Two River Celebrates Special Night to Launch New Dias/Hurst Music Development Fund


originally published: 05/16/2022

(RED BANK, NJ) — Theatergoers are invited to join Two Rivers Theater Founder and Event Chair Joan Rechnitz on Saturday, May 21, 2022 to celebrate the launch of the ‘Dias/Hurst New Musical Fund’ honoring outgoing Two River Theater executives John Dias, Artistic Director, and Michael Hurst, general director.

The special evening will include a VIP cocktail reception at 6:00 p.m., followed by a showcase at 7:00 p.m. featuring selected songs from the past 11 years of extraordinary musical productions during Dias and Hurst’s tenure at the Two River Theater. Featured performers include Joe Iconis (be cooler and love in hate), Daniel K. Isaac (Ballad of Little Jo at the Two River Theater, The Chinese lady to the public), Kelly McIntyre (love in hate at the Two River Theatre), Eric William Morris (Be More Chill, Ballad of Little Jo and Songbird at the Two River Theater, King Kong on Broadway), George Salazar (be cooler on Broadway and at the Two River Theatre), Emerson Mae Smith (love in hate at the Two River Theatre), Murphy Taylor Smith (Electric), teal highlights (Ballad of Little Jo at the Two River TheaterThe Dear Show on Broadway), Jason SweetTooth Williams (Be cooler on Broadway) and Maria Wirries (Broadway Tour of Dear Evan Hansen). The musical director is Eliza Randall, the director John Simpkins and the stage manager Megan Smith.

At 8:30 p.m., a sponsored dinner and live call will take place. Funds raised from the call will benefit the Dias/Hurst New Musical Fund, enabling Two River to continue commissioning exciting new musical productions for many years to come.

VIP and Sponsor Dinner tickets are sold out, but a limited number of $70-only show tickets are still on sale at or 732.345.1400. All proceeds benefit Two River’s multiple programs to develop exciting new works that expand the canon of global theater!

Joan Rechnitz, Founder and President of the Two River Theater Event, said, “I am forever grateful to John Dias and Michael Hurst for their outstanding leadership at Two River Theater. For over a decade, they have had an indelible impact on our community and the national theater landscape – fulfilling Bob’s vision and mine to create world-class theater in Red Bank. I am thrilled to celebrate their tenure with our dedicated supporters and artists and to establish the Dias/Hurst New Musical Fund in their honor.

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One of the region’s most acclaimed nonprofit regional theater companies, Two River Theater was named one of the nation’s “Top 10 Places to See a Play” by USA Today in 2019. In addition to putting as a stage for beloved classics, Two River Theater is dedicated to cultivating the theater classics of the future by producing world premiere productions and commissioning the most exciting contemporary theater talent to bring their work to Two River’s two stage spaces. River Theatre. The commissioning and development program was greatly expanded under the eleven-year leadership of Dias and Hurst, leading to the success of world premiere musicals including Be More Chill, Love in Hate Nation, In This House, A Wind in the Willows Christmas,Pamela’s First Musical and more.

EVENT HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS: The safety of our customers, staff and performers is our number one priority. As such, all spectators over the age of five will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination before entering the theater. Additionally, guests 18 years of age and older must present government-issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license or passport. Children under the age of five will not be permitted entry at this time.

Audience members with exemptions must show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 36 hours of the time of the performance or a negative antigen test taken within 6 hours of the time of the performance. No over-the-counter home test results will be accepted.

SPONSORSHIP: Two River Theater is supported in part by public support through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, an agency partner of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Private support includes Hackensack Meridian Health/Riverview Medical Center, Bank of America, Mary Owen Borden Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Helen Clay Frick Foundation, The Merrill G. and Emita E. Hastings Foundation, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Investors Foundation , Jewish Communal Fund, The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Manasquan Bank Charitable Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William T. Morris Foundation, OceanFirst Foundation, PNC Foundation, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation , The Shubert Foundation, The John Ben Snow Memorial Trust, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Visiting Nurse Association Health Group, Zager Fuchs, PC, Zynergy Retirement Planning and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.

Since its creation in 1994, Two Rivers Theater is committed to creating great American theater by developing and producing works by some of the nation’s greatest artists. We are proud to be considered a vital cultural resource in the community of Red Bank, New Jersey. Through over 8 theater productions each year (including world premieres, musicals, classics and theater for young audiences) and over 40 annual events taking place in Monmouth County, we produce exceptional theater and cultivate an engaged audience. Two River Theater is under the direction of Artistic Director John Dias and General Manager Michael Hurst.

Photo by Danny Sanchez