Hurricane Diane, Written by Madeleine George and Directed by Leigh Silverman, Premieres at Two River Theater

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, continues its 2016/17 Season with Hurricane Diane, a commissioned world-premiere play written by Madeleine George and directed by Leigh Silverman. Performances will begin in Two River’s Marion Huber Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, on Saturday, January 14 and continue through Sunday, February 12. The opening night performance is Friday, January 27 at 8pm. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or tworivertheater.org.  
 
In Hurricane Diane, Madeleine George turns the Greek god Dionysus into Diane (Becca Blackwell), a lesbian separatist permaculture gardener from Vermont whose mission is restoring the Earth to its natural state—and gathering acolytes. Where better to begin than a tidy suburban cul-de-sac in Red Bank, New Jersey, populated by four women: Sandy (Mia Barron), Renee (Nikiya Mathis), Pam (Danielle Skraastad) and Beth (Kate Wetherhead)? As Diane changes their yards into a wild wonderland of paw-paw trees and chokeberry bushes, she sets out to draw the women into her ultimate plan: to stage a bacchanal in her forest garden, and usher in a new era of Dionysian worship in the dying days of the American empire, as the planet warms and the oceans rise.  
 
“Red Bank is a coastal community, and climate change is as much an issue on the Jersey Shore as anywhere,” says George, who wrote Hurricane Diane as a commission for Two River Theater. “I was eager to write a play that both rolls out a welcome mat in front of the theater, inviting people in and making jokes that specifically enfranchise them, and also offers people the chance to interrogate their own feelings about these climatic shifts that are happening whether we’re ready for them or not.”  
 
Madeleine George is the Pulitzer Prize-nominated author of The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence. Her other plays include Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England, which had its world premiere at Two River in 2011. She is currently Two River’s first Playwright-in Residence, funded through The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s National Playwrights Residency Program (NPRP). Leigh Silverman, a two-time Obie Award-winner, most recently directed Sweet Charity starring Sutton Foster for The New Group. She earned a Tony Award nomination for her production of Violet. She directed Ethan Lipton’s No Place to Go at Two River in 2012. 
 
Choreographer Sonya Tayeh has garnered acclaim for her work in the worlds of dance and theater, including two Emmy nominations for So You Think You Can Dance (2015 and 2013) and the 2014 Lucille Lortel Award and an Obie Award for her work on David Henry Hwang’s dance-play Kung Fu. American folk/rock duo The Bengsons have performed their music worldwide. Their recent credits include you’ll still call me by name (New York Live Arts), Hundred Days (Under the Radar Festival), and So You Think You Can Dance (2012-2015).  
The creative team for Hurricane Diane includes music director Matthew Dean Marsh, scenic designer Rachel Hauck, costume designer Kaye Voyce, lighting designer Jen Schriever, and sound designer Bray Poor. The stage manager is Melanie J. Lisby.
 
Ticket Information
 
Ticket prices range from $50 to $70, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from tworivertheater.org or 732.345.1400. 
 
Inside Two River 
 
The Ghostlight Project
Thursday, Jan 19 from 5pm-6pm in the Two River Theater Lobby 
On January 19, 2017 at 5:30 pm, in each time zone across the country, members of the theater community will come together to launch The Ghostlight Project (a name inspired by the tradition of leaving a “ghost light” on in a darkened theater). Artists, theater companies, and the communities they serve will participate in a short ceremony and a moment of “light,” and make a simultaneous commitment to diversity and inclusion. For more information, contact Stephanie Coen, Associate Artistic Director at Two River Theater, at scoen@trtc.org.
Build Your Own Terrarium Plant Night 
Sunday, January 22 from 6pm-8pm in the Two River Theater Lobby 

