LOVE IN HATE NATION by Tony Award Nominee Joe Iconis, Set for World Premiere at Two River Theater, November 9 – December 1

Joe Iconis and Lauren Marcus. Photo by Lia Chang

Two River Theater is presenting the  world-premiere production of Love in Hate Nation, an original musical with music, lyrics and book by Tony Award nominee Joe Iconis, directed by John Simpkins.

The cast of Love in Hate Nation includes Sydney Farley (Gloria “Ya Ya” Meeks), Amina Faye (Susannah Son), Jasmine Forsberg (Brenda “Rat” Ratowski), Lauren Marcus (Miss Asp), Kelly McIntyre (Sheila Nail), Lena Skeele (Dorothy Donaldson), Emerson Smith (Kitty Minx), Ryan Vona (The Guy) and Tatiana Wechsler (Judith Ramone).

Performances will begin in Two River’s Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, on Saturday, November 9 and continue through Sunday, December 1. The opening night performance is Friday, November 15 at 7pm. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or

A turbulent rock romance set in a 1960s Juvie Hall, Love in Hate Nation uses classic “bad girl” movies as the inspiration for the story of young people caught between eras of a changing America. Sixteen-year old Susannah Son is carted off to the National Reformatory for Girls to get her head put on straight. There she meets the aggressively incorrigible Sheila Nail, and a relationship forms which leads to an all-out “revolution in the institution” as they attempt to break out of the boxes society has created around them. Girl Group Wall of Sound harmonies are filtered through a punk rock spirit in this rebellious and romantic new musical.

Love in Hate Nation has orchestrations and music supervision by Charlie Rosen, music direction by Geraldine Anello, and choreography by Mayte Natalio.

The design team includes scenic designer Meredith Reis, costume designer Karen Perry, lighting designer Jen Schriever, and sound designer Palmer Hefferan. The casting is by Rachel Hoffman, CSA and the production stage manager is Amanda Michaels.

Joe Iconis is the Tony Award-nominated composer/lyricist of the worldwide sensation Be More Chill. Iconis and Joe Tracz wrote Be More Chill as a commission for Two River Theater, where the show was developed and premiered in 2015 before going on to sold-out Off-Broadway and Broadway runs. Director John Simpkins previously directed Bloodsong of Love and The Black Suits by Joe Iconis. He is Head of Musical Theatre at Penn State School of Theatre, where Love in Hate Nation was commissioned and developed.

Ticket prices range from $40 to $70, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $25 tickets are available for every performance; $25 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $25 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from or 732.345.1400.

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