Two River Theater Presents ‘Two Trains Running’

February 8, 2013
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RED BANK – Two River Theater Company continues its 2012-2013 Season with August Wilson’s Two Trains Running, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson.

The production will run at the Two River’s Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Ave., through Sunday, March 3. The production is sponsored by a grant from the Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation. The lead production sponsor is Wells Fargo and the co-sponsors are Brookdale Community College and NJ Transit.

Members of the company of Two Trains Running on the stage at the Two River Theater.

Members of the company of Two Trains Running on the stage at the Two River Theater.

Santiago-Hudson made his Two River debut last season with Wilson’s Jitney, which played an extended run. Two Trains Running is the powerful, often funny, always compassionate story of ordinary people who find community and hope in a Pittsburgh diner amid the turbulent political upheaval and social change of the 1960s. It is the seventh in Wilson’s 10-play Pittsburgh Cycle chronicling the lives of African-Americans in each decade of the 20th century.

Set in Memphis Lee’s restaurant in the Hill District of Pittsburgh in 1969, Two Trains Running stars Harvy Blanks (West), Anthony Chisholm (Hambone), Chuck Cooper (Memphis), John Earl Jelks (Wolf), Owiso Odera (Sterling), Roslyn Ruff (Risa), and James A. Williams (Holloway).

“Ruben Santiago-Hudson won a Tony Award as an actor in one of August Wilson’s plays. Now, he is the foremost director of these masterpieces of dramatic storytelling and poetic language. In recent years, he has assembled a true family of extraordinary ‘Wilsonians’ – performers and designers – including many of the great actors who worked with Wilson during his lifetime and a new generation of artists,” Two River Theater Artistic Director John Dias said. “As a theater company, we are honored to be a home for August Wilson, Ruben, and his collaborators.”

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The creative team includes scenic designer Michael Carnahan, costume designer Karen Perry, lighting designer Xavier Pierce, sound designer Robert Kaplowitz and composer Bill Sims Jr. The casting is by Heidi Griffiths and the stage manager is Amanda Michaels.

August Wilson grew up in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, the setting for all but one of his plays. His work has been seen across the United States, as well as on Broadway and all over the world. Two Trains Running – for which Wilson was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and a Tony Award nominee – had its debut at Yale Repertory Theatre in 1990 and opened on Broadway in 1992.

Owiso Odera as Sterling and Roslyn Ruff as Risa. The show runs through March 3.

Owiso Odera as Sterling and Roslyn Ruff as Risa. The show runs through March 3.

Regular ticket prices range from $37 to $65, with discounts available for groups, seniors, students, and patrons aged 30 and under. New this season, Two River has introduced a limited number of $20 tickets for every performance, with no restrictions on when or by whom the tickets can be purchased. Tickets are available from 732-345-1400 or

A Celebration of August Wilson with cast members from Two Trains Running will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, at the Middletown Township Public Library, 55 New Monmouth Road. Reservations and additional information for the free event are available by calling the library at 732-671-3700, Ext. 320 or visiting evanced/lib/ eventcalendar.asp.


Before Play

Awoye Timpo, the assistant director of the play, will discuss the culture and politics of the 1960s as the host of Two River’s Before Play series. The free lecture will take place in the lobby 45 minutes before the start of every performance.

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Audiences also are invited to share their questions and responses to the play with members of the cast after performances on Wednesday, Feb. 13; Sunday, Feb. 17; and Wednesday, Feb. 20.

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