Shakespeare's ROMEO AND JULIET Comes To Hollywood Fringe Festival
Tim Venable first fell in love with Shakespeare's classic love tragedy when he read it in his 10th grade English class. Seeing the play, watching Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrmann's film versions in college, and playing Balthasar and Benvolio in two different productions have all added to his passion for what he believes is The Bard's best work.
But...for Venable, there has always been something missing.
Now, he is thrilled to present his unique take on Romeo and Juliet, playing this June at The Broadwater as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival.
This visceral, raw, modern production of Shakespeare's timeless tale of forbidden love and sacrifice is stripped to its base nature, not hiding behind exquisite costumes or grand sets, but rather baring itself and its true power with a bold ensemble of ten actors embodying some of the most romantic language ever written for the stage. Venable and his cast focus on the beauty in the simplicity in bringing to life this extraordinary story of immense joy, sorrow, rage, grief and love.
"I have wanted to produce and direct this magnificent Shakespeare play for a long time, but in larger theatres a lot of the raw, relentless, beautiful, unpredictable energy of the play gets buried in elaborate sets and costumes, even if it happens to be a modern setting," Venable said. "I have found an ensemble of brave, bold, brilliant actors, willing to strip all of that away, and think differently about themselves playing these roles."
As such, this production features a distinctive approach to casting. This production of Romeo and Juliet features a female Mercutio and Friar Laurence as well as a male Nurse, to name a few.
"What happens when Mercutio is a woman?" Venable said. "What does it mean that Juliet has grown up with a male Nurse? This changes the dynamic of many, many moments of the play that so many of us have grown accustomed to, and therefore creates an immediacy and aliveness of who these people are moment to moment. I also have the great fortune of having two of Los Angeles' finest stage actors playing Juliet and Capulet, who also happen to be father and daughter in real life: Connor Kelly-Eiding and Paul Eiding. It is a rare and exciting opportunity to not only have tremendous artists, but an intimacy and family relationship that is deep, powerful, full of love, and real.
Venable has played both Hotspur and Pistol in Henry IV with Shakespeare & Co. and Benvolio and Horatio in Romeo and Juliet with A Noise Within. He has also performed with The Antaeus Company, Son of Semele Ensemble and Portland Stage Company. While he's excited about Fringe, he also hopes his production of Romeo and Juliet finds life in a co-production with a local theatre company after the festival closes.
"I want audiences to feel how I feel about this play," Venable said. "It takes my breath away, and particularly the stunning genius of Juliet. There are these moments that are so beautiful, funny, devastating, real, and human, that I think get lost in the sort of 'greatest hits' understanding we have, or think we have of what happens, and who these people are. We are going to be in such close proximity to the audience, and removing so much of the artifice, that I think people will have a visceral, emotional experience of Romeo and Juliet they've never had before. "
Romeo and Juliet
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Tim Venable
Produced by Desperate Kingdom Theatre Company
This visceral, raw, modern production of Shakespeare's timeless tale of forbidden love and sacrifice Romeo and Juliet is stripped to its base nature, not hiding behind exquisite costumes or grand sets, but rather baring itself and its true power with a bold ensemble of ten actors embodying some of the most romantic language ever written for the stage. Theatre veteran Tim Venable and his cast focus on the beauty in the simplicity in bringing to life this extraordinary story of immense joy, sorrow, rage, grief and love.
DATES AND TIMES:
Part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival
Sunday, June 3 - 5:30 p.m. (*preview)
Friday, June 8 - 7 p.m.
Saturday, June 9 - 1 p.m.
Wednesday, June 13 - 7 p.m.
Thursday, June 14 - 5 p.m.
LOCATION: The Broadwater Black Box
General Admission: $10
*Student discounts available
FOR MORE INFORMATION: