New York Classical Theatre Celebrates 19th Anniversary with ROMEO AND JULIET

New York Classical Theatre (Stephen Burdman, Artistic Director), New York City's only all-free professional Off-Broadway theatre company, is pleased to announce a new production of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to celebrate its 19th Anniversary Season. The production, directed by Mr. Burdman, is the company's first staging of Shakespeare's tale of star-crossed lovers, and will be presented in five New York City parks - Central Park, Rockefeller Park/Battery Park City, The Battery, Carl Schurz Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park - with performances from June 5 through July 29 at 7:00 PM. There is no ticketing, and all performances are free and open to the public. New York Classical Theatre also invites audiences to experience unique behind-the-scenes access to open rehearsals on selected dates for each of the five park stagings.

Performance schedule and open rehearsal schedule follow, and can also be found at newyorkclassical.org.

Since 2000, New York Classical Theatre has presented over 40 productions and more than 700 free performances of classic plays by Shakespeare, Moliere, Shaw, Chekhov, Schiller and Sheridan, and more. These plays are staged in iconic New York City settings, ranging from the Statue of Liberty, to the Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park, in a unique performance style created by Mr. Burdman, "Panoramic Theatre"-where audiences follow the actors from place-to-place as the production moves from scene-to-scene. The company breaks these classic plays out from traditional proscenium-bound theatres, bringing them to public spaces, transporting audiences into the world of the play, and creating an unforgettable shared experience for nearly a quarter of a million people. Attendees at NY Classical Theatre's performances range from theatre aficionados, to audiences who have never seen a play before, helping to develop new and future audiences. The company plays to nearly 2,000 children under the age of 18 each season.

As part of New York Classical Theatre's efforts to make high-quality theatre free and accessible to all audiences, all tickets are free, spontaneous day-of-attendance is encouraged, performances are always located near public transportation, and all performances conclude by 9:00 PM to allow families to attend together. This season will also introduce the environmentally friendly practice of paperless programs. Moble phone-based programs will be available to audiences who sign up via text at each performance.

New York Classical Theatre is also pleased to announce that the June 8 performance of Romeo and Juliet in Central Park will be a dog-friendly performance. Dogs with a love of the dramatic are welcome to attend with their favorite human companions.

New York Classical Theatre has been hailed as "a firmly rooted cultural institution of the city," (TheaterMania.com), as well as "a movable feast" and "a rollicking exercise in participatory theatre" (The New York Times). "Going to a performance of New York Classical Theatre should be on everyone's annual to-do list," claims the Village Voice.

The production of Romeo and Juliet will feature a company of six actors, including four actors playing multiple roles within the warring Montague and Capulet families.

In Romeo and Juliet, the long-standing feud between families Montague and Capulet cause tragic results for their respective children, Romeo and Juliet. After meeting at a masked ball, Romeo and Juliet fall in love, only to discover the surname of their beloved. Revenge, love, and a secret marriage force the lovers to take drastic measures. In the end, both families learn the perils of needless violence.

Cast for Romeo and Juliet features Ian Antal (Romeo), Connie Castanzo (Juliet),Vivia Font (Lady Capulet, Benvolio), Ian Gold (Nurse, Tybalt, Friar Laurence), Nick Salamone (Capulet, Mecutio), and Clay Storseth (Montague, Paris, Apothecary). Production Designers are Summer Lee Jack and Sarita Fellows and Casting Director is Stephanie Klapper. Voice/Speech Coach is Joan Melton. Fight Director is Sean Michael Chin. Production Stage Manager is Yetti Steinman.

Romeo and Juliet will be presented on the following dates and New York City parks. All performances run from 7:00-9:00 PM. Visit newyorkclassical.org for specifics.

· Central Park

Enter at West 103rd Street and Central Park West

Via Subway: Take the B/C train to 103rdStreet)

Performances: Tuesday through Sunday, June 5-24 at 7:00 PM.

Open Rehearsals: May 14-June 3 from Noon-5:30 PM.

