Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Introduces Theater to Young Audiences and Their Families
Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet
Saturdays, Now through April 5, 2008
Chicago—February 23, 2008—Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) opens today the first of seven successive Saturday performances of Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet, directed by Amanda Dehnert. A 75-minute abridged production in CST's Courtyard Theater, Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet is designed for parents, grandparents, teachers—and all adults with children in their lives—to introduce young people to the theater. Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet is presented on Saturdays at 11:00 a.m., now through April 5, 2008. Tickets are $16 for students (18 and younger), and $20 for adults. Immediately following each performance, the actors remain on stage for a brief question-and-answer session and then join the audience in the Lobby for one-on-one conversations and photo opportunities.
The popularity, power and passion of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet has inspired countless theatrical stagings, operas and ballets, and more than 60 television and film versions (including the 1968 Franco Zeffirelli film and the 1996 adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes). A cornerstone of high school curricula, Romeo and Juliet is Shakespeare's immortal tale of two young lovers who choose to follow their passion despite the intense hatred dividing their two families. Romeo and Juliet is a story for our times that speaks directly to young people—in Shakespeare's own words.
The multi-talented Amanda Dehnert serves as director, adaptor and composer of Short Shakespeare! Romeo
and Juliet. Ms. Dehnert is currently Assistant Professor at Northwestern University and is scheduled to make her directorial debut at Canada's Stratford Shakespeare Festival with next season's Cabaret. Dehnert has served as a Clinical Associate Professor for the Brown/Trinity Rep Consortium in Providence, RI, where she taught graduate-level directing. A resident director with Trinity Repertory Company, Ms. Dehnert has served as Artistic Associate and Acting Artistic Director, and has been at the helm of more than 20 productions, including Henry IV, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Othello, Saint Joan, and Cyrano de Bergerac. For the Trinity Summer Shakespeare Project she has directed Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Richard III. Ms. Dehnert is also a composer and has created scores and songs for her own work as well as for productions of As You Like It and The Imaginary Invalid, among others.
The star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, are performed by Stephen Louis Grush and Lee Stark. Grush was seen earlier this season on Chicago Shakespeare's stage as Guiderius in Barbara Gaines' production of Cymbeline and was recently featured in The Steppenwolf Theatre Company's Good Boys and True. Ms. Stark, who is new to CST audiences, is in the Horton Foote Festival at the Goodman Theatre and was also seen earlier this season in The Crucible at Steppenwolf. The cast is completed by: Tyla Ambercrumbie as Lady Capulet; Kareem Bandealy as Chorus; Ronald L. Conner as Friar Laurence; Kirsten Fitzgerald as Nurse; Matthew Lukasiewicz as Tybalt; Brandon Miller as Benvolio; Christopher Prentice as Mercutio; Demetrios Troy as Paris; and Mick Weber as Lord Capulet. The featured musicians for Romeo and Juliet are Ethan Deppe (percussion) and Gregory Hirte (violin).
The design team for Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet includes: original music composed by Amanda Dehnert; fight choreography by Matt Hawkins; scenic design by Tom Burch; lighting design by Ryan Davies; costume design by Ana Kuzmanic; sound design by James Savage; and wig and make-up design by Melissa Veal.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier is not only the region's largest professional theater dedicated to the works of Shakespeare, it is also a leading cultural center for young audiences, their parents and teachers. Chicago Shakespeare provides families, students and educators with a unique environment to share one of the richest experiences there is: the making of art and the sharing of stories. By introducing the classics and art to young people, CST offers a significant experience, presenting a convergence of abridged Shakespeare productions, timeless fables and fairy tales, interactive music concerts, and musical theater created with families in mind. For the tens of thousands of families who visit Navy Pier every year, Chicago Shakespeare Theater introduces the classics and the performing arts to young people.
Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet is running for seven Saturdays at 11:00 a.m., February 23, March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 and April 5, 2008 and is recommended for ages 10 and up. Tickets are $16 for students (18 and younger), and $20 for adults. Immediately following each performance, the actors remain on stage for a brief question-and-answer session and then join the audience in the Lobby for one-on-one conversations and photo opportunities. For further information and to purchase tickets, call the Chicago Shakespeare Theater Box Office at 312.595.5600, or visit the Theater's website at www.chicagoshakes.com.
Polk Bros. Foundation is the sponsor of Team Shakespeare abridgment performances at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Additional support for Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet is provided by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.
Kraft Foods is the principal sponsor of Team Shakespeare, the Theater's program for students and teachers.
Mainstage artistic productions in the Courtyard Theater are supported, in part, through a generous leadership grant from the McCormick Tribune Foundation.
ComEd is the official lighting design sponsor of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
American Airlines is the official airline of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.