The Outdoor Stage transforms into the Forest of Arden

MADISON, NJ — The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s enormously popular annual summer venue for family theatre under-the-stars will transform into the Forest of Arden when the Theatre presents its Outdoor Stage production of William Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It at the amphitheatre on the campus of the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morris Township.  This replica of an ancient Greek theatre nestled into the hillside of the bucolic campus offers a theatrical event unique on the East Coast.  As You Like Itbegins on June 19th and continues through July 28th.  Performances are Tuesdays through Sundays at 8:15 p.m. with additional twilight shows on Sundays at 4:30 p.m.  Tickets range from $28 to $33 for adults; tickets for ages 18 and under and students are $15.  Children under age five go for free.  For tickets or more information, call973-408-5600 or visit  Groups of 10 or more are eligible for group discounts. The amphitheater is located on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road in Morris Township.  (NJ Transit track repair will close the Madison Avenue/Rt. 124 entrance into the College of St. Elizabeth for several weeks in June.  Patrons should check for updated information and directions to the Park Avenue entrance to the College.)    

 The Outdoor Stage is generously supported by Bank of America.  A partner of The Outdoor Stage since 2004, their committed and generous support has helped make The Shakespeare Theatre’s Outdoor Stage one of the most unique and anticipated summer theatrical events in the region.  “We are immensely grateful to Bank of America for their steadfast backing,” said managing director Jeanne Barrett.  “This partnership has helped make it possible for tens of thousands of patrons to enjoy extraordinary world-class productions under-the-stars.” 

“The Outdoor Stage is both a cultural treasure and a local economic driver,” said Bob Doherty, Bank of America New Jersey president.  “This time every year, the latest production is a hot ticket among our employees in the area, their families and friends.”


The large lawn surrounding the amphitheater is ideal for picnicking.  Audience members may bring their own food and beverages, or purchase snacks and soft drinks on-site.  Patrons are encouraged to bring blankets or low-lying beach chairs into the amphitheatre.   Stadium seats are available for rental for $3.00 while supplies last. Seating is general admission.  While supplies last, complimentary hand-held fans will be provided courtesy of Field Station: Dinosaurs in Secaucus where the story of the dinosaurs is vividly presented on twenty acres of wild, unpredictable woods, mysterious pathways, and mountain trails. 


 “Twelve years ago, this extraordinary Greek amphitheatre, with its beautiful grounds and vista, became our second performance venue and we are so grateful to the College of Saint Elizabeth for making it possible,” said artistic director Bonnie J. Monte.  “For thousands of patrons, attending our Outdoor Stage productions at this unique theatre ensconced in a beautiful setting is a highly-anticipated summertime tradition.”  


As You Like It is directed by Shakespeare Theatre artistic director Bonnie J. Monte.  This splendid and pithy comedy is filled with some of Shakespeare’s most colorful and beloved characters and will delight all ages.  


The Cast

Matthew Simpson plays the smitten and poetic Orlando.   Simpson appeared in the Outdoor Stage productions of The Comedy of Errorsand The Servant of Two Masters.   He also appeared at the Denver Center Theater Company, the Guthrie Theatre, and in a national tour with Chamber Theatre Productions of Boston.  He is part of a two-person production of The Book of Luke which originated at the Texas Shakespeare Festival in 2011 and is playing at theatres throughout the country. 


The object of Orlando’s affections, Rosalind, is played by Shakespeare Theatre veteran Caralyn Kozlowski. Kozlowski has appeared in the Outdoor Stage production of The Servant of Two Masters as well as the Main Stage productions of Trelawny of the WellsPrivate Lives, The Play’s The Thing, Othello and Three Sisters.   She has also appeared at Seattle Rep, Cal Shakes, and South Coast Rep among others. 


Broadway, film and television star Robert Clohessy plays Shakespeare’s clown Touchstone.  Clohessy has been a series regular on Blue Bloods, Boardwalk Empire, and Oz among others and appears in the current film The Place Beyond the Pines.  He has appeared in the Shakespeare Theatre’s Outdoor Stage production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Main Stage production of A Streetcar Named Desire.  His Broadway credits include Twelve Angry MenRounding Third and Pal Joey!  


Maria Tholl makes her Shakespeare Theatre debut in the role of Celia who accompanies Rosalind into the Forest of Arden.  Tholl has appeared at Stages St. Louis, St. Louis Shakespeare, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and Great River Shakespeare Festival. 


