Belch) MST: God of Carnage and It’s a Wonderful Life. Charlie just appeared as Moss in Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s production of Glengarry Glen Ross. Broadway: Take Me Out (Tour, dir. Joe Mantello). Off Broadway: Irish Arts Center, Actors Studio, National Black Theatre of Harlem, Rattlestick. Regional Theatre: Dallas Theatre Center, Seattle Rep., Denver Center, Milwaukee Rep., The Old Globe, Florida Stage, Dorset Theatre Festival, Portland Stage, American Stage, Playhouse on the Square, Missouri Rep. Film and Television: Law and Order: SVU, One Life to Live, The Sopranos, Outloud.
Matthew Lawler (Malvolio) co-founded rUDE mECHANICALS theater company (Harold Clurman Award, Outstanding Ensemble) and has appeared in Largo DeSoloto, Endgame, Valparaiso (NY premiere), and The Flu Season (US premiere). Other NY theater includes DETROIT (Playwrights Horizons) The Three Sisters (Broadway-Roundabout); Hurlyburly, Abigail`s Party, and One Arm (The New Group); Rough Sketch (59e59); and Louis Slotin Sonata (EST). Associate Artistic Director of Mile Square Theatre, he has performed in Rounding Third, God of Carnage, and The Pavilion, directed It`s A Wonderful Life and My Italy Story and written In the Box (7th Inning Stretch). Film: Knight and Day, Anything But Love, Slippery Slope, The Jimmy Show, The Good Student, Filmic Achievement. TV includes: Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos, Law &Order, Law&Order SVU, The Americans. MFA, American Conservatory Theater. Matt lives in Hoboken with his wife Mara and daughters Lily and Matilda.
Jen Ring (Fabiana) last appeared at MST in Edith Freni’s Flare for the 2013 7th Inning Stretch. Jen played Chuchu the Muskrat in The Garden of Rikki Tikki Tavi. Recent NY/NJ credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (New Brunswick Theater Festival), Yippie! (Beggar’s Group), and New York One-Minute Plays. Jen has worked with numerous regional companies, including DC’s Woolly Mammoth and Infinite Stage. She teaches acting at Westminster Choir College, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Colab-Arts high school residencies and MST’s Drama Camp. Jen attended New World School of the Arts, received an MFA from Rutgers University, and learned how to be a person from her amazing parents.
Peter Daniel Strauss (Feste) has acted and performed comedy around the world. He’s has toured America as a clown with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and loves being a clown-doctor with the Big Apple Circus Clown Care program. He’s been a featured comedian and fire juggler at the Metropolitan Opera, acted in regional theatres like the Denver Center Theatre Company, and was featured as the White Rabbit in Alice i Eventyrland at the National Theatre of Norway. Peter has had many appearances on TV, including several featured spots on The Late Show with David Letterman. Peter recently appeared in the critically acclaimed play June and Nancy at the New York Fringe Festival. Wearing another hat, Peter directs and consults for theatre productions and variety performers. www.peterdanielstraus.com
Chris O’Connor (Director) Chris founded Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 2002. He conceived and produces the annual 10-minute play festival 7th Inning Stretch. His MST directing credits include Charlie Peter’s Striking Out the Babe, Warren Leight’s The Love of the Game, Jenny Levison’s Homefield Advantage, Cyrano, The Scams of Scapin (co-directed with Jeff Steitzer), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, The Garden of Rikki Tikki Tavi, God of Carnage, and The Pavilion. Most recently he directed the world premiere of Neil LaBute’s Squeeze Play for the 2013 7th Inning Stretch. As an actor, Chris has been associated with 12 Miles West, A Contemporary Theatre, The Culture Project, Hudson Stage Company, Soho Rep, the 78th Street Theatre Lab, Target Margin, Gloucester Stage, Book-It Repertory, City Theatre in Pittsburgh, Provisional Theatre of Los Angeles, The Bathhouse, Seattle Children’s Theatre, among others. Recent TV: Magic City (Starz) and Burn Notice (USA Network). His plays for young people have been produced at The Seattle Children’s Theatre and in schools in the Puget Sound area. His play The Mascots is published in Smith & Kraus’s 2011 Best 10-Minute Plays. A voiceover artist, Chris can be heard on museum audio tours across the country. He has taught theatre at Colgate University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, SUNY Purchase, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, and is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami. BFA in acting from Carnegie-Mellon University, MFA in Directing from Rutgers University.