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NAATCO Announces ROMEO AND JULIET as Second Production for National Partnership Project

ROMEO AND JULIET is presented in partnership with Two River Theater of NJ.

NAATCO Announces ROMEO AND JULIET as Second Production for National Partnership Project

NAATCO (National Asian American Theatre Company) has announced the second production for the NAATCO National Partnership Project (NNPP): Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, in a modern verse translation by Hansol Jung, in partnership with Two River Theater of NJ (TRT).

As a part of the NAATCO National Partnership Project (NNPP), NAATCO will produce, in partnership with Two River Theater, this modern verse translation of the Shakespeare classic by South Korean playwright, Hansol Jung (Wild Goose Dreams, Cardboard Piano). The translation was originally commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival as part of Play On Shakespeare. The production will be part of TRT's planned festival around Romeo and Juliet.

In anticipation of the full production, an all-Asian American cast will read the play in TRT's current Benefit Reading Series, Two River Rising. A two-part live event will begin on Wednesday, September 30th (Act 1) and then Act 2, followed by a Q&A, on Thursday, October 1st, both at 7:00 PM EDT. The cast will feature Tina Chilip, Joel de la Fuente, Stephanie Hsu, David Huynh, Vanessa Kai, Mia Katigbak, Andrew Pang, Jon Norman Schneider, Mitchell Winter, and Jeena Yi. Chay Yew directs the reading.

Mia Katigbak, the Artistic Producing Director of NAATCO, says: "Upon reading Hansol's translation of Romeo and Juliet, I immediately wanted to produce it. After we launched the NNPP, I felt that it would be the perfect project for our partnership with Two River Theater. John Dias, TRT's Artistic Director, has a long and expert history with Shakespeare, has deep insights into his works and their interpretation, and is attentive to their modern accessibility. He is also forward thinking, and shares my commitment to the representation of a multiplicity of cultures and ethnicities onstage. It is a commitment that we know takes continuous, unified effort, one that can exemplify the best of American ideals."

"To most theater lovers, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is a dramatic palimpsest; resonant and complicated, it remains a core myth for many. Itself layered with borrowed stories and cultural appropriation, R&J beats with a universal heart of love and hate. The play still has much to teach us and I love the echoes and layers that Hansol has added to it," says Two River's John Dias.

This will be NNPP's second confirmed project with a partner, joining the previously announced production of Queen by Madhuri Shekar, directed by Aneesha Kudtarkar ([Veil Widow Conspiracy]), to be presented in partnership with Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven CT. Last year NAATCO announced a partnership with Long Wharf Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, Soho Rep, and New Jersey's Two River Theater to create a national initiative to ingrain the inclusion of Asian American theatre artists, technicians, administrators, and community members in the American theatre. A new cohort of partners will be announced later this fall.

Under the leadership of Founding Artistic Producing Director Mia Katigbak and co-founder Richard Eng, NAATCO was founded in 1989 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 intercultural dynamics of our society. By doing so, they demonstrate a rich tapestry of cultural difference bound by the American experience. NAATCO is the recipient of the Obies' Ross Wetzsteon Award, the Lucille Lortel Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women, 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.

For more information about the NAATCO National Partnership Project (NNPP) or any of NAATCO's programs, visit www.naatco.org



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