As the season of gift-giving approaches, many of us are faced with the annual dilemma: the search for a unique gift. Often, the recipients who are the most challenging are those who “have everything.” There are actually tons of great options out there, but in the spirit of entertainment-themed ideas for this month’s article, here’s a suggestion for theater lovers in our area: helping to Pave the Plaza at the Two River Theater in Red Bank.
Since May of 2018, the Two River Theater has been undergoing an impressive and ambitious expansion project to construct a new, state-of-the-art Center for New Work, Education and Design. The space, now close to completion, is connected to the existing building that houses the Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater and the Marion Huber Theater and has been designed to provide three floors housing two rehearsal studios, expanded scene shop spaces, a wood shop for the props department, a larger costume shop, offices for the Production and Education staff, and multiple storage areas. There are offices and writing spaces for playwrights, lyricists and composers, and room for additional retreats, readings and workshops, many of which will be open to the public. Popular events that have previously had capacity limitations will be able to accommodate more patrons. Annual education programs such as Summer Theater Intensives and First Monday Masters (a series taught by great artists who are working at the theater) will be enhanced, and there are plans to introduce activities that will literally take audiences behind the scenes to view the production process, such as construction of sets.
As the Two River Theater excitedly prepares for the official unveiling of the new and improved performing arts venue this fall – and visitors eagerly await the reopened parking lot – they also invite theater patrons, supporters, residents, businesses and organizations from throughout Monmouth County and beyond to become a lasting part of the transformation. The enlarged plaza at the entrance of the theater – previously just a utilitarian concrete sidewalk – will become an inviting gathering place, with benches, café tables, trees, gardens and a pergola stage for outdoor events and programs.
In late September, the Two River Theater launched its Pave the Plaza campaign, with special granite and stone pavers available for engraving your name, your loved one’s name, your business or organization, a special message or a favorite quote. Besides providing support to the venue, it is an appropriately artistic way to honor the theater lover in your life and to give a gift to the thousands of people who will pass through the beautified plaza and enjoy the welcoming new approach.
The cost of the personalized pavers ranges by material, size and placement in the plaza, as follows:
Benefactor – $7,500 – Red granite pavers, measuring 18 by 36 inches, will grace the lobby entrance. Only a limited number of these are available and can be reserved by calling Angela Kluwin at 732-345-1400, ext. 1830.
Stone pavers are 6 by 9 inches, and pricing is based upon the prominence of their placement in the plaza. Each stone paver can be engraved with up to four lines, with a maximum of 24 characters (including spaces) per line.
Champion – $2,500 – Located right in front of the lobby entrance
Patron – $1,000 – Located by the benches and close to the theater entrance
Producer – $500 – Located west of the box office or near the new parking lot
Group Paver – $125 per name – Organize a group of four or allow your name to be added to one paver with three other patrons. One full name may be listed on each line, for up to 24 characters. Along with the Producer pavers, these will be located west of the box office or near the new parking lot.
Keepsake replica pavers are also available for $30, allowing donors to receive a 2-by-3-inch mini replica of their personalized paver to keep at home or to present as a meaningful gift.
To learn more about the Pave the Plaza campaign, including monthly payment options, and to find details about the upcoming season of events at the Two River Theater (because tickets and season subscriptions make great gifts, too!), visit TwoRiverTheater.org.
Author’s Note: It was recently announced that Robert Rechnitz, the founder, executive producer and generous benefactor of the Two River Theater and many other local charities, had passed away Oct. 12, with a public memorial service planned for Sunday, Nov. 17 at noon at the theater. An obituary released by the Two River Theater stated that in lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to a charity of your choice. Undoubtedly, some who knew him will remember his legacy with pavers at the venue he loved so much