MONMOUTH — The first Shakespeare play of Theater at Monmouth’s What Dreams May Come Golden Anniversary Season is “Merry Wives of Windsor.” Sir John Falstaff has a devilish plan to win the hearts and fortunes of the women of Windsor, but they will give him a run for his (lack of) money. The mischievous romp will run from Thursday, July 4, at 7:30 p.m. through Aug. 18, including matinee and evening performances on both weekdays and weekends.

In Shakespeare’s only domestic comedy, laughter reigns supreme and feminine wisdom triumphs over jealous husbands, confused lovers and one corpulent knight. Sir John Falstaff arrives in Windsor in need of money. Instead of searching for work, he plots to woo not one, but two, wealthy women. Disguises and complications abound as the two women teach Falstaff a loving lesson with manipulative messengers, secret scandals and a flurry of forgiveness.

Rumor has it that Queen Elizabeth I commissioned this play from Shakespeare in order to see the character of Falstaff in a comic light and a leading role. Two weeks later, with only a short passage written in verse, Shakespeare provided this high-spirited farce with a moral twist, one that has entertained audiences ever since. The play resonates today because the women are not only in charge for a change but they are smarter and more courageous than their husbands. “Merry Wives” playfully mocks the mischief and mayhem that arises from making snap judgments.

“Putting ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances is the classic recipe for comedy, and right now, we could all use a hearty laugh — with a little grace and forgiveness thrown in for good measure,” writes Director Catherine Weidner. The production incorporates physical comedy and biting banter to explode the quippy and wily romp Falstaff sets off with his woefully transparent antics.

Windsor’s women are expected to be effortlessly seduced and easily duped, but they’re too smart for him — instead they turn Falstaff’s plan on its head and demonstrate that women are not rash or shallow thinking.

“Merry Wives of Windsor” features: Amber Baldwin, Mistress Page; Mark S. Cartier, Shallow; Quinn Corcoran, Slender; Jaron Crawford, Fenton; Joseph Dolan, John Robert; Michael Dolan, Rugby; Caitlin Duffy, Host; Sarah Goldman, Anne Page; Robbie Harrison, Simple; James Noel Hoban, Master Page; Lawrence James, Master Ford; Tessa Martin, Mistress Quickly; Robert Najarian, Dr. Caius; Caitlin Ort, Mistress Ford; and Bill Van Horn, Falstaff. Set design, Daniel Bilodeau; costume design, Clara Jean Kelly; lighting design, Heather Crocker; sound design, Rew Tippin; and fight choreography, Robert Najarian.


Performances are as follows: Opening at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 5; additional performance dates, July 4, 13 and 17, Aug. 1, 9 and 17 at 7:30 p.m., Aug. 1, 10 and 18 at 1 p.m.; and July 21 at 7 p.m. with a post-show discussion.

Classic in Context Discussions fulfill the audience’s desire for in-depth information on the plays before attending each production. The series will feature four discussions with scholars and artists, focusing on the season’s offering. Audience members can attend the post-show discussion with scholars and artists after attending the preview production. For 2019, Classics in Context Discussions will take place following the preview performance in July.

Selected weekend evening performances will feature Post-Performance Discussions with the cast and creative team. Discuss the critical historical, artistic and cultural perspectives of the worlds of each individual play. For 2019, Post-Performance Discussions will take place on the following dates: Saturday, July 6, following the performance of “Murder for Two”; Sunday July 21, following the performance of “Merry Wives”; Sunday, July 28, following the performance of “Hamlet”; Sunday, Aug. 4, following the performance of “Intimate Apparel”; and Sunday, Aug. 11, following the performance of Ken Ludwig’s “Baskerville.”

TAM Season Passes offer up to 25% off the single ticket price and exclusive benefits such as priority seating and free ticket exchanges. Gold, Flex, General or Senior Passes are available for purchase, so whether you want a ticket for each show or five tickets to one show, there’s an option. Single tickets for the summer repertory and fall show are $34 for adults, $29 for senior citizens and $20 for students 18 and under. Groups of 10 or more can see TAM shows at up to a 20% discount. Groups may also schedule pre- or post-show discussions and tours of historic Cumston Hall. Contact the box office for more information and to book a group event.

Opening Nights are Educator Nights. Educators receive 20% off the general ticket price with a valid photo ID at the box office.

For patrons under 30, $10 Rush Tickets are available for up to 20 audience members at each performance in the season, excluding the family show and special events. Sign up by contacting the box office by emailing or calling 207-933-9999 when the box office opens at 11 a.m. on the day of the show. Requests made before the office is open will not be processed.

For calendar and reservations, call 207-933-9999 or visit

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