The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Presents World Premiere About Controversial and Celebrated Novelist George Eliot

Artwork by Scott McKowen

MADISON, NJ —The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will launch the Fall portion of its 2013 Season with the world premiere of A Most Dangerous Woman written by Cathy Tempelsman and directed by Tony-Award winner Richard Maltby, Jr.  A Most Dangerous Woman, which explores the extraordinary life of Mary Ann Evans – better known by her pen name George Eliot – begins performances on September 18 at The Shakespeare Theatre’s Main Stage – The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre.  Responding to the exceptional interest in this new play about the famed Victorian author, The Shakespeare Theatre has extended the run and added six performances to the schedule.  Performances of A Most Dangerous Woman will now continue through October 12th.  


 Tickets range from $35 to $70; student rush tickets are available 30 minutes prior to curtain for $15. For tickets or more information, call 973-408-5600 or visit Groups of 10 or more are eligible for discounts. The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is located at 36 Madison Avenue in Madison.  Three-play discount ticket packages are also available. 


 An outcast, living a socially unconventional life, Mary Ann Evans was forced to write under the assumed name of George Eliot, not only to escape having her work judged by virtue of her gender, but to avoid having it judged by virtue of her scandalous life.  Ironically, her success as George Eliot only led her deeper and deeper into a world of secrets and deception.  Eliot’s acclaimed novels include Adam BedeMiddlemarchThe Mill on the Floss and Silas Marner


  “Out of the isolation she suffers – born of her own passion and need – she develops a preternatural insight into hidden and secret lives and the suffering of ordinary men and women, who, dramatically, are as rich and compelling as the kings and queens we find in Shakespeare,” said playwright Cathy Tempelsman.  “She was the most brilliant, fascinating person I had ever read about – her life was entirely modern and unconventional.  I just felt that such a dramatic, controversial life belonged in the theatre.” 


 The Creative Team


Winner of Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics awards, director Richard Maltby, Jr. directs A Most Dangerous Woman.  Maltby conceived and directed the Broadway productions of Ring of Fire as well as the Tony-Award winning musicals Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Fosse.  He was the director and lyricist for Baby, the lyricist for Big, and the lyricist and conceiver for Take Flight.  He was the co-lyricist for Miss Saigon, and the co-book writer and lyricist for The Pirate Queen.  He also directed and was the co-lyricist for Song & Dance starring Bernadette Peters.  Off-Broadway, he was the director and lyricist for Staring Here, Starting Now, and Closer Than Ever which were both written with composer David Shire.  Maltby also contributes crossword puzzles to Harper’s Magazine.  


 Academy Award and Grammy Award—winning composer David Shire will provide original incidental music for the production.  Shire composed the soundtracks for the films The Taking of Pelham One Two ThreeAll The President’s Men, and Norma Rae among many others, and composed the scores for the Broadway productions of Baby and Big, as well as the off-Broadway productions of the Grammy-nominated Starting Here, Starting Now and the award-winning Closer Than Ever.    


Playwright Cathy Tempelsman worked for the Wall Street Journal and is the author of the book Child-Wisepublished by William Morrow.  Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe and Coastal Living, among others.  Tempelsman’s one-act play Missing was produced at Boston Playwrights Theatre and at the Barrow Group in New York.  She is currently working on a new script based on events that occurred just after World War I.  A Most Dangerous Woman was a finalist for the 2013 Terrence McNally New Play Award, given to an American script which celebrates the transformative power of art.   It also won the Echo Theatre (Dallas, TX) national playwriting completion.


The Cast


 Aedin Moloney makes her Shakespeare Theatre debut in the role of George Eliot.  Moloney is the founder and artistic director of The Fallen Angel Theatre Company in New York City.  She recently starred in Airswimming at Irish Rep/Fallen Angel Theatre and played Rose in the 20th Anniversary production of Dancing at Lughnasa at Irish Rep.  Her credits also include Under Milk Wood at Hartford Stage, Hobsons Choice at the Atlantic Theatre and several productions at Irish Rep including Shadow of a GunmanThe Playboy of the Western WorldJunoand the Paycock and more.  Her film credits include Nora with Ewan McGregor, Far & Away and The Captivesand Agnes Brown.  She recently completed a recording of Molly Bloom’s soliloquy from James Joyce’s Ulysses in collaboration with Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains.  


 Shakespeare Theatre veteran Ames Adamson plays George Henry Lewes, with whom George Eliot has a longtime relationship.  Adamson has appeared in Shakespeare Theatre productions of Charles Dickens’ Oliver TwistA Christmas CarolTimon of AthensHamletKing Lear and others.  He recently appeared at the Quintessence Theatre Group’s productions of Arms and the Man and The Misanthrope, adapted by Martin Crimp. 


