Grantham Coleman, Elvy Yost and More Star in Actors Theatre of Louisville's ROMEO AND JULIET

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Artistic Director Les Waters and Managing Director Jennifer Bielstein have announced the cast and creative team for Actors Theatre's 2012-2013 season opener Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. This high-octane and energetic contemporary retelling of one of the greatest love stories ever told features a dynamic cast of thirteen, a stellar team of designers and is directed by Louisville native and Drama Desk nominee Tony Speciale. Romeo and Juliet plays only 30 performances in the Pamela Brown Auditorium at Actors Theatre of Louisville as part of the Brown-Forman Series.

It begins previews on September 4, opens September 6 and runs through September 24. Single tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at ActorsTheatre.org or by calling 502-584-1205. The Bingham Signature Shakespeare is made possible by the Mary and Barry Bingham Senior Fund. Additional funding provided by Hilliard Lyons, Production Sponsor, and GE Appliances, Education Sponsor.

Two star-crossed lovers from bitterly feuding families risk everything to be together, as a new generation strains against the limits of a world their parents have defined in one of the most famous love stories ever written with all of the immediacy, danger and romance that have made it endure for centuries.

We are excited reintroduce the talents of director Tony Speciale to the town that launched his career. Speciale is a Louisville native, YPAS graduate, alumni of the 1998-1999 Acting Apprentice Company at Actors Theatre and 2012 New York Drama Desk Nominee for Outstanding Director.

Praised by the New York Times for his "propulsive staging" of Shakespeare classics, Speciale has earned a reputation for lively and exciting adaptations. His production at Actors Theatre promises to attack Shakespeare's masterful coming-of-age story with the same fervor shining the light on themes that speak straight to today's headlines: bullying, peer pressure and absentee parenting.

Romeo and Juliet features an ensemble of 13 talented actors, with additional support from members of Actors Theatre's Acting Apprentice Company. The cast will feature recent Julliard School graduate Grantham Coleman as Romeo in his Actors Theatre debut. The role of Juliet will be played by Elvy Yost who returns to Actors Theatre where she played Belle and Fred's wife in A Christmas Carol in 2009. Also making their first appearance at Actors Theatre are Brendan Averett as Friar Laurence, Matt Citron as Escalus, Jordan Dean as Tybalt, Ben Diskant as Benvolio, Nate Miller as Mercutio, Raynaldo Piniella as Balthasar and Matthew Stucky as Paris.

Lord and Lady Capulet will be played by Bruce McKenzie,who returns to Actors Theatre where he previously starred in the title role in Hamlet, Noises Off, Othello, Polaroid Stories, Aloha Say the Pretty Girls, At the Vanishing Point and The Blue Room and Amy Morse who will be appearing at Actors Theatre for the first time. We are thrilled to welcome back Myra Lucretia Taylor as The Nurse. Taylor's previous credits at Actors include The Three Cuckolds, Vital Signs and July 7, 1994. Other notable theatre credits include Wicked and Nine (2003 Tony Award, Best Revival) on Broadway. Yvette Ganier will be making her Actors Theatre stage debut as a single parent in Speciale's re-envisioning of Lady Montague. An award-winning actress (OBIE), she recently wrapped up the film Must Be the Music (2012) starring opposite Charles Dutton. Other theatre credits include The Miracle Worker, King Hedley ll on Broadway and Royal National Theatre's Jitney.

The Creative Team includes Daniel Zimmerman (Scenic Designer), Michael Krass (Costume Designer), Matthew Richards (Lighting Designer), Christian Frederickson (Sound Designer), Philip Allgeier (Media Designer) and Mark Walston (Properties Master).

Romeo and Juliet is made possible in part by Brown-Forman through their continued commitment to the Brown-Forman Series.

During the run of Romeo and Juliet audiences can also enjoy many special events:

Romeo and Juliet Tech Event: Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 6.30 p.m. Audiences can enjoy a unique sneak peek of the performance during this invited technical rehearsal. (free, but ticketed)

Opening-night festivities: Celebrate opening on Thursday, September 6 with a post-show champagne toast.

Cocktails with the Cast: After the 8 p.m. performance on September 13, 2012. Grab a drink and mingle with some of the visiting artists at this free informal event.

Conversation with the Artists: Following the 2.30 p.m. performance onSeptember 16, 2012. Enjoy an engaging dialogue led by our staff with the performers and behind-the-scene artists.

Now entering its 49th season, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the State Theatre of Kentucky, has emerged as one of America's most consistently innovative professional theatre companies. For almost 40 years, it has been a major force in revitalizing American playwriting. Its annual Humana Festival of New American Plays is recognized as the premier event of its kind and draws producers, journalists, critics, playwrights and theatre lovers from around the world for a marathon of new works. More than 350 plays from Actors Theatre have been published, making them available to producers and readers, and creating a significant addition to the nation's dramatic literature. Actors Theatre's programming includes a broad range of classical and contemporary work, presenting more than 500 performances each season. The company performs annually to nearly 200,000 people and is the recipient of the most prestigious awards bestowed on a regional theatre: a special Tony Award for Distinguished Achievement, the James N. Vaughan Memorial Award for Exceptional Achievement and Contribution to the Development of Professional Theatre, and the Margo Jones Award for the Encouragement of New Plays. Actors Theatre's international appearances include performances in 29 cities in 15 foreign countries. Currently, there are 40 books of plays and criticism from Actors Theatre in publication and circulation.

 

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