Academic Theatre and Interpreter Preparation Program Bring ROMEO AND JULIET to the Stage

As part of Performing Arts at the Community College of Baltimore County's "A Year of Shakespeare," Academic Theatre at CCBC Catonsville and the Interpreter Preparation Program are teaming to present "Romeo and Juliet" in both spoken English and American Sign Language. Performances will be held March 23 at 11:10 a.m., March 24 and 25 at 8 p.m., March 26 at 3 p.m., and March 27 at 10 a.m. in the Center for the Arts Theatre at CCBC Catonsville, 800 S. Rolling Road. Tickets are available from the CCBC Box Office (443-840-2787) for $10 for general admission, $5 for seniors, students, CCBC faculty, staff and alumni and free to students with current CCBC IDs.

Although CCBC's Interpreter Preparation program has long been providing sign language interpretation for some of the performances of Children's Playhouse of Maryland at CCBC Essex, this production of "Romeo and Juliet" offers a different experience because it includes a director and a cohort of actors who are Deaf. The audience will be able to see and hear the spoken performance as well as the signing by the actors and the interpreters.

Rebecca Minor, coordinator for the Interpreter Preparation Program, remarks, "We is thrilled to be partnering with the CCBC Theater Department for this production! We welcome the local Deaf community to the Catonsville campus and hope they will join us for this event and many more."

James Caverly, who is directing this production, adds "Directing Shakespeare through the eyes of a Deaf person is a rewarding experience. American Sign Language is a visual language, and having the actors undergo the challenging journey of translating and learning ASL to describe visual poetry through Shakespeare's dialogue is an experience that our audience has rarely encountered before."

Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" is a well-known poignant and tragic love story set in Verona, Italy amid the backdrop of two feuding families - the Montagues and the Capulets - whose children, Romeo Montague, and Juliet Capulet, meet and fall in love.

Featured in leading roles are Ja'min Williams of Catonsville, Md. (Romeo), Tabitha Markel of Randallstown, Md. (Juliet), FrEd Hartman of Clarksville, Md. (Montague), Peggy McCoy of Columbia, Md. (Lady Montague), Lloyd Ekpe of Randallstown, Md. (Capulet) and Angel Smith of Randallstown, Md. (Lady Capulet).

Other featured players include Andrew Weidig of Baltimore, Md. (Deaf Friar Lawrence), Jacob Urtes of Middle River, Md. (Hearing Friar Lawrence), Tirrell Bethel of Pikesville, Md. (Mercutio), Lashay McMillan of Parkville, Md. (Tybalt), Trent Bergman of Catonsville, Md. (Paris),Anna Steuerman of Timonium, Md. (Benvolio), Liz Armour of Baltimore, Md. (Nurse), Lauren Dodson of Monkton, Md. (Apothecary), Joey Hernandez of Baltimore, Md. (Prince), Alejandro Mendez of Halethorpe, Md. (Ensemble) and Molly Prunty of Sykesville, Md. (Ensemble).

The creative team for this production includes James Caverly, director; Moe Conn, scenery, lights and technical director; James Fasching, costume designer; Emily Butterfield props designer; Gene White, sound designer and engineer; Zach Hartley, fight choreographer; Kristi Schaffner, dance choreographer; Cohen Ambrose, vocal director; and Lindsey Snyder, director of Artistic Sign Language.

The production team are Cohen Ambrose, production coordinator; Jessie Lewis, stage manager; Nasya Jeffers, assistant stage manager; Anne Lefter, director of Performing Arts; Becca Minor, coordinator, Interpreter Preparation Program; Su Isakson, interpreting coordinator; Peggy McCoy, ASL consultant/tutor; and Julie Lewis, coordinator, Theatre Program.

According to Anne Lefter, director of Performing Arts at CCBC, "This production embraces everything we value - inclusion, serving our community, and removing barriers to participation. At the heart of what we do is the belief that access to the arts can transform lives. We're fortunate to have engaged James Caverly, a graduate of Gallaudet's theatre program, to guide us in making this a high-quality, fully accessible theatre experience."

About CCBC [www.ccbcmd.edu and 443-840-CCBC (2222)]

Since 1957, CCBC, which now educates nearly 63,000 students each year, has opened the doors to accessible, affordable, high-quality education inspiring brilliance among generations of area residents. Over the past 60 years, hundreds of thousands of students have made their starts, earned degrees, launched and advanced careers, transformed their lives, and the lives of others, through CCBC experiences. Visitwww.ccbcmd.edu/brilliant for more about CCBC's 2017 diamond anniversary.

CCBC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267-284-5000). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

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