TOWN HALL THEATRE Presents Staged Reading of THE RIVER Nov. 11, 2019
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 05:25 pm EDT 10/11/19



Town Hall Theatre’s first IN THE WINGS staged reading of the 2019-20 Season is a one-night only performance of THE RIVER, a lyrical and mysterious new play about a man and a woman (or women, possibly), and fishing, by Tony Award winner Jez Butterworth. THE RIVER will have one performance on Monday, November 11, 2019, at Town Hall Theatre Company, 3535 School Street, in Lafayette, CA. Tickets are $10 general admission and free to subscribers, and are available through the Box Office at (925) 283-1557 or online at www.TownHallTheatre.com.

“ … a magnetically eerie, luminously beautiful psychodrama.” – Time Out (London)

In his subtly crafted play, THE RIVER, playwright Jez Butterworth sets the story in a remote cabin on the cliffs beside a river. The Man has invited The Woman there, and he longs to share with her the ecstatic excitement of fishing for trout that night, a once-a-year moonless night. Darkness, the sound of the rushing river and lights come up on the Man calling the police about a woman who has gone missing while fishing. He is interrupted by a door banging and The Other Woman enters, seemingly having exchanged places. Are we witnessing some kind of ritual enfold? Are we watching a ghost story, a thriller or an elegy?

“A wonderful play, glinting and elusive as a fish.” – Financial Times

THE RIVER is directed by Matthew Travisano and features three Bay Area talents: Erin Gould as The Man, Sarah Ruby as The Woman and Cynthia Lagodzinski as The Other Woman.

Performance History

Town Hall’s reading is the first time THE RIVER has been heard in the Bay Area.

First produced by the Royal Court, London, in 2012, THE RIVER received its North American premiere at the Circle in the Square Theatre in New York in 2014 starring Hugh Jackman, Cush Jumbo and Laura Donnelly.


Jez Butterworth is a playwright and screenwriter, actor and film director. His stage plays include Mojo (1995); The Night Heron (2002) and Winterling (2006), both of which premiered at the Royal Court Theatre; Parlour Song (2008), which opened in New York in 2008; the multi-award-winning comedy, Jerusalem (2009; Broadway 2011), which starred Mark Rylance; The River (2012); and The Ferryman (2017; Broadway, 2019 Tony Award Winner for Best Play). Among other awards, he has received two Olivier Awards, three Evening Standard Awards, four Writers’ Guild Awards, and three Critics Circle Awards. Screenwriting credits include Night of the Golden Brain and Christmas (both written with his brother Tom Butterworth); Birthday Girl (2001), which starred Nicole Kidman; The Last Legion (2007); Fair Game; Get On Up (2014); Edge of Tomorrow (2014); Black Mass (2015); and the James Bond film Spectre (2015).


Matthew Travisano has been a theatre artist and educator in the Bay Area for the better part of two decades. He has directed plays for companies throughout the Bay Area and has worked onstage and behind the director's table at TheatreFIRST, Los Altos Stage Company, Palo Alto Players, Willows Theatre Company, and more. He is currently the Artistic Director at Oakland School for the Arts, where he previously served as chair of the Theatre program. Highlights of his tenure there include co-producing the Bay Area premiere of Young Jean Lee's Church with Crowded Fire Theatre and directing the OSA production, forging a strategic artistic partnership with Cal Performances and co-producing programming around the world premiere of Dreamer, and welcoming theatre luminaries like Nilo Cruz to OSA. He has also worked as an education consultant with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, leveraging his backgrounds in both art history and education. He lives in San Francisco with his partner Wade.


Established in 1944 as the Dramateurs, Town Hall Theatre turns 75 this year, making it the oldest continuously active theatre in Contra Costa County. THT has been awarded Best Theatre Troupe 2016 in Diablo Magazines, Best of The East Bay, and is also the past recipient of numerous Shellie Awards, and regional Theatre Bay Area Awards. THT is also home to an extensive children’s educational program, twice voted the “Best Children’s Theatre Company” by Bay Area Parent Magazine. This fall Town Hall Theatre received a Special Arts Recognition Award from the Contra Costa County Arts & Culture Commission. THT’s 105-year old historical building is managed by the Lafayette Association (LIA). Town Hall Theatre Company is located at 3535 School Street, in Lafayette, CA 94549. The Box Office is open Tuesday through Friday, 4:00 to 6:00PM, and Saturday, 2:00-4:00 pm, and can be reached at 925.283.1557. Information is also available at www.TownHallTheatre.com.

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