Under the guidance of a party host from Plant Nite, participants will create their own tabletop terrarium garden, complete with plants and decorative accents. The cost to participate is $48 per person, which includes all terrarium supplies and snacks (BYOB) provided by Kitch Organic. Space is limited to 30 attendees; to purchase tickets, call 732.345.1400 or visit www.tworivertheater.org.
Mother Earth vs. World’s People: A Mock Trial on Climate Change
Monday, January 30 from 7pm-8:30 pm in the Marion Huber Theater, on the set of 
Hurricane Diane
Two River will partner with the Monmouth County Climate Coalition to present Mother Earth vs. World’s People—a 40-minute mock trial, written by Douglas Stewart, that explains the 101s of climate change and, in the end, asks the audience to come to a verdict as the jury. The trial will be followed by a conversation between Madeleine George; Monmouth County Climate Coalition Founding Member Lynn Dash; and Tony MacDonald, Director of Monmouth University’s Urban Coast Institute. The text of the mock trial will be read by students who are currently part of Two River Theater’s Metro Scholars program, a year-long opportunity for high school juniors from across the state to participate in internships and professional workshops at the theater. To RSVP, call 732.345.1400 or visit www.tworivertheater.org.
Book Club: American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Monday, February 6
 at 6:30pm in the Victoria J. Mastrobuono Library 
This contemporary classic follows the taciturn ex-con Shadow. Adrift after his wife’s untimely death, he takes a job with a mysterious con man called Mr. Wednesday, who seems to know more than he should about Shadow. As they travel through the country meeting Wednesday’s strange friends, it becomes clear to Shadow that he is embroiled in no less than a battle between ancient gods and new American gods, all of whom are living among us. In connection with Hurricane Diane, the Two River Book Club will discuss comedy, tragedy, and the legacy of ancient religions. There is no cost to participate. To RSVP, call 732.345.1400 or visit www.tworivertheater.org.
TEDx Navesink Salon
Permaculture: Growing a Sustainable Future
Friday, February 10 at 6:30pm 
This event is presented as part of the Conversation + Play salon series curated by The Navesink (producers of the TEDxNavesink conference) and Two River Theater. The guest speaker, Sean Walsh, is a representative of the Monmouth County Park System. Tickets for this event are $75 and include the salon (exclusive pre-show event with talk and light dinner fare provided by Kitch Organic) and the 8pm performance of Hurricane Diane. To purchase tickets, patrons should call 732.345.1400. 
 
Audience Extras 
 
Before Play and Lobby Display 
Audiences will learn about Madeleine George and Hurricane Diane in Two River’s Before Play lecture series, which takes place 45 minutes prior to every performance, and Lobby Display. 
 
Post-Play Conversations
Discussions with members of the cast and a member of Two River Theater’s Artistic staff will take place following the performances on Sunday, January 29 at 3pm; Wednesday, February 1 at 7pm; and Wednesday, February 8 at 1pm.
 
Accessibility 
 
Working with Google, Two River has created and launched a virtual tour of its facility, which lives on Google Maps and tworivertheater.org. This virtual tour provides an additional level of support and benefit for patrons who use wheelchairs or require other assistance by allowing them to virtually come through the theater’s front doors and view the space in detail in advance of their visit. 
 
An audio-described performance is scheduled for Wednesday, February 8 at 1pm, and an open-captioned performance is scheduled for Saturday, February 11 at 3pm. Tickets are available at a discounted rate of $25 for patrons using these services. To reserve wheelchair-accessible seating or tickets to a performance listed above, patrons should call 732.345.1400 or e-mail boxoffice@trtc.org.
 
Calendar 
 
Saturday, January 14 at 8pm  
Sunday, January 15 at 3pm
Wednesday, January 18 at 1 pm and 7pm
Thursday, January 19 at 8pm
Friday, January 20 at 8pm 
Saturday, January 21 at 3pm and 8pm 
Sunday, January 22 at 3pm 
Wednesday, January 25 at 1pm and 7pm
Thursday, January 26 at 8pm
Friday, January 27 at 8pm (Opening Night)
Saturday, January 28 at 3pm and 8pm
Sunday, January 29 at 3pm 
Wednesday, February 1 at 1pm and 7pm
Thursday, February 2 at 8pm
Friday, February 3 at 8pm
Saturday, February 4 at 3pm and 8pm
Sunday, February 5 at 3pm 
Wednesday, February 8 at 1pm and 7pm
Thursday, February 9 at 8pm
Friday, February 10 at 8pm
Saturday, February 11 at 3pm and 8pm
Sunday, February 12 at 3pm 
 
 
 Sponsorship 
 
Hurricane Diane is sponsored by Collex Collision Experts. Two River Theater is supported in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Roy Cockrum Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Monmouth University, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Riverview Medical Center, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Shakespeare in American Communities, National Endowment for the Arts, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust,  The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Investors Bank, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation at the Atrium at Navesink Harbor, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Jorgensen Foundation, Wells Fargo, William T. Morris Foundation, and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.