The Forest

Twelfth Night


Antony & Cleopatra

The Merchant of Venice

The Blue Bird

2000 Season

A Message from the Artistic Director

A pretty hip phrase from a guy who's been around for four centuries. Then again, this is a man who's managed to traverse the 16th Century to the 21st with no decline in popularity. Indeed, Shakespeare has never been so hot.

Since the moment his words were first spoken upon the stage, they have risen into the air and infiltrated the consciousness of the entire planet. Shakespeare has, without a doubt, rocked the world. His phrase from Hamlet seemed such an apt slogan for the historic 2000 season, during which we celebrated my tenth anniversary as artistic director. It was an ambitious and unusual line-up of extraordinary plays, three of which represent some of Shakespeare's greatest work -- a comedy, a historical romance, and a provocative tragi-comedy.

In addition, we launched the season with another gem from the "Shakespeare of Russia," Alexander Ostrovsky, whose plays are a kind of speciality item here at NJSF. Making that selection even more exciting was the fact that we presented the American premiere adaption of this play by famed British playwright Alan Ayckbourn.

Interspersed were two rarely produced masterpieces -- one from France's adopted son Eugene Ionesco, whose brilliant post-war allegory, RHINOCEROS, remains the late Zero Mostel's great signature piece; and last but not least, THE BLUE BIRD, a very special offering that signaled the launching of a new initiative here at the Festival to present, each season, one epic classic for children and adults alike. To inaugurate this new undertaking, we chose to create a new adaptation of Maurice Maeterlinck's The BLUE BIRD, a great symbolic tale of the search for happiness.

Bonnie J. Monte - Artistic Director