 John Little plays John Blackwood, Eliot’s publisher.  Little has appeared in Shakespeare Theatre productions ofCharles Dickens’ Oliver TwistHenry IV, Part One, The Grapes of Wrath and Amadeus among others.  He recently appeared in Poetic License at 59E59 Theatre.  He has also appeared off-Broadway at New Federal Theatre and Harold Clurman Theatre. 


 Eliot’s best friend is played by Deanne Lorette who appeared in The Shakespeare Theatre’s production of The Little Foxes.  Lorette has appeared on Broadway in La Bête and at regional theatres throughout the nation including The Goodspeed Opera House, Cincinnati Playhouse, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, DC and Actors Theatre of Louisville. 


 The role of Isaac Evans, George Eliot’s brother, is played by Shakespeare Theatre veteran Rob Krakovski.  Krakovski appeared in The Shakespeare Theatre productions of Around the World in Eighty Days, Measure for Measure and Julius Caesar.  He has recently appeared at GEVA in A Christmas Story, and at Portland Center Stage in Twelfth Night and Beard of Avon.   Off-Broadway, he originated the role of Bill Wilson in Bill W


 Sheffield Chastain plays Herbert Spencer, a writer.  Chastain appeared on Broadway in White Christmas, Is He Dead and in the national tour of The 39 Steps.  He has appeared off-Broadway at the Perry Street Theatre and Atlantic Theatre and at Florida Studio Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle Rep and Los Angeles Theatre Center among many others. 


 Returning for his 10th season at The Shakespeare Theatre to play George Combe, the phrenologist, is Andy Paterson.  Paterson appeared in Shakespeare Theatre productions of Charles Dickens’ Oliver TwistA Child’s Christmas in WalesThe Tempest, and The Blue Bird among many others.  He has appeared at theatres across the nation including The Acting Company, Arizona Theatre Company, Center Stage, McCarter Theatre, and Utah Shakespearean Festival.  


 Devin Norik plays Edward, a publishing house clerk.  Norik appeared in The Shakespeare Theatre production ofThe Lion in Winter. His New York credits include At Play, 24 Hour Play Festival at Old Vic New Voices and The Smoking Gun at Studio Tisch.


  The Artistic Staff


Creating the world of A Most Dangerous Woman are set designer Nicholas Dorr, costume designer Hugh Hanson, sound designer Rich Dionne, and lighting designer Tony Galaska. Kathy Snyder serves as production stage manager.


 Special Performances


The first preview performance of A Most Dangerous Woman on Wednesday, September 18th at 7:30 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 7:30 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 Series performances include the addition of a free post-play discussion with the cast and artistic staff, on Tuesday, September 24th  at 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday, September 28th; and Saturday, October 5th at 2:00 p.m.


 On Thursday, September 26th, 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 on A Most Dangerous Woman.


 General admission to Know the Show is $5 for the general public, $4 for subscribers and ticket package holders. Tickets to that evening’s 8:00 p.m. performance may be purchased separately.


 The 2:00 p.m. performance on Saturday, October 5th will be audio described for those who are blind or have visual impairments.  Audio description enables patrons to hear, through an FM transmitter, a live description of the action on the stage.  A pre-performance sensory seminar is offered that allows patrons to explore props, costumes and set pieces to further enhance their live theatrical experience. The service is offered free of charge.


Tickets & General Information


Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. For tickets or more information, call the box office at 973-408-5600 or  


 The Shakespeare Theatre’s 2013 Season    


This Fall, The Shakespeare Theatre will celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the iconic and beloved American classicOur Town by Thornton Wilder.  Our Town runs October 16th to November 17th and features several school-time matinee performances. 


 The 2013 season will close with William Shakespeare’s Pericles, a fantastical odyssey epic filled with perilous adventures, courageous acts, and a thrilling and climactic rejuvenation.  Pericles will begin performances on December 4th and continues through December 29th


 The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Main Stage, the 308-seat F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, is conveniently located in Madison at 36 Madison Avenue (Route 124) at Lancaster Road (on the Drew University campus), just minutes from routes 287, 78 and 10. Parking is free. The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is barrier free with access into the Theatre via a ramp and elevator access to all floors.   Wheelchair seating and transfer seating is available.  Braille and large print programs are available.   Infrared listening devices are available free of charge.  Some performances are audio described.  Contact the theatre for more information.  For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 973-408-5600 or




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