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Independent Shakespeare Co. to Stage New Adaptation of ROMEO AND JULIET, 4/4-5/3

Independent Shakespeare Co. (ISC), presenters of the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival, announce a new adaptation of Shakespeare's ROMEO & JULIET, directed by Independent Shakespeare Co.'s Artistic Director Melissa Chalsma. ROMEO & JULIET will open on Friday, April 4 at 7:30pm and will perform through Saturday, May 3 at the Independent Shakespeare Co. Studio in the Atwater Crossing Arts + Innovation Complex, 3191 Casitas Ave., #168 in Atwater Village.

The most famous love story of all time gets an athletic and imaginative staging in this new adaptation that incorporates dynamic choreography and visually rich design. Eight multitalented performers tell the story of adolescent bliss spinning out of control by combining the textual clarity ISC is known for with spirited and lyrical movement. This production is 90 minutes long and features Erika Soto and Nikhil Pai in the title roles.

Comments Independent Shakespeare Co.'s Artistic Director Melissa Chalsma, "We'll be using the experimental opportunity provided by our Studio to explore how movement and stage craft helps us tell the story of Romeo & Juliet in an immediate and actor-driven way. The actors will be involved in every aspect of what the audience sees, from manipulating the lighting to creating the live sounds."


MELISSA CHALSMA (Director) is the Co-founder and Artistic Director of Independent Shakespeare Co. Under Melissa's leadership, the company created the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival, which has grown into the largest theater event of its kind in Los Angeles.

She directs many ISC productions, including last season's Los Angeles Times Critic's Choice She Stoops to Conquer. Other directing projects include the Western Premiere of Akio Miyazawa's Hinemi (California State University, Northridge) and the original musical Red Barn at the Independent Shakespeare Co. Studio. As an actor, she has been seen in leading roles in ISC productions and has performed in theaters across the US, the UK, and on Broadway (including the American premiere of Harold Pinter's Moonlight with Jason Robards and Blythe Danner.)

J'AIME MORRISON-PETRONIO (Choreographer) is a choreographer, movement director and dance scholar. She has lectured at UCLA, NYU, Stanford University, Shanghai Normal University, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and the National University of Ireland and has held residencies with Mabou Mines in NYC and The Tyrone Guthrie Center for Working Artists in Ireland. She received an NEA award for her cross-border dance projects in Belfast Northern Ireland and was awarded a Fulbright in Movement to Lisbon, Portugal. Ms. Morrison holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and is a Professor in the Theatre Department at California State University Northridge.

The cast of ROMEO & JULIET will feature: Kevin Angulo (Montague/Friar John), Lovelle Liquigan (Benvolio/Lady Capulet), André Martin (Capulet/Mercutio), Nikhil Pai (Romeo), Evan Lewis Smith (Tybalt/Friar), Erika Soto (Juliet), Bernadette Sullivan (Nurse/Apothecary) and Xavier J. Watson (Paris/Prince).

Scenic and Lighting Design is by Cat Sowa. Sound Design is by Melissa Chalsma. Costume Design is by Daniel Mahler. The stage manager is William Elsman.

ROMEO & JULIET will open on Friday, April 4 and run through Saturday, May 3 at the Independent Shakespeare Co. Studio, 3191 Casitas Ave., #168, (between Fletcher Drive and Glendale Blvd.) at the Atwater Crossing Arts + Innovation Complex, Los Angeles, CA 90039. Free, ample lot and street parking. Opens Friday, April 4. Regular performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm & Sundays at 2pm. Closes Saturday, May 3. Special student matinees are Tuesdays and Wednesdays from April 8 - 30. Tickets are $20; $15 for Students. For tickets, please call (818) 710-6306 or buy online at

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