lives of reason

lives of reasonThe salons will feature guest speakers, audience conversation and plays.

PHOTO:  “Lives of Reason” by Two River Theater founder Robert Rechnitz and Kenneth Stunkel is set at an English department faculty party. The play brings audiences inside the world of academia, and what happens when one woman’s secret passions explode. “Lives of Reason” is directed by Jonathan Fox, former Artistic Director at Two River and now Executive Artistic Director of the Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara. Photo by T. Charles Erickson

Red Bank, NJ (January 20, 2016) — The Navesink (producers of TEDxNavesink, an independently organized event licensed by TED) and Two River Theater present Conversation + Play, a salon series to be held at the Two River River Theater, 21 Bridge Ave. in Red Bank, NJ.

Salons begin at 6:30 p.m. with dinner, drinks and conversation, and are followed by a pre-show talk and Q&A with guest speakers followed by a play at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 per salon with the code NAVESINK50, or $120 for all three sessions with code NAVESINK120. To purchase tickets, call Two River Theater at 732-345-1400 or stop by the box office at 21 Bridge Ave. in Red Bank.

Salon 1: Thursday, February 4, 2016

The salon series begins with guest speaker Frank P. Fury, Ph.D. Dr. Fury’s talk “The Heroine in Modern Drama: (Un)Necessary and (In)Sufficient,” which will investigate the nature of the term ‘heroine’ and traces the evolution of the heroine using examples from prominent playwrights.

Fury is a faculty member in the English department at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ, where he teaches courses in writing and literature. His scholarly interests include 19th and 20th century American literature, modern drama and sports literature.

The evening’s play will be the world premiere of “Lives of Reason” produced by Two River Theater founder Robert Rechnitz and Kenneth Stunkel. Set at an English department faculty party, the play brings audiences inside the world of academia, and what happens when one woman’s secret passions explode. Directed by Jonathan Fox, former Artistic Director at Two River and now Executive Artistic Director of the Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara.

Salon 2: Thursday, April 28, 2016

The second salon features a talk entitled “Adventure and Growth in Shakespeare’s ‘Pericles’” by guest speaker Sue Starke, Ph.D. Starke’s talk will explore how Pericles is part of a specific Greek prose romance tradition with its own adventure template and hero’s journey. Starke is an associate professor in the English department at Monmouth University. Her research and teaching interests include Renaissance literature and culture, the history of the English language, Victorian literature, genre theory and the intersections of literature and art criticism.

Brought to life with original songs by TEDxNavesink 2016 speaker Rinde Eckert and directed by David Schweizer, this exhilarating and mystical production of William Shakespeare’s play “Pericles” is a thrilling and epic tale of adventure, shipwreck and romance. When Pericles uncovers the king’s dark secret, he is forced to flee his kingdom and navigate the roaring sea and its islands’ lovers, magicians and pirates.

Salon 3: Thursday, June 23, 2016

This season’s salon series concludes on Thursday, June 23, 2016 with guest speaker Bill Ditto and his talk, “Using Antiques & Treasured Family Items to Connect with Your Ancestry,” which will illustrate how family-held items, passed down through generations, are valuable tools when learning about ancestry. Understand why preservation does not need to be an onerous task and discover what items are most valuable to keep, or to give to a museum or historical society. Ditto realized a life-long dream to operate an antiques business when he established West Farms Antiques, after he retired in 2010 from a 40-year career in human services. Bill began collecting antiques 47 years ago as a hobby that continues today, with booths in Riverbank Antiques (Red Bank) and Canvas House Antiques (Point Pleasant Beach). His specialties are silver, early American glass, Staffordshire pottery, 18th and 19th century English and American furniture, and early iron utensils and tools.

With a cast led by Barbara Andres, ten veteran powerhouse actresses will perform all 25 roles in director Jack Cummings III’s production of ‘I Remember Mama’ by John Van Druten and adapted from Kathryn Forbes’ novel “Mama’s Bank Account,” which is loosely based on her childhood. A beloved American classic reborn, the story centers around a working-class Norwegian family during the turn of the 20th century in San Francisco. Celebrated as one of the ten best theater productions of 2014 in The New York Times and praised as “brilliant…transcendent… magical…a gift and a miracle” by Hilton Als of The New Yorker, this production is truly one to warm the spirit.

Visit for more information.

About The Navesink

The Navesink is a non-profit based in Monmouth County. It is the parent organization of TEDx Navesink and the Brand New J project. TEDxNavesink is a self-organized annual Monmouth County-based TEDx event dedicated to education, community, innovation and “ideas worth spreading.” Each year, a different theme is chosen to build the day of nonfiction theater. Hundreds of businesses and nonprofit leaders, students from local universities and sponsors plan, manage and fund the all-day event. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit

About Two River Theater

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Directory John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, is dedicated to producing great classics from the American and world stage, creating new plays and musicals for the American theater, and serving its diverse and multigenerational community through unique partnerships and education programs. Founded in 1994 by Joan and Dr. Robert M. Rechnitz, Two River Theater is a member of the League of Resident Theaters, Theatre Communications Group, the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, and

ArtPride New Jersey, and has been designated a “Major Arts Institution” by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Visit for more information.

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...