The Puppet Shakespeare Players Announce January Run of Puppet ROMEO & JULIET
This season, American Globe Theatre and the Puppet Shakespeare Players are proud to present the Bard's most famous love story-- Romeo and Juliet. Produced in collaboration with Dee Snider's STT Productions, the show is set to open this January.
"After seeing Puppet Hamlet I was really impressed, not only with the production but with what this idea could be," says Snider, who was introduced to the company when his son, Shane, was cast as Guildenstern in Puppet Hamlet. "I was very excited to get our company involved." The Twisted Sister frontman is currently working with Executive Producer Ryan Rinkel to maximize the show's reach, particularly among audiences who have been turned off by what Rinkel calls "stuffy Shakespeare."
"If you've never seen puppets reciting sonnets or doing kung fu before, you won't want to miss it," says Rinkel. "Puppet Romeo & Juliet is Shakespeare the way the Bard intended--fun."
Rinkel, along with Artistic Director A.J. Cote, founded the Puppet Shakespeare Players in 2011. Discouraged by Shakespeare productions that failed to engage modern audiences, the duo made it their mission to highlight the humor and humanity in the Bard's work through the use of vibrant and playful puppetry.
"Our method of acting and reading Shakespeare is based on the First Folio technique," Cote explains. "We scour the original texts for the clues that inform all of our artistic choices. We want these productions to bring audiences closer to the play, and we're using puppets to do that."
Rinkel and Cote learned about the First Folio technique while working with John Basil, American Globe Theatre's Producing Artistic Director. The technique is based on the use of the earliest publications of Shakespeare's works, and was developed with the intention of getting as close as possible to his original language and intentions.
The addition of puppetry as a modernization technique has allowed The Players to highlight the characters' attributes and help the audience form a closer connection to the show. This unlikely combination of techniques is intended to direct attention to ideas in Shakespeare that can often be hidden behind flowery language and flowery acting. While Puppet Romeo & Juliet will feature kung-fu standoffs and bright, furry characters, the cast remains faithful to the Bard's words and ideas.
Puppet Romeo & Juliet is produced in collaboration with American Globe Theatre, the longest running Shakespeare theater in Times Square. Now in its 24th year, American Globe has produced over 100 productions of quality classical work. Producing Artistic Director John Basil is a founding member and award-winning master teacher, author and director of Shakespeare.
The cast features Nick Piacente (Romeo) and Devin Nelson (Juliet), as well as actor/puppeteers A.J. Cote, Ross Hamman, Kelly Blaze Klotz, David Lawson, Mindy Leanse, Theo Maltz, Sierra Marcks, Andy Markert, Peter Martin, Michael Miller, Shane Snider and Ryan Rinkel.
Puppet Romeo & Juliet will run January 9 - 20th at American Globe Theatre at 145 West 46th Street, located in St. Mary's Times Square. For tickets, a schedule of events and venue information, visit www.puppetshakespeare.org or e-mail inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are $18 general admission and $12 for kids, students, seniors and any audience member who brings a puppet to the box office.