All-Male Romeo and Juliet Opens in DC Sept. 15

News   All-Male Romeo and Juliet Opens in DC Sept. 15
The casting convention of Elizabethan theatre — men playing all the roles — is revived with The Shakespeare Theatre Company's new production of Romeo and Juliet, opening Sept. 15 in Washington, DC.

STC associate artistic director David Muse stages the production, which began previews Sept. 9 and continues to Oct. 12 at Sidney Harman Hall.

The cast of the classic Shakespeare tragedy includes Finn Wittrock as Romeo and James Davis as Juliet with Aubrey Deeker, Drew Eshelman, Ted van Griethuysen, Dan Kremer, Lawrence Redmond and Craig Wallace.

"Staged in the thrust configuration, the production features period costumes and music influenced by the Renaissance to explore theatre traditions prevalent in Shakespeare's day," according to STC.

According to STC notes, "The world's greatest and most enduring love story, Romeo and Juliet follows its star-crossed lovers as they hurtle from their first shy glances to their last heartrending kiss. Caught between their feuding families, Romeo and Juliet desperately struggle to build a world insulated from the violence, but their love races toward a final confrontation with fate."

* "Shakespeare was a writer of gorgeous poetry, but I believe that the love poetry in Romeo and Juliet is especially glorious in part because Shakespeare knew that two young men would be performing it," stated director David Muse. "Shakespeare knew that he couldn't count on two actors gazing at each other to portray being in love in a way that audiences were going to believe. And so the actors need to jump into the language and make its power convince us of the power of this love. Working with an all-male cast unlocks a world of imaginative collaboration between the audience and the actors, and I hope that people will walk away with an image of this play in their heads that is different from the romanticized, stereotypical Romeo and Juliet that's lodged in our consciousness. I hope it's a play that feels fresh and dangerous and transgressive, which is a way that we don't usually think of this play."

The creative team includes set designer Scott Bradley, costume designer Jennifer Moeller, music sound design and musical direction by The Broken Chord Collective, lighting designer Lap Chi Chu, fight director Robin McFarquhar, choreographer Daniel Pelzig and text coach Ellen O'Brien.

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