Hansol Jung's Modern Verse Translation of ROMEO AND JULIET to Begin Performances Off-Broadway This Week

Performances will begin Tuesday May 9th and continue through June 3rd only, with opening night set for May 14th, at the Lynn F. Angelson Theater.

By: May. 08, 2023
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Hansol Jung's Modern Verse Translation of ROMEO AND JULIET to Begin Performances Off-Broadway This Week

NAATCO will begin performances for the Off-Broadway premiere of Hansol Jung's modern verse translation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the classic tale of star-crossed lovers. Jung will co-direct Romeo and Juliet with Dustin Wills, who directed the recently acclaimed sold-out hit, Wolf Play, which was written by Hansol Jung. Wolf Play just received the most 2023 Lortel Awards - 5, including Outstanding Play (for Hansol Jung) and Outstanding Director (Dustin Wills).


Performances will begin Tuesday May 9th and continue through June 3rd only, with opening night set for May 14th, at the Lynn F. Angelson Theater (136 East 13th Street). Tickets are on sale at NAATCO.org.

"I was immediately enamored of Hansol's modern verse translation of Romeo and Juliet when I first read it for Play On in early 2019. Presenting European and American classics with all-Asian American casts is the foundational repertory of NAATCO. This Romeo and Juliet combines that program with another one of ours, the adaptation of a western classic by an Asian American playwright. Hansol and Dustin bring an unusual perspective to the familiar story, leaning into the comedy so that the tragedy is in devastating relief: 'See what a scourge is birthed to scorn your hate/That heaven found means to kill your joys with love.' One of the last few lines of the play, we are asked to think on the consequences of 'rusty hate,'" said NAATCO co-founder and Actor-Manager Mia Katigbak.

The all Asian-American cast includes Purva Bedi as Friar Laurence, Major Curda as Romeo, Jose Gamo as Mercutio, Brian Lee Huynh as Capulet, Zion Jang as Benvolio, Mia Katigbak as the Nurse, Rob Kellogg as Paris/Tybalt, Dorcas Leung as Juliet, and Daniel Liu as Peter/Lady Capulet, with the full company appearing as the ensemble. The creative team includes Brian Quijada (composer), Junghyun Georgia Lee (scenic design), Mariko Ohigashi (costume design), Joey Moro (lighting design), Megumi Katayama (sound design), Rick and Christian Sordelet (Fight/Intimacy Directors), and Aaron Malkin (dramaturg), with casting by Andrea Zee. Nygel D. Robinson will serve as Music Director.


Hansol Jung's credits include Wolf Play (Artist Rep, Soho Rep/Ma-Yi ), Wild Goose Dreams (Public Theater, La Jolla Playhouse), Cardboard Piano (Humana Festival), Among the Dead (Ma-Yi), and No More Sad Things (Sideshow, Boise Contemporary). Residencies/Fellowships: Hodder, Royal Court, NYTW, Berkeley Repertory, MacDowell, Hedgebrook, Sundance Theatre Lab, and Page 73. Awards: Steinberg Award, Whiting Award, DGF Award, Helen Merrill Award. TV: "Tales of the City" (Netflix), "Pachinko" (Apple +).

Dustin Wills's upcoming work includes A Boy's Company Presents: "Tell Me If I'm Hurting You" by Jeremy O Harris and Wet Brain by John J. Caswell (Playwrights Horizons). Notable: Wolf Play by Hansol Jung (MCC, Soho Rep, Ma-Yi), Montag by Kate Tarker (Soho Rep), Frontières Sans Frontiéres (Top Ten Theatrical Productions 2017 - New York Magazine) by Phillip Howze at the Bushwick Starr, Mikhail Bulgakov's Black Snow adapted by Keith Reddin (Juilliard), and a Baryshnikov Arts Center Residency for AWFUL EVENT! Recent opera: Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and Handel's Alcina with Yale Opera. He has created large-scale community puppet projects with Creative Action, devised new work for Teatro L'Arciliuto in Rome, is a two-time recipient of the Princess Grace Award for Theatre, a Drama League and Boris Sagal directing fellow, and for a couple of years gave rogue tours of the Vatican. MFA: Yale School of Drama.


Romeo and Juliet was originally commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Play On Project and will be presented in partnership with Two River Theater.

Play On Shakespeare is a non-profit company promoting and creating contemporary modern translations of Shakespeare's plays. Play On partners with artists and organizations across the globe to deliver and advocate for these translations through different channels, including theatrical productions, podcasts, publications, and film. For more information, visit playonshakespeare.org. Play On Shakespeare is made possible through generous support of the Hitz Foundation.

Immediately prior to this Off-Broadway engagement, Two River Theater, in
partnership with NAATCO, presented the world premiere from April 8th through April 30th.

