The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jerseypresents the American premiere reading of Nabokov’s only play, The Tragedy of Mister Morn


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The “Lend Us Your Ears” series features prestigious actors and includes a post-play discussion with the artists

 MADISON, NJ — The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey continues its 2013 Lend Us Your Ears play reading series with the American premiere of renowned Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov’s only full-length theatrical work, The Tragedy of Mister Morn.Never published during Nabokov’s lifetime, The Tragedy of Mister Morn was translated into English by Anastasia Tolstoy (great-great-great-granddaughter of Leo Tolstoy, author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina) and British scholar Thomas Karshan. The Shakespeare Theatre’s reading, featuring a prestigious cast of company members and guest artists, marks the very first time the recently translated play will be seen or heard in the United States. The reading will take place on Monday, September 30th at 7 p.m. at the Shakespeare Theatre’s Main Stage, the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Ave. (at Lancaster Road) in Madison. The evening will also include a post-play talk-back session with the director, cast, and audience. For tickets or more information, call the box office at 973-408-5600 or visitwww.ShakespeareNJ.org.    The Tragedy of Mister Morn stands as one of Nabokov’s earliest literary endeavors. Written while the young Nabokov lived in Berlin as a refugee from the Russian Revolution, The Tragedy of Mister Morn is a “whimsical, largely allegorical tragicomedy” about a disguised king whose unorthodox love affair sparks revolution (The New Republic). Translator Thomas Karshan wrote in his introduction that Nabokov “would never again write…so directly about the moment of revolution itself, or so probingly about ideology, as he did in ‘Morn.’” The tale’s epic “swerving turns of phrase and ringing contrasts” reveal a “tragedy that owes a debt to Shakespeare” (Booklist). The New York Times praised The Tragedy of Mister Morn as a “road map to what this dazzling sorcerer of words would later create.”“Such tales within tales, celebrating art and artifice and the imagination, would become a centerpiece of Nabokov’s mature work,” including the notorious, yet poignant, classic novel Lolita. Though born in Russia, Nabokov is best remembered as a 20th century master of English prose. His work features intricate wordplay and poetic, complex plots. Lolita remains an iconic modern novel – one ofTime Magazine Top 100 Best English-Language Novels and Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century. Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick immortalized Nabokov’s characters in the 1962 film adaptation with James Mason as the melancholy middle-aged professor Humbert Humbert and Sue Lyons as the adolescent object as his affection. Nabokov’s body of work also includes The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, Pale FirePnin, a celebrated memoir Speak, Memory, and numerous short story collections.   The Shakespeare Theatre’s Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte describesThe Tragedy of Mister Morn as not only a thrilling literary discovery but also a “fascinating…beautiful, brutal and haunting” piece of theatre. The reading’s cast includes Shakespeare Theatre veterans Brent Harris (Henry IV, Part 1, To Kill A Mockingbird, Timon of Athens, The Lion King national tour), Bill Christ (Othello, Arms and the Man, B’way – Born Yesterday), Victoria Mack (Othello, The Taming of the Shrew, King Lear), Pearce Bunting (The Grapes of Wrath and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire), Roxanna Hope (Julius Caesar,Les Liaisons Dangereuses, B’way – The Women) Paul Mullins (No Man’s LandRichard III, Othello, The Three Sisters) and James Knight (Measure for Measure). Tickets Tickets for the reading of The Tragedy of Mister Morn are $15 for adults; student tickets are $10 each.  For tickets, call the box office at 973-408-5600, visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org or email boxoffice@shakespearenj.org. The Lend Us Your Ears play reading series concludes with a reading ofThe Madwoman of Chaillot by Jean Giraudoux on November 11that 7:00 p.m. Giraudoux’s eerily prescient, eccentric post-war comedy pits the common people of Paris against a conglomerate of financiers determined to destroy the City of Lights in order to profit from the reputed oil fields lying beneath its streets. 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 visitwww.ShakespeareNJ.org. 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 only 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.

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