Asolo Rep's 2013 New Stages Tour of ROMEO & JULIET Kicks Off Today
Asolo Repertory Theatre presents its 2013 New Stages Tour, an FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training production of Romeo & Juliet, adapted from the play by William Shakespeare. This 45-minute version includes post-show discussions at each performance. As its fourth touring season begins, New Stageswill travel to schools and community organizations across the state of Florida. Last year, over 18,000 audience members were reached throughout the state, with 60 performances at 45 venues. This new adaptation of Romeo & Juliet by Lauryn E. Sasso and Dmitry Troyanovsky, and directed by Troyanovsky, will embark on a two month tour beginning today, October 1, 2013. Performances can be scheduled by contacting the Education and Outreach staff at Asolo Rep.
Special Opening Night public performances in the Cook Theatre will be held on October 3 at 6:00 pm & 8:30 pm with a reception between performances, which is included in the ticket price.
This world-premiere adaptation of the Bard's most beloved romantic tragedy introduces a new generation to the tale of star-crossed lovers who, in defiance of their families and amidst the animosity of friends, risk everything to be together for love.Romeo & Juliet asks how do we recognize love? Is it fast and fleeting? Is it passionate and desirable? Is it soft and palpable? Is love a tender thing?
"This year's New Stages production of Romeo & Juliet continues the work of Asolo Rep's American Character Project into its second year," Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards remarks. "As Asolo Rep has deepened its examination of the American Character several themes have emerged, running throughout the season. One of the most powerful is the theme of family - in all its many forms - and Shakespeare's vibrant classic is a powerful take on family drama. There is no 'family feud' more well-known than the one between the Montagues and the Capulets, and the play - particularly in this potent new adaptation - allows us to explore such conflicts and consider both their root causes and potential resolutions."
"Romeo and Juliet do what normal teenagers do: fall head over heels for each other. Love, it turns out, may be just as perilous as hatred," says director and co-adapter Dmitry Troyanovsky. "Shakespeare masterfully shows us how two ordinary adolescents, surrounded by inept adults and hapless caregivers, can self-destruct due to a series of disastrous, if understandable, choices. This should, in no way, make us see the story in cynical terms. Stripped of lofty clichés, Romeo & Juliet becomes a story about real people - touching, funny, awkward, self-dramatizing, rash, confused, and tenderly alive." Co-adapter, and Resident Dramaturg for Asolo Rep, Lauryn E. Sasso adds, "Romeo & Juliet is possibly one of the most well-known and beloved plays in the Shakespeare canon, but the process of crafting this adaptation has allowed us to highlight its most dynamic elements and make a familiar text new and exciting all over again."
Romeo & Juliet aims to introduce the New Stages program to more audiences than any previous tour. "In conversations with teachers and students, the title most frequently requested for future performances was Romeo & Juliet," says Asolo Rep's Education and Outreach Director, Kathryn Moroney. "The unprecedented curiosity and enthusiasm to meet these two most famous of Shakespeare's young characters offers the potential for a truly powerful encounter between the artists and students." To help this production reach as many students as possible, Asolo Rep's Education and Outreach department offers a special discount to schools/community venues booking more than one performance.
Regarding this particular production of Romeo & Juliet for New Stages, Moroney says, "Our production seeks to introduce characters who are very like the young people we will meet in our audiences: characters in contemporary dress, characters who look like our families and their friends. This story doesn't unfold long ago and far away; our cast could have just stepped from the audience, or in from the street in 2013. We relish the chance to introduce a Romeo and Juliet who don't emerge from a vault or a museum, but who seem to live in our own times and experiences."
New Stages ensures people of all backgrounds, especially young people, have the experience of Live Theatre. New Stages reaches new and wider audiences through Asolo Rep's continuing partnership with the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. New Stages will be in residence from October 28 - November 1 at the South-Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center, performing Romeo & Juliet for schools and the public as part of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural AffairsShadow Interpreted Theatre Program and Open Access Theatre Series. The Shadow Interpreted Theatre Program utilizes trained American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters in a "shadow" performance literally paired alongside the Romeo & Juliet actors, creating an art form seamlessly integrated into the live performance.
The Acting Company members of Romeo & Juliet are enrolled in the Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training, a three-year graduate program culminating in a Master of Fine Arts degree. Only 12 students are chosen each year from thousands who audition in four cities nationwide. Actors are provided with rigorous training in a professional theatre environment, including membership in the Asolo Repertory Theatre Acting Company during their third year. Asolo Rep presents the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training Production of Romeo & Juliet to highlight the skills of the third-year Acting Company, all of whom will be seen in the upcoming Asolo Rep main stage season. Graduates of the program have appeared on and off Broadway, in regional theatres, in feature films and on television. U.S. News and World Report consistently places FSU's graduate theatre programs in its top-tier rankings, one of the few public university programs so honored.
In 2013 Asolo Rep's Education and Outreach program was awarded for the second year in a row WEDU's Be More Enriched Arts & Culture Award for their "spirit of adventure and exploration through education in the arts." Asolo Rep subsidizes the costs of the New Stages touring program through charitable contributions from foundations, corporations and individual donors. For more information on how to support New Stages, please contact Tricia Mire, Development Director at 941.351.9010 x 4700.