Commonwealth Shakespeare Company Announces Casting for ROMEO & JULIET

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company Announces Casting for ROMEO & JULIETCommonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) announced today the complete cast of its 22nd production of Free Shakespeare on the Common, William Shakespeare's immortal drama Romeo & Juliet, directed by Allegra Libonati. Performances are free of charge, and will take place on the Boston Common, near the Parkman Bandstand.
Performance dates: July 19 - August 6.
Tuesday - Saturday performances at 8pm; Sundays at 7pm (Off Mondays).
There will be one 3pm matinee performance on Saturday, August 5.

How to Attend: Performances are free and open to the public. A limited number of "Friends' Section" reserved chairs are available for $60-75 donation per chair. For more information and to reserve chairs visit commshakes.org or call 617-426-0863.

For Weather updates on performance nights, call the CSC weather hotline (781) 239-5972.

One of Greater Boston's most beloved traditions, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's Free Shakespeare On the Common takes up residence once again with Shakespeare's drama of doomed teenage love, Romeo & Juliet. The Capulet and Montague families have been engaged in a multi-generational feud, causing much distress and havoc in the city of Verona; but when young Romeo, son of the Montagues, meets Juliet, the daughter of the Capulets, their immediate love blossoms and accepts no barriers, with tragic results.

Free Shakespeare on the Common is made possible in part by the generosity of our sponsors, supporters, and media partners. Lead Sponsor: Babson College. Platinum Sponsor: WGBH. Gold Sponsors: The Klarman Family Foundation, Xfinity. Silver Sponsors: The Boston Globe, The Improper Bostonian, Liberty Mutual. Bronze Sponsors: Downtown Boston BID, Highland Street Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, Millennium Partners. Additional Support made possible by Boston Cultural Council, and Boston Parks and Recreation.

The cast of Romeo & Juliet includes John Zdrojeski* as Romeo, Gracyn Mix* as Juliet, Kario Marcel as Mercutio, Kai Tshikosi as Tybalt, FrEd Sullivan Jr*. as Lord Capulet, Celeste Oliva* as Lady Capulet, Brandon Green* as Benvolio, Ramona Lisa Alexander* as Nurse, Equiano Mosieri* as Friar Laurence, Mark Soucy as Lord Montague, and Chris Everett as Lady Montague. *Member of Actor's Equity Association
Members of the ensemble of Romeo & Juliet are Alex Deroo, Adam Ewer, Cassie Foote, Tim Hackney, Keith Hale, Kaci Hamilton, Jamil Joseph, Stephanie King, Sarah Mass, Andrew Prensky, Alex Deroo, Adam Ewer, Cassie Foote, Tim Hackney, Keith Hale, Kaci Hamilton, Jamil Joseph, Stephanie King, Sarah Mass, Andrew Prensky, Kai Tshikosi, and Joey Tyler.

They are CSC2, a cohort of twelve actors selected through a national search who study and work with CSC for six months. In addition to their work alongside our professional actors on the Boston Common, they perform a fully produced Shakespeare production for high school and middle school audiences at the Sorenson Theater at Babson College each season. The design team includes set designer Julia Noulin-Mérat (Our American Hamlet at CSC, The Rake's Progress at BLO), costume designer Neil Fortin (The Rake's Progress at BLO, James and the Giant Peach and The Pirate Princess at A.R.T.), lighting designer Jamie Roderick (The Woodsman at New World Stages, PBS's Theater Close Up, The Bikinis! - A New Musical Beach Party at Long Wharf Theatre, Riverside Theatre, and Westchester Broadway), sound designer David Remedios (Our American Hamlet at CSC, Finish Line for Boston Theater Company, and The Scottsboro Boys at SpeakEasy Company, IRNE Award), choreographer Peter DiMuro (Public Displays of Motion, Outside the Box Festival), and fight director Angie Jepson (Tiger Style!, Becoming Cuba with the Huntington Theatre Company, The Scottsboro Boys, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson with SpeakEasy Stage Company). About the principal cast members:


Ramona Lisa Alexander* (Nurse) returns to CSC after performing at the Hatch Shell in The Boys From Syracuse, a collaboration with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra. She recently received an Elliot Norton Award nomination for her role as Myrna in Milk Like Sugar at the Huntington Theatre. Other local credits include Saturday Night/Sunday Morning and The Barbecue at the Lyric Stage.

Brandon G. Green* (Benvolio) was seen in CSC's King Lear in 2015 and recently appeared in The Scottsboro Boys at SpeakEasy Stage (Elliot Norton Award), Mr. Burns... at Lyric Stage, and An Octoroon at Company One/Arts Emerson; Elliot Norton - Best Actor).

Kario Marcel (Mercutio) was seen in The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park production of Troilus and Cressida last summer; other credits include The Kite Runner at Actors Theatre of Louisville and The Cleveland Playhouse.

Gracyn Mix* (Juliet) appeared in The Crucible at Arkansas Repertory Theater, Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis/Cincinnati Playhouse, Pride and Prejudice at Cincinnati Playhouse; As You Like It and The Rivals at Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Titus Andronicus at Great River Shakespeare Festival, and Cyrano de Bergerac at Shakespeare Dallas.

Equiano Mosieri* (Friar)'s theater credits include Titus Andronicus and Know Your Rites at The Living Theatre, Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream at Actor Shakespeare Project (directed by Patrick Swanson), Let Us Seek Death (directed by Randolph Curtis Rand) at LaMama Theatre, The Convert (Elliot Norton Award) at Central Square Theatre, Outside the World at The HERE Arts Center, The Blind (directed by Dennis Yuen) at Theater for the New City. He is the Shakespeare Groundlings Artistic Director/ teacher at Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre, and received an MFA from Brandeis University.

