Cross-Dress'd Shakespeare Presents Reading Of 'Romeo And Juliet'

March 8
11:18 AM 2011


Orlando Shakespeare Theater Continues Free Reading Series
Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet features Age-Reversed Cast on March 13, 2011

Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF concludes its popular free reading series, Cross-Dress'd Shakespeare, with a reading of Romeo and Juliet on Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.

Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, one of the most enduring love stories of all time, tells the tale of two star-crossed lovers and their famously feuding families. As tensions between the Montagues and Capulets approach a deadly breaking point, the children of each house fall more and more deeply in love. Orlando Shakespeare Theater's age-reversed reading allows audiences to see this classic story from a new angle - the lovers will be 45 years old and up, and the parents will be 40 and below. Come see this classic romance through a pair of older eyes, with their children desperately trying to control them! What might we learn about the relationships between parents and children, how age changes our outlook on life, and the nature of love?

John Didonna, Co-Producing Artistic Director of the Empty Spaces Theatre Co(llaboration), directs a cast that includes Dennis Neal as Romeo and Robin Olson as Juliet, with Michael Edwards (Mercutio), Christopher Kiley (Friar Lawrence), Bob Lipka (Benvolio), Tom Nowicki (Tybalt), and Kristin Shirilla (Nurse).

"When looked at in the standard ages, Romeo and Juliet can seem impetuous in that first love - and that impetuous and impulsive nature - so inherent in their youth - leads to dire circumstances," said Director John Didonna. "In this version, however, it is not the beginning blush of first young love, but the longing and need for a final love. That makes it all the more real, and complex, and full of deep yearning as it is forbidden."

The Cross-Dress'd Reading Series is free and open to the public. Romeo and Juliet will take place in the Margeson Theater at the John & Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Theater (812 East Rollins) in Orlando's Loch Haven Cultural Park.

Romeo and Juliet Cast:
Prince Escalus - Mason D. Criswell
Paris - Mark Brotherton
Montague - Grant Jordan
Capulet - Ian Kramer
Romeo - Dennis Neal
Mercutio - Michael Edwards
Benvolio - Bob Lipka
Tybalt - Tom Nowicki
Friar Lawrence - Christopher Kiley
Balthasar - Skip Alderman
Peter/Friar John - Matt Wenge
Lady Montague/Apothecary - Pascha Weaver
Lady Capulet - Brooke M. Haney
Juliet - Robin Olson
Nurse - Kristin Shirilla

Age-reversed cast. The lovers will be 45 years old and up, and the parents will be 40 and below. The world's most enduring love story, see its star-crossed lovers through a pair of older eyes as they hurtle from their first glances to their last kiss.
WHEN: Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 7 p.m.
COST: Free! / Limited Seating Available

Now celebrating its 22nd season, Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF has grown into one of the region's most acclaimed Equity theaters producing bold professional theater in Central Florida. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Jim Helsinger and Managing Director Shannon Lacek, Orlando Shakespeare Theater continues to achieve the highest standards, while preserving its artistic and cultural legacy. Through PlayFest! The Harriett Lake Festival of New Plays, Orlando Shakespeare Theater is nationally recognized for it contribution to the development of new plays. Orlando Shakes also provides innovative educational experiences through its youth education programming, serving over 25,000 young people, families, and schools annually.

Next @ Orlando Shakes:
A Midsummer Night's Dream, Pride and Prejudice, and Beowulf: 3 Beloved Classics in Rotating Repertory from Jan. 26 - Mar. 20, 2011




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Beau Higgins Currently spending his time between New York and Florida, Beau was born to a theatrical family in Brooklyn. He studied drama at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute and at HB Studios. He studied theater singing with Julia Sperratore and Helen Gallagher. Beau later taught drama at the Lincoln Center Square for the Arts. It was at this time Beau began working with the Theater Development Fund and helped found New York's famed HALF PRICE TICKET BOOTH. Early in his career, Beau was screen tested and contracted for Warner Brothers. He co-hosted, an early cable variety series on Manhattan's Teleprompter channel. At this time he directed the Johnny Specca musical, SEX IS..? at the Lincoln Center Library Theater. Beau has performed Off-Broadway in FAT FELL DOWN, The Comic Strip Theater's LITTLE LULU AND THE INVISIBLE INK and WILL THE REAL ZOOPERMAN PLEASE STAND UP. Around the country he has delighted audiences with his performances in ANYTHING GOES, THE APPLE TREE, GUYS & DOLLS, and HELLZAPOPPIN! He sang for New York audiences at such cabarets as The Duplex and Upstairs at the Downstairs. He has had numerous television appearances but is most proud to have been a winning contestant on the game shows JACKPOT and THE $20,000 PYRAMID.


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