NAATCO

was founded in 1989 by Mia Katigbak and Richard Eng to assert the presence and significance of Asian American theatre in the United States, demonstrating its vital contributions to the fabric of American culture. NAATCO puts into service its total commitment to Asian American theatre artists to more accurately represent onstage the multi- and inter-cultural dynamics of our society. By doing so, they demonstrate a rich tapestry of cultural difference bound by the American experience. The enrichment accrues to each different culture as well as to America as a whole. NAATCO was the recipient of the Obies' Ross Wetzsteon Award, the Lucille Lortel Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women for their work "highlighting the multi- and intercultural dynamics of our society" and the Rosetta LeNoire Award from Actors' Equity Association in recognition of its contribution toward increasing diversity and non-traditional casting in American theatre. NAATCO was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play, as well as Outstanding Costume Design for a Play for their acclaimed production of Henry VI: Shakespeare's Trilogy in Two Parts. Additionally, NAATCO founder and Artistic Producing Director Mia Katigbak was honored in 2019 by a Special Drama Desk Award: "the backbone of the Off-Broadway scene, we acclaim her for her performances this season in Henry VI: Shakespeare's Trilogy in Two Parts, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine, Peace for Mary Frances and Recent Alien Abductions. This award also recognizes her vital presence as the artistic director of NAATCO and her sustained excellence as a performer and mentor." Peter Kim is NAATCO's Creative Producer. For the company, he has produced Out of Time at The Public Theater, Caryl Churchill's What If If Only, Henry VI: Shakespeare's Trilogy in Two Parts (two Drama Desk nominations), Awake and Sing! (OBIE Award and Drama League Award nomination), [Veil Widow Conspiracy], Charles Francis Chan Jr.'s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery and Sagittarius Ponderosa. Through the NAATCO National Partnership Project (NNPP), he has produced Public Obscenities with Soho Rep and QUEEN with Long Wharf Theatre. He has acted in NAATCO's Charles Francis Chan..., The Seagull, and He Who Says Yes/No, and on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regionally. Film/TV credits include Billy Eichner's BROS, The Forty-Year-Old Version (Netflix/Sundance Film Festival Directing Award), The God Committee, Saturday Church (2017 Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award), Margin Call, Sex and the City, Hackers, "After Forever," "Chicago Med," "Ugly Betty," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." He is a Steering Committee member OBIE and Tony Honor winning AAPAC (Asian American Performers Action Coalition); Lecturer in Theater at Princeton University; co-creator of the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway comedy, SIDES: The Fear is Real. He recently produced Radha Blank's exhibition room for The Costume Institute's In America: An Anthology of Fashion at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. He is a recipient of the 2020 Rising Leaders of Color grant from TCG (Theatre Communications Group) and the Lilah Kan Red Socks Award. He holds an MFA from Yale School of Drama and a BFA from New York University.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit NAATCO.org.


Purva Bedi

(Friar Laurence). Off-Broadway: Wives (Playwrights Horizons), Dance Nation (Drama Desk Award, Playwrights Horizons), Passage (Soho Rep), India Pale Ale (Manhattan Theater Club), An Ordinary Muslim (New York Theatre Workshop), Uncommon Sense (Tectonic Theatre Project), IDIOT! (HERE), Veil'd (WP), Rise of Dorothy Hale (St. Luke's). With Target Margin Theater as Associate Artist: Reread Another, Tempest, Second Language, Ten Blocks on the Camino Real, Old Comedy, 5 Hysterical Girls Theorem. Regional: Rice Boy (Mark Taper), My Wandering Boy (South Coast Rep). Select Film: The Assistant, Sully, Homebody, The Surrogate, Equity, Kumare, Cosmopolitan, Green Card Fever, American Desi. TV: "One of Us is Lying," "Billions," "High Maintenance," "She's Gotta Have It Too," "The Code," "Person of Interest," "Madame Secretary," "Nurse Jackie." Member Actors Center Workshop Company. Co-Creator Assembled Identity (HERE). Purva studied at Williams College, BADA and Public Theatre Shakespeare Lab.

Major Curda

(Romeo) was last seen opposite South Korea's recording superstar Luna in the Broadway musical KPOP! Major is a multi-disciplinary storytelling artist who is overjoyed and truly humbled to be working with such a phenomenal AAPI cast & creative team on Romeo & Juliet. Select TV/Film credits: CW's "Riverdale," Netflix's "Atypical," Nickelodeon's "The Thundermans" and "Game Shakers." Godlike: A League Film. Select theater credits: Flounder in Broadway's The Little Mermaid (2009), The Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Tour/NYC) and The King and I (Dallas Summer Musicals). Recent graduate of the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. Siti Company Alum. NHSI Cherub. Member of One Year Lease Theatre Co.

