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Romeo and Juliet Begins Previews, Directed by McAnuff

Romeo and Juliet began previews today at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. The production is Des McAnuff's first as the Festival's artistic director.
 
Romeo is played by Gareth Potter, who has been with the Festival since he was selected as a member of the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre in 2003.
 
Nikki M. James makes her Stratford debut as Juliet. Ms James starred in Mr. McAnuff's production of The Wiz at the La Jolla Playhouse, winning the San Diego Critics Circle Award for best actress.
 
"I'm very excited by the pairing of Nikki and Gareth," says Mr. McAnuff. "They are among the most compelling young actors I have encountered in some years."
 
The production promises a number of design surprises. "There are scenic elements that you will not have seen before on the Festival stage," says Mr. McAnuff. "However, we are very true to the principles of Tanya Moiseiwitsch's and Shakespeare's stage. The spatial relationships are very similar."
 
Set designer Heidi Ettinger helped bring Mr. McAnuff's vision to life by incorporating the classic "enter above" employed by Shakespeare's stage and by Ms Moiseiwitsch in her now iconic design of the Festival's thrust stage. "We also introduced some of the heat and colour of ancient Verona in a way we hope will make the play feel immediate, vivid and contemporary to the Festival audience," Ms Ettinger says.
 
Previews for Romeo and Juliet continue throughout May. The production opens officially on May 26 and plays in repertory until Nov. 8.
 
For tickets, call the box office at 1-800-567-1600 or visit www.stratfordshakespearefestival.com.




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