RED BANK: TWO RIVER THEATER FOUNDER DIES

Robert Rechnitz with his wife, Joan, in 2012. Below, the Two River Theater, where a new plaza was under construction this week. (Photos by Stacie Fanelli and Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank two river theaterRobert M. Rechnitz, who co-founded Red Bank’s Two River Theater with his wife, Joan, died at his home Saturday, the theater announced Wednesday. He was 89 years old.

 

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RED BANK: RECHNITZES GIVE $5M TO HOSPITAL

The husband-and-wife founders of Red Bank’s Two River Theater have donated $5 million to kick off a fundraiser for Riverview Medical Center, the hospital’s parent organization announced Thursday. And it’s not the first time, either.

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RED BANK: TWO RIVER TOASTS ARTS ANGELS

Joan_and_Bob_Rechnitz_Ed_Zipprich_Ivan_PolonskyTwo River Theater Company co-founders Joan and Robert Rechnitz were joined on the evening of March 28 by Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich and philanthropist Ivan Polonsky, for the 2016-17 Season Announcement event at Two River’s Bridge Avenue arts center. Some 100 of the stage company’s major donors and supporters attended a special reception in the lobby prior to the 7:30 p.m. program, mingling with TRTC artistic director John Dias, Tony nominated actor-director Michael Cumpsty and other artists involved in the new slate of shows that begin in September 2016. A full rundown of the new schedule, including season subscription information, can be found here. (Photo by Teja Anderson)

RED BANK: TWO RIVER INTROS NEW SEASON

DirdenStoneRechnitzReturning Broadway veterans Brandon J. Dirden and Jessica Stone — plus rookie playwright Robert Rechnitz, pictured with wife and fellow Two River Theater Company founder Joan — are among the creative forces powering a just-announced 2015-2016 season of shows on Two River stages.

It’s a highly anticipated rite of spring in Red Bank — one that John Dias jokingly referred to as “this totally kooky annual event” — but when the artistic director of Two River Theater Company played host for the 2015-2016 Season Announcement on Monday night, he was entirely serious in first thanking the “loyal, passionate” audience members who “want to be the first to hear what we’re doing each year.”

Kicking off in mid-September, and comprising eight productions on two stages of TRTC’s branded Bridge Avenue arts center, it’s a schedule that boasts fresh takes on familiar classics, and first looks at a couple of world premiere works. There’s some engagingly quirky casting; the return of several fondly regarded members of the extended Two River family — and a debut original work by a forever-young upstart who holds a special resonance with the Red Bank audience.

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HAND IN HAND DINNER DRAWS A FULL HOUSE

katz rechnitzGuest of honor Harvey Katz joined Two River Theater founders Joan and Robert Rechnitz, Rabbi Laibel Schapiro, and Chani Schapiro during last week’s tribute dinner for the community nonprofit Hand in Hand.

Press release from Belfer Communications

On Thursday, June 10th, more than 400 people gathered to honor the teen volunteers of Hand in Hand, a community outreach organization that extends a helping hand to special needs children and their families.

The sold-out tribute event at Red Bank’s Two River Theater also honored Phyllis and Harvey Katz of Long Branch. and Louisa and Marc Liechtung of Wayside. New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno commended the volunteers for making the world a better place through selfless dedication to their community.

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THEATER FOUNDERS GIVE RIVERVIEW $5M

rechnitzes-032611Bob Rechnitz, right, with wife Joan and Two River Theater board member Paul Kaylor at Saturday night’s opening of ‘Candida.’ (Click to enlarge)

donegoodlogo rightA planned $15 million revamping of the operating rooms at Red Bank’s Riverview Medical Center has gotten a big boost from a Middletown couple.

Joan and Bob Rechnitz, founders of the nonprofit Two River Theater Company, have donated $5 million to the effort, the hospital announced Monday morning.

Riverview officials called it one of the largest single gifts in the hospital’s history, and said a portion of the funds would be used to construct a conference and educational center designed to attract “superior surgeons with niche specialties” to lectures and symposiums.

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