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New Joe Iconis Musical Love in Hate Nation Sets Its World Premiere

Ruben Santiago-Hudson's Lackawanna Blues also joins Two River Theater's 2019-20 season.

A new musical by Joe Iconis, Love in Hate Nation, will have its world premiere at Two River Theater during its 2019-20 season.
(© Stephanie Wessels)

Two River Theater has announced the lineup of productions set for its 2019-20 season, under the leadership of artistic director John Dias and managing director Michael Hurst.

Opening the season will be Cyrano (September 21-October 13), adapted from the play by Edmond Rostand by Jason O'Connell and Brenda Withers. Meredith McDonough will direct this coproduction with the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, which will also feature Luis Quintero (Christian), George Merrick (De Guiche, Montfleury), and Nance Williamson (La Bret, Duenna).

Next will be the world premiere of Love in Hate Nation (November 9-December 1), a rock romance feature music, lyrics, and book, by Joe Iconis (Be More Chill). John Simpkins will direct.

Sara Holdren will then direct a production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (January 11-February 2, 2020), while Two River's A Little Shakespeare: Twelfth Night program will produce a 75-minute abridged version of Twelfth Night (January 31-February 9, 2020), adapted and directed by Em Weinstein.

Following will be August Wilson's Radio Golf (February 29-March 22, 2020), the 10th and final installment of Wilson's American Century Cycle. The production will be directed by Brandon J. Dirden, who most recently directed Wilson's King Hedley II during Two River's 2018-19 season.

Next up is the world premiere of The Hombres (April 11-May 10, 2020), a new play by Tony Meneses that looks at the intimacy of male relationships through the point of view of Machismo culture. Two River co-commissioned and developed The Hombres with the NJPAC Stage Exchange, a program of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and through a reading at Two River's 2018 Crossing Borders (Cruzando Fronteras) festival of plays and music by Latinx artists.

Closing out the season will be Lackawanna Blues (June 6-28, 2020), written, performed, and directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. A reminiscence of Santiago-Hudson's 1950s childhood growing up on the banks of Lake Erie, the play features original music composed by Bill Sims Jr., music performed by by Chris Thomas King, and additional music composed by King.

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