· Rockefeller Park/Battery Park City

Enter at River Terrance & Warren Streets in Battery Park City

Via Subway: 1/2/3 or A/C to Chambers Street

Performances: Wednesday, June 27-Saturday, June 30 at 7:00 PM.

Open Rehearsal: Tuesday, June 26 from 2:00-5:00 PM.

· The Battery (Battery Park)

Meet in front of Castle Clinton

Performances: Monday, July 2 - Sunday, July 15, excluding Thursdays

Open Rehearsal: Monday, July 2 from 1:00-5:00 PM.

· Carl Schurz Park

Enter at East 86thStreet & East End Avenue.

Via Subway: Subway: 4/5/6 or Q to East 86thStreet

Performances: Tuesday, July 17 - Sunday, July 22

Open Rehearsal: Tuesday, July 17 from 1:00-5:00 PM.

· Brooklyn Bridge Park

Meet at Fulton Ferry Landing on Pier 1.

Via Subway: F to York Street, C to High Street

Performances: Tuesday, July 24 - Sunday, July 29. (No performance Thursday, July 26)

Open Rehearsal: July 24 from 1:00-5:00 PM.

BIOGRAPHIES

Ian Antal (Romeo) New York Classical Theatre (Associate Artist): Macbeth, As You Like It, A {15-Min!} Christmas Carol, The Seagull, Twelfth Night, Playing Moliere, Henry V. Regional/International: Aesop's Fables (Jim West Puppet Productions); Peril on the Red Planet (Open Dream Ensemble); Emil und die Detektive (Stella Theater, Berlin); What Next?, Verdi's Macbeth, Von Heute auf Morgen (Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin). TV/Film: "MUG," "The Jew of Malta," "Familie Krassnick." Educational:Two Shakespearean Actors, Hamlet, On the Razzle, Saint Joan. BFA from University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Ian loves his lady, Sarah.

Connie Castanzo (Juliet) New York Classical Theatre (Associate Artist): The Rivals, As You Like It. New York: Diaspora (Gym At Judson); Time Stands Still (Theater for the New City); Gigi (Storm Theatre); City Girls & Desperadoes, Much Ado About Nothing (Secret Theatre); My Report To The World (Jewish Museum of Heritage & Shakespeare Theater, DC); Some Are More Human (NYC Fringe). Regional: Boeing Boeing (Millbrook Playhouse); Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods (Pittsburgh REP); Ramona Quimby (Two Beans). TV/Film: "Hack My Life"; "Creep"; "Cauliflower". BFA in Acting from Point Park Conservatory of Performing Arts. Thank you Stephen, Yetti, cast & crew!

Vivia Font (Lady Capulet, Benvolio) New York Classical Theatre debut. New York: Villa(Wild Project-Playco); underneathmybed (Rattlestick); Fernando (New Ohio Theatre). Regional: Bad Dates (Cincinnati Playhouse); The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Tenth Muse (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Richard III, As You Like It, Inherit the Wind, All's Well that Ends Well (The Old Globe); Mariela in the Desert (Denver Center). TV/Film: "One Life to Live," "Love, Repeat," "Sarbane's Oxley." BFA: NYU Tisch, MFA: Old Globe.

Ian Gould (Nurse/Tybalt/Friar Laurence) New York Classical Theatre (Associate Artist): The Winter's Tale, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Measure for Measure. Off-Broadway: The Show-Off (Peccadillo Theater); Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Hamlet, Macbeth, A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court (The Acting Company); In Bed With Roy Cohn (Theater Row). Regional: Guthrie Theater, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Luna Stage, Baltimore CenterStage, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, New Harmony Theater, Great Lakes Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival. MFA, Shakespeare Theatre Company Academy for Classical Acting. Love and gratitude to his partner, GGB.