Celeste Oliva*(Lady Capulet) recently appeared in Stage Kiss, Becky's New Car, Rich Girl, and Ch'inglish (IRNE Award) at Lyric Stage; Grounded and Arcadia (IRNE Award) at Central Square Theatre; Abigail 1702 and It's A Wonderful Life, a Radio Play at Merrimack Repertory Theater, and Reconsidering Hannah at Boston Playwrights' Theater, among many others. Off Broadway Celeste played Barbara DeMarco in Shear Madness (Davenport Theatre). Her upcoming films include November Criminals, Thoroughbred, and The Burning Woman. She voices books on tape and is part of the East of Hollywood Production Team that sheds light on diversity in casting and on film for Asian Americans.

FrEd Sullivan Jr* (Lord Capulet) is in his 11th season with CSC and his 10th Shakespeare on the Common. Previous CSC roles include Bottom, Gloucester, Malvolio (Norton and IRNE nominations) and Jaques (Norton award-outstanding actor). He a 34-season resident actor at Trinity Rep where he has played 123 roles including Falstaff, Jamie & Edmund Tyrone, Alfie Doolittle, Creon, Scrooge, Bottom, Touchstone, and Sir Toby Belch. For the Gamm Theatre where he's resident director, Fred played Rothko in Red, Autolycus in The Winter's Tale, Donny in American Buffalo and directed 28 productions including Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, King Lear, The Dresser, Arcadia, and Awake and Sing (Norton award-outstanding production). He teaches acting at Trinity, RISD and Gamm.

Kai Tshikosi (Tybalt) is a member of CSC2, and recently played Caesar in CSC2 production of Julius Caesar, and was seen in The Tempest at Actors' Shakespeare Project, Franklin at Boston Playwrights' Theatre, Cymbeline at Brown Box Theatre Project, Colossal at Company One, Julius Caesar at Classic Repertory Company, New Rep, and Cyclops: A Satyr Play at OBERON New Works Series. Kai earned his BA in Acting and Stage Combat from Emerson College in 2015 and he also works as a teaching artist and fight choreographer in the Boston area.

John Zdrojeski* (Romeo) locally appeared in The Kite Runner at New Repertory Theatre and How I Learned to Drive at the Boston Center for American Performance. His other credits include 10 x 10 at Barrington Stage, Monster at Potomac Theater Project/Atlantic Stage 2, The Choking Game at IRT Theater, and Peninsula at The Players Theatre. John is in his third-year at NYU's Graduate Acting Program, and an alumnus of Boston University's School of Theatre.

About the Director:


Allegra Libonati most recently directed the highly-acclaimed production of The Rake's Progress at Boston Lyric Opera. As the Resident Director at the American Repertory Theater, her productions include The Pirate Princess, The Light Princess, Hansel and Gretel, and The Snow Queen. She recently returned from Beijing, China where she directed and adapted a new immersive adventure production, Peter Pan's Neverland. She directed outdoor theater for twelve seasons at the Summer Theatre of New Canaan including Legally Blonde (12 Broadway World Nominations) Hairspray (9 Broadway World Nominations), South Pacific, My Fair Lady, Carousel, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and H4 (an original adaptation of Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2). She was also the Assistant Director of Diane Paulus's Tony Award-winning production of HAIR on Broadway. Allegra has made Boston her home and guest teaches at Harvard University. She is a member of Tut'Zanni Company and a graduate of NYU and CMU.

Free Shakespeare on the Common is made possible each year through a combination of grants, sponsorships, and donations collected through the Friends Section program. Individuals can reserve a chair at a performance of Romeo & Juliet with a donation of $60-75 per chair, with all proceeds going directly towards the costs of the production. Chairs may be reserved through July 18--before the season begins--with a donation of $60. Once performances begin on July 19, the minimum donation requirement increases to $75. To book, visit commshakes.org or call 617-426-0863.

The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company staff is equipped to assist patrons of all abilities. A limited number of tall chairs, accessible seating areas, assisted-listening devices, and Braille & large print programs are available at each performance. Dates for ASL-Interpreted, Audio-Described, and Open-Captioned performances will be announced closer in July. Anyone needing special accommodations is encouraged to contact CSC in advance. These requests should be emailed to info@commshakes.org or call CSC's main line during regular business hours at 617-426-0863.

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC), best known for its annual free performances on Boston Common, is a non-profit theater organization founded in 1996, dedicated to presenting vital and contemporary productions of William Shakespeare and other dramatic works to the people of Greater Boston, and to exploring Shakespeare's work with youth in innovative and creative ways. CSC's "Free Shakespeare on the Common," winner of multiple Elliot Norton Awards and IRNE Awards, has served over one million audience members over its 22-year history, and has become a beloved summer tradition enjoyed by nearly 75,000 people annually. In 2013, CSC became the Theatre-in-Residence at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and has been able to expand its offerings beyond the annual Boston Common production. Recent productions include Happy Days with Brooke Adams and Tony Shalhoub in the fall of 2014, the world premiere of Jake's Broder's Our American Hamlet with Jacob Fishel; and Beckett in Brief, an evening of Samuel Beckett short plays starring Will Lyman. CSC fulfills its educational mission with actor-training programs for pre-professional and professional actors through the summer Apprentice program and CSC2, which recently presented Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, directed by CSC Associate Artistic Director Adam Sanders, to over 2,000 area students at the Carling-Sorenson Theater in May. To learn more about these programs, visit commshakes.org.

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