Jose Gamo (Mercutio) (he/him) is a Filipino artist born and raised in Indonesia. Theater includes: The Great Leap at Arc Stages; Cymbeline, Much Ado About Nothing, Richard II, The Heart of Robin Hood at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival; Forbidden Colors at LaMama. Screen: "Instinct" on CBS. Training: Fordham University, London Dramatic Academy. www.jose-gamo.com

Brian Lee Huynh

(Capulet) has appeared in War Horse (Lincoln Center Theater) on Broadway. His Off-Broadway credits include A Clockwork Orange (New World Stages) and The Light Years (Playwrights Horizons). Regional credits include Pride and Prejudice (Long Wharf Theatre), Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (Huntington), The Engagement Party (Hartford Stage), Vietgone (Denver Center for the Performing Arts), The 39 Steps (Triad Stage), Sherlock Holmes (Portland Stage Co.), Auctioning the Ainsleys and A Single Shard (People's Light). Television credits include appearances on "Instinct," "Gotham," "Madam Secretary," and "Elementary." Mr. Huynh holds a BFA from Ithaca College and an MFA from The Old Globe/University of San Diego.

Zion Jang

(Benvolio) Off-Broadway debut! Regional: Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure (Portland Stage).

Mia Katigbak

(Nurse) is the actor-manager and co-founder of the award-winning, New York City based NAATCO (National Asian American Theatre Co.), with whom she has acted extensively. Selected NAATCO productions: Out of Time, commissioned by NAATCO; the U.S. premiere of Caryl Churchill's What If If Only, a remote live production; Henry VI, Shakespeare's Trilogy in Two Parts (St. Clair Bayfield Award); Awake and Sing! (Obie Award). Other selected productions: Russian Troll Farm, an on-line, live-edited play, which received an Obie Special Citation this year; A Delicate Balance (Transport Group); Dear Elizabeth (WP); Ivo van Hove's Scenes From a Marriage (NYTW); Good Person of Szechwan (Foundry/Public Theater) as well as productions with: LCT3, Soho Rep, Public Theater, New Georges, Foundry, New Group, Ma-Yi, Target Margin, Clubbed Thumb, Bushwick Starr. Regional work: Two River Theater (NJ), Yale Rep and Long Wharf (CT), the Humana Festival at the Actors Theater in Louisville (KY), Berkeley Rep (CA), and the Guthrie (MN). International: Manila, Philippines and Abu Dhabi, UAE. Television: "How to Get Away With Murder" (ABC), "The Sinner" (USA), "Chicago PD" (NBC), "Mysteries of Laura" (NBC), and "Conviction" (NBC). Awards: USA Fellow (2021); TCG's 2017 Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellow for Distinguished Achievement; Special Drama Desk Award (2019); Otto René Castillo Award for Political Theater; NYIT for Artistic Achievement; Lily Award for Trailblazing; Lucille Lortel and the Lee Reynolds Awards (League of Professional Theatre Women); Actors Equity's Rosetta LeNoire Award. She holds a BA from Barnard College and an MA from Columbia University.

Rob Kellogg

(Paris/Tybalt). Television credits include "Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin" (HBO), "Uncoupled" (Netflix), and "FBI" (CBS). Favorite regional credits include Davis (Red Light Winter), Orsino (Twelfth Night), Orlando (As You Like It), Malcolm (Macbeth) and Dev (W.P. of Quentin Nguyen-Duy's Amputees). Most recently, he played in Spring Awakening (Northern Stage) and Shakespeare Unplugged (Powerhouse Theatre). He trained at LAMDA and received his BFA from Boston University, where his performance thesis centered around his identity as a white-passing Japanese American, exploring the inheritance of the oppressed and the oppressor. In 2022, he founded The Itch Art Collective, which seeks to re-platform young artists affected by the pandemic.

Dorcas Leung

(Juliet) (she/her) Broadway: Miss Saigon (Gigi Van Tranh), 1st National Tour: Hamilton (Eliza, Angelica, Peggy/Maria), Regional Favorites: Chicago Shakespeare (The Notebook, world premiere), Classic Stage Company (Dou Yi in Snow in Midsummer), Berkeley Rep (Despereaux in The Tale of Despereaux), St. Louis MUNY (Les Misérables), Dallas Theater Center (Cosette in Les Misérables, A Christmas Carol), Barrington Stage Company (Little Red in Into the Woods), Goodspeed Opera House (Bye Bye Birdie). Film/television includes: "Bull," "Madam Secretary."

Daniel Liu

(Peter/Lady Capulet) is a graduate of Yale School of Drama, and Northwestern University. Previous theater credits include: Roundabout Theatre Company's You Will Get Sick by Noah Diaz, directed by Sam Pinkleton, LCT's workshop of Broadway revival Camelot, by Aaron Sorkin, directed by Bartlett Sher, and Yale Repertory's production of Girls, by Brendan Jacob Jenkins, directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz. Daniel has also appeared on the hit series "Search Party."




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