Nick Salamone?(Capulet/Mercutio) New York Classical Theatre (Associate Artist): The Rivals, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, The Tempest, The Seagull,Twelfth Night, Playing Moliere, Henry V,The School for Husbands, Much Ado About Nothing, Richard III, Hamlet, King Lear. New York: Macbeth 3 (Here); Hillary Agonistes (Bleecker Street); Nightshift (Westbeth); Preggin and Liss (Raft); We Bombed in New Haven, Lorca(Art/Work Ensemble). LA: Billy Boy, Red Hat & Tales, Riffs & Credos (Playwrights' Arena);Glengarry Glen Ross (Egyptian); Dogeaters (Kirk Douglas); The Tempest (Taper Amphitheatre); Coriolanus (Strasberg); Arturo Ui, The Libertine (Classical Theatre Lab). Regional: Medea (Boston Court); Find Your Way Home (Alley Theatre); 2 (ICT). UK: Sherlock Holmes, Macbeth (Edinburgh). Award Nominations: British Stage, LA Weekly, 4 Backstage West Garlands. Nick is a published playwright and a member of the Board of New York Classical Theatre.

Clay Storseth (Montague/Paris/Apothecary) New York Classical Theatre (Associate Artist): Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Measure for Measure, As You Like It, The Tempest,Twelfth Night, Henry V, Richard III, Hamlet, King Lear, Cymbeline, Love's Labour's Lost. New York: Corpus Christi (I Am Love Tour); Moscow (Chekhov Now/NY Original Cast CD). Regional: Measure for Measure,Oh! Pioneers (A Noise Within); Joined At The Head (Laguna Playhouse); Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Musical Theatre West); Song of Singapore (ICT). LA: Richard III,Cymbeline (Will & Co.);Sea Change (LA Weekly Award Nom.); King Lear (dir. Patsy Rodenburg); Into The Woods (Actor's CoOp); All Souls Day (Playwright's Arena); Chess (Blank). Edinburgh: Dierdre (Queen's Hall); Moscow (Assembly, Fringe First & Audience Favorite Award); Macbeth (Greyfriar's Kirkyard); Riffs & Credos, Whale Watchers, Weho(French Institute). TV: "Star Trek: Voyager." MFA Cal Arts.

William Shakespeare (Playwright) We know only a few facts about the life of the greatest playwright of the English language; he was christened on April 26, 1564, as the son of John and Mary (nee Arden) in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon; he was married to Anne Hathaway in 1582; and he fathered Susanna and fraternal twins Hamnet and Judith before his 21st birthday. History loses track of Shakespeare somewhere after his marriage, but we know he was a principal shareholder of The Globe Theatre and the published author of 38 plays, 5 epic poems, and 154 sonnets. He died on April 23, 1616-at the young age of 52.

Stephen Burdman (Artistic Director) founded New York Classical Theatre in 2000 and is the vision behind the creation of Panoramic Theatre. Originally from Los Angeles, he earned a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and planned to become a doctor and then a rabbi. During college, Stephen auditioned for a production of Hamlet, and discovered his passion for Shakespeare, and has since directed nearly half of Shakespeare's canon. To date, he has directed 31 plays for the company. Favorite productions include: The Rivals, The Winter's Tale, Measure for Measure, The Seagull, A {15-Min!} Christmas Carol, Playing Moliere, Henry V (in The Battery and, via ferry boat, Governors Island), Hamlet, King Lear, Misalliance, Mary Stuart, Scapin, and The Triumph of Love. He attended the National Theatre Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center and later received an MFA in Theatre Directing from the University of California, Irvine. In 1989, Stephen was selected to participate in the first young theatre artist exchange with the (former) Soviet Union and has been a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society since 1994. Nominated by New York State Assembly member Danny O'Donnell, Stephen received an award from the West Side Spirit for consistent commitment to excellence in theatre. An avid supporter of Shakespeare on all levels, Stephen is the former Chair of the Artistic Committee of the Shakespeare Theatre Association. He has also been a panelist with the National Endowment for the Arts, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, and Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation. He lives in Harlem with his wife, Adena, and son, Ezekiel.