The wrestler Charles is played by Ben Sterling. Sterling has appeared in The Shakespeare Theatre productions of Measure for Measure andTo Kill a Mockingbird as well as Julius CaesarA Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth with STNJ’s Shakespeare LIVE!


Shakespeare Theatre veteran Greg Jackson returns to the Theatre for his 15th season to play Jaques.  He has appeared in Main Stage productions of Measure for Measure, A Christmas Carol, Timon of Athens, The School for Wives, and Amadeus among many others.  He has appeared off-Broadway in The 39 Steps and co-wrote, co-directed and co-starred in the off-Broadway hit Duet! 


Bruce Cromer plays Duke Frederick.  Cromer has appeared in the Shakespeare Theatre productions of Timon of AthensThe School for Wives, The Taming of the Shrew and Life of Galileo.  He is a resident actor at the Human Race Theatre and a professor and Head of Acting in the Wright State Professional Actor Training Program. 


Raphael Nash Thompson plays the shepherd Corin.   His Shakespeare Theatre credits include Measure for Measure, Henry V, Othello and Macbeth.  He has also appeared in productions at The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Red Bull Theatre, Hartford Stage Company and Wilma Theatre.    


The cast also includes Jordan Laroya, Terence Gleeson, Dan Bound-Black, James Costello, Craig Bazan, Kristen Kittel, Jennifer Mogbock, and Adam Burns.    


About the Director

2013 marks director Bonnie J. Monte’s 23nd season as Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.  Since 1990, she has directed 50 productions for the company, including most recentlyTrelawny of the WellsMan of La ManchaMeasure for MeasureA Christmas CarolThe Misanthrope and OthelloNo Man’s LandThe Taming of the Shrew, and Hamlet.  Her many adaptations of classic works, including Enrico IV, The Cherry Orchard and Pride and Prejudice have earned her critical acclaim.  Her adaptation of Carlo Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters was recently published by Playscripts, Inc.


Special Performances

The first preview performance of As You Like It on Wednesday, June 19th at 8:15 p.m. offers opportunities for reduced-price tickets, as an incentive to first-time theatergoers.  For those who would otherwise not be able to afford a night at the theatre, the first preview performance is Pay What You Can night – pay what you are able for that evening’s 8:15 p.m. preview performance.  Offer is subject to availability.  Call the box office at 973-408-5600 for details. 

 For no more than the cost of a regular ticket, Symposium Seriesperformances include the addition of a post-play discussion with the cast and artistic staff, on Tuesday, June 25th; Saturday June 29th; and Saturday July 6th at 8:15 p.m.

 On Thursday, June 27th, The Shakespeare Theatre presents the popular education program Know the Show. From 7:00 to 7:30 p.m., members of the artistic staff will present a pre-performance talk that provides background information and an insider’s perspective onAs You Like It.

 General admission to Know the Show is $5 for the general public, $4 for subscribers and ticket package holders. Tickets to that evening’s 8:15 p.m. performance may be purchased separately for $34 or $15 for young people 17 and under.

The Artistic Staff

Creating the world of As You Like It are set designer Jonathan Wentz, lighting designer Andrew Hungerford, and costume designer Paul Canada.  Denise Cardarelli is the production stage manager. 


Tickets & General Information

Performances are Tuesday through Sunday evenings at 8:15 pm; and twilight shows on Sundays at 4:30 p.m.   Tickets are $28 – $34 for adults and $15 for young people under 17.  Children under 5 go free.  Seating is general admission.    For tickets or more information, call the box office at 973-408-5600 or visit   Groups of 10 or more save up to 25% off the regular ticket price.  


The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Outdoor Stage, the amphitheatre on the campus of the College of St. Elizabeth, is conveniently located at 2 Convent Road, off Madison Avenue (Rt. 124) in Convent Station, just minutes from routes 287, 78 and 10.   Parking is free.   The Theatre is barrier free.  Wheelchair seating is available.  Braille and Large Print programs are available. 


The acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is an independent, professional theatre company located on the Drew University campus. One of the leading Shakespeare theatres in the nation, serving 100,000 adults and children annually, it is New Jersey’s largest professional theatre company dedicated solely to Shakespeare’s canon and other world classics. Through its distinguished productions and education programs, the company strives to illuminate the universal and lasting relevance of the classics for contemporary audiences.

Shakepeare Theater of NJ Outdoor Stage at the College of St. Elizabeth

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