Chris Melohn’s contemporary production of ROMEO AND JULIET, called an “awe-inspiring showcase of a 21st century feud” returns to Mainstage February 5 -15 at Camden County College’s Dennis Flyer Theatre. This retelling incorporates social media, cyber bullying, modern music, video, and dance into the mix, enabling teens and young adults to connect with Shakespeare on a whole new level.
“Our students thoroughly enjoyed Chris Melohn’s adaptation of the classic Shakespearean tragedy, ROMEO AND JULIET. The contemporary music, and dance pulled them in and refused to let them stray. They related to the story on a different level, and the discussion which started in the theatre, continued on the bus and into the classroom. It was a wonderful experience and we can’t wait to return!” Donna Krier, Maple Shade High School Special EducationTeacher.
This year’s production includes some new music and dance numbers, updated fight scenes, and several new actors.
Set in 2015, Philadelphia, the feud between the families is enflamed by comments posted on social media sites. As the tension builds, teenagers, Romeo (Taylor Darden of Philadelphia) and Juliet (Katie Stahl of Lewistown, PA) meet and fall in love at first sight. Juliet’s parents, the Capulets (Curt Foy of Atco and Kate Orlando of Haddonfield) intend for Juliet to marry Paris, not Romeo, a member of Montague family. However, the young couple marries in secret, hoping for reconciliation between their families. When short tempers lead to deadly consequences, the young lovers find themselves alone and on the run, facing impossible odds and making desperate decisions.
“The use of social media is a brilliant way to make Shakespeare relevant to high schoolers. The dancing is intense – a nice stretch for me. These different components add to the perfection of the writing. What I always enjoy about Shakespeare is that you can trust the writing,” said Darden.
Stahl also loves Shakespeare’s writing, “I appreciate that the original text is used, though there are elements, such as social media that make the story more understandable for today’s audiences. For example, Juliet is introduced to Paris through a Linked In profile. Along with these updates, Juliet stays true to her character. I’m really enjoying this role as Shakespeare’s youngest heroine and one of his strongest characters.”
Additional cast members include: Amanda Jill Robinson of Sparta, NJ, Nurse; Tyler Burgese of Williamstown, Benvolio; Tom Foy of Collingswood, Mercutio; Tyler Shivers of Glassboro, Tybalt; Doug Cashel of Media, PA, Friar; Chris Erickson of Broomall, PA, Apothecary; and dancers: Alisyn Berenado, Caitlin Cateanella and Darien Notte-Cooper, all of Cherry Hill; Nate Counsellor of Mullica Hill; Sean Courtney of Monroeville; Jenn Gordon, of Franklinville; Christine Nese of Blackwood; Miriam Payne of Audubon; Kelly Rosado of Moorestown; Ryan Russ of Philadelphia, PA; Kate Scharff of Voorhees; and Sam Starkey of Berlin.
ROMEO AND JULIET runs February 6, 7, 13, and 14, 7:30 p.m. and February 8 and 15, 2 p.m. in the newly-renovated, fully-accessible Dennis Flyer Theatre, Camden County College, Blackwood. For tickets, visit www.mainstage.org, or call (855) 936,-2467, ext. 3. This performance is sponsored by Comegno Law Group, P.C.
Mainstage Center for the Arts, head quartered at Academy Hall, Blackwood, Gloucester Township, with performances located at Camden County College, Blackwood, NJ is committed to making the arts experience enjoyable for all its patrons. In an effort to make the shows, concerts, events, workshops, classes, and offices accessible to as many as possible, Mainstage offers many services for patrons requiring assistance. For anyone in need of assistance, please notify the office at (855) 963-2467, ext.3, at the time of purchasing tickets, or at least five days prior to the event you are attending.
Mainstage Center for the Arts, the parent program for Summer Stage, is a 501 © (3) non-profit organization committed to providing a creative, vibrant, and nurturing environment for youth and adults. This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Theater/Organization MAINSTAGE CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Theater/Organization Website: http://www.mainstage.org
Theater/Organization Address: 200 College Drive, Lincoln Hall BLACKWOOD, New Jersey 08012 (Map It)
Theater/Organization Phone: (855)936-2467