Summer Lee Jack (Co-Production Designer) New York Classical Theatre: debut. Recent design credits include: Morning Star, Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt (On Site Opera); Baghdaddy: the Musical (Theatre at St. Luke); The Prince and the Pauper (Quintessance Theatre Group); A Good Farmer, Small Town Stories (American Theatre Group); Angel's Bone (Oberlin Conservatory); Measure for Measure, The Tempest (Shakespeare Academy at Stratford); La Boheme, The Wedding, Beatrice and Benedict, Roméo et Juliette, The Classical Style,The Cows of Apollo, Così fan tutte, Carmen, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Eugene Onegin (Aspen Opera Center); Otello, Cenerentola (Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra); The Tower (HERE Arts Center); The Elephant in Every Room I Enter (La Mama ETC); The Cunning Little Vixen, La Doriclea, L'Roi a Dit, Das Land des Lächelns, A Little Night Music (Manhattan School of Music); Die Verschworenen/Die Winterreise (Hofstra Opera Theater). Upcoming: Into the Woods (Charlottesville Opera). MFA in Design from the Yale School of Drama. Member of Wingspace Theatrical Design. summerleejack.com

Sarita Fellows (Co-Production Designer) New York Classical Theatre (Associate Artist): Macbeth, The Winter's Tale, Measure for Measure. New York: A Chronicle of the Death of Two Worlds (NYTW); Loving and Loving (Stella Adler Studio); Robin Hood, Twelve Dancing Princesses, Singing in the Rain (Summer Theater of New Canaan); MUD (The Boundless Theater Co.); Golden Boy, Top Girls, Hoodoo Love (Juilliard); An Ordinary Muslim (Associate Designer NYTW); Familiar (Associate Designer, Playwrights Horizon); Turn Me Loose (Associate Designer, Westside Theater). Regional: Alvin and the Chipmunks Live (2SBN). Film/TV: "Sight Pictures," "Everybody Dies" (by Frances Bodomo, premier SWSX2016); "Dirt" (by Darius Clark Monroe, premier Sundance2016). Associate Professor Princeton University. MFA NYU/Tisch. Happy to be back at New York Classical!

Stephanie Klapper (Casting Director) New York Classical Theatre (Associate Artist): 34 productions from 2003-2017. She is euphoric to continue her collaboration with New York Classical Theatre and Stephen Burdman. Her work is often seen on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regionally, internationally and on television, film, and the internet. She is the Resident Casting Director for Primary Stages in NY and continues her long collaborations with numerous companies such as New York Classical Theatre, Mint Theatre Company, Resonance Ensemble, The Peccadillo, Storm Theatre Company, Capital Rep, ATF, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse, American Players Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Kansas City Rep, amongst many others. Recent projects include: Final Follies (Primary Stages); A Letter to Harvey Milk (Acorn); Conflict (Mint); First Love (Cherry Lane). She has many exciting projects running and upcoming both in NYC and regionally as well in film, the web, and TV. Member of the Casting Society of America.

Joan Melton, PhD, ADVS (Resident Voice/Speech Coach) New York Classical Theatre (Associate Artist): Macbeth, The Rivals, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Measure for Measure, As You Like It, The Tempest, A {15-Min!} Christmas Carol, Twelfth Night, Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, Misalliance, Love's Labour's Lost. Selected: Tartuffe, Private Lives (South Coast Repertory); Under Milk Wood (A Noise Within, LA, Dylan Thomas Celebration, Carmarthen, Wales); Juno and the Paycock (Interact Theatre, LA); Pitz and Joe (Hudson Theatre, LA); The Pajama Game (WAAPA, Western Australia); The Importance of Being Earnest, Richard III, As You Like It (London International Theatre Group). Joan is the author of three major textbooks, has taught at leading drama and music centers in the US, UK, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Australia and NZ, heads groundbreaking research projects in the US and Sweden, and is on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music (NYC).

Sean Michael Chin (Fight Director) New York Classical Theatre: Macbeth, Henry V. New York: No-No Boy (Pan Asian Repertory Theatre); home/sick, I Will Look Forward To This Later (The Assembly); Every Angel Is Brutal (Clubbed Thumb); Awake and Sing! (The Public); Happy (The Brick); What it Means to Disappear Here (UglyRhino). Regional: Adventure Quest (Edinburgh Fringe); Romeo and Juliet (Hartford Stage). SeanMichaelChin.com

Yetti Steinman (Production Stage Manager) New York Classical Theatre: (Associate Artist): Macbeth, The Rivals, The Winter's Tale, Measure for Measure, As You Like It, A {15-Min!} Christmas Carol, The Tempest. Broadway: The Father(MTC). Off-Broadway: The Ruins of Civilization, Taking Care of Baby (MTC); The Gravedigger's Lullaby, She Stoops to Conquer, Hard Love (TACT); A Man's A Man (CSC); The Jammer (Atlantic). Other: The Enlightenment of Mr. Mole (B.H. Barry Production); Wow, An Opera (BRIC Arts); Little Shop of Horrors, Pack of Lies (St. Bart's Players); A Streetcar Named Desire, She Stoops to Conquer, Three Hotels (Williamstown).

Rosemarie Manzo (Assistant Stage Manager) New York Classical Theatre: Macbeth. Regional: Patti LuPone's Don't Monkey with Broadway (Ensemble, Kean Stage). President of Kean Theatre Council. Member of Alpha Psi Omega. BFA Theatre Performance from Kean University 2020.

Grace Hill (Assistant Stage Manager) New York Classical Theatre: Macbeth. New York: The Last Bite (ThruLines Dance); The Birds and the BS (Kevin Duda Productions). Boston: Megacities (BU Summer Institute); The Scarlet Letter (Classic Repertory Company). Educational: These Three Sisters, Punk Rock, Marvin's Room, 'Tis Pity She's A Whore, Twelfth Night (Boston University School of Theatre); Sweets by Kate; Hydrogen Jukebox (Boston University Opera Institute). BU School of Theatre-Stage Management BFA 2019.

Allison Kirstukas (Design Assistant/Wardrobe Supervisor) New York Classical Theatre: The Rivals, The Winter's Tale. Trinity Shakespeare Festival: Measure for Measure, Richard III (First Hand). Educational: The Children's Hour, Play With Words (Designer); Treasure Island, The Magic Flute, Love and Information, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, The Secret Garden, The Birds, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Costume Tech). Happy to be working with NY Classical again!

Actors' Equity Association (AEA): Founded in 1913, AEA represents more than 50,000 actors and stage managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions, providing a wide range of benefits including health and pension plans. AEA is a member of the AFL-CIO, and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. The Equity emblem is our mark of excellence. actorsequity.org

About New York Classical Theatre:

New York Classical Theatre's mission is to reinvigorate and create audiences for the theatre by presenting all-free productions of popular classics and forgotten masterpieces in non-traditional public spaces throughout the five boroughs.

Our productions transform expansive public spaces into grand dramatic settings through our innovative staging style Panoramic Theatre. Audience members physically follow the actors from place to place, entering the world of the play and becoming active participants in the story unfolding around them. This level of engagement fosters a strong emotional and physical investment in the play, providing audiences of all ages and backgrounds with adeeply immersive theatrical experience.

New York Classical Theatre firmly believes that the themes of the classics remain relevant to the lives of all New Yorkers today. Through the lens of classical theatre, we come to better understand human nature and our role in contemporary life. Our all-free performances build new and future audiences for live theatre by attracting many underserved and non-traditional spectators.

Now celebrating our 19th Season, we have served nearly a quarter million people with 40 all-free productions: Macbeth (2017, 2008, 2001), The Rivals, The Winter's Tale (2016, 2004), A Midsummer Night's Dream (2016, 2000), Measure for Measure, The Taming of the Shrew (2015, 2002), As You Like It (2014, 2005), The Tempest, The Seagull, A {15-Min!} Christmas Carol (2017, 2013, 2012), Twelfth Night (2012, 2002), Playing Moliere, Henry V, The School for Husbands, Cymbeline,The Recruiting Officer, Love's Labour's Lost, The Comedy of Errors, Mary Stuart, All's Well That Ends Well, Scapin,The Feigned Courtesans, The Triumph of Love, and King Ubu.

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