NAATCO Presents Off-Broadway Premiere Of ROMEO AND JULIET By Hansol Jung

Hansol Jung will co-direct Romeo and Juliet with Dustin Wills, who directed the recently acclaimed sold-out hit, Wolf Play.

By: Mar. 31, 2023
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NAATCO Presents Off-Broadway Premiere Of ROMEO AND JULIET By Hansol Jung

Mia Katigbak, actor-manager and co-founder of NAATCO, today announced the details for the Off-Broadway premiere of Hansol Jung's modern verse translation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the classic tale of star-crossed love.

Hansol 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. Performances will begin 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.

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 the Off-Broadway engagement, Two River Theater, in partnership with NAATCO, will present the world premiere from April 8 through April 30th. Tickets are on sale online at tworivertheater.org or by calling 732/345-1400. Prices range from $40 to $70, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel & their families, and veterans. Two River Theater produces a theatrical season that includes American and world classics, new plays and musicals, programs for young people, and festivals of new work. Each year, we also offer 40+ events that reflect our diverse community of Red Bank, New Jersey. Two River produces work on two stages-the 350-seat Rechnitz Theater, and the flexible 110-seat Marion Huber Theater. The theater's recently opened Center for New Work, Education and Design is a three-story facility that includes two rehearsal studios, artist labs, classrooms, expanded shops and centrally located offices. Two River Theater has commissioned and premiered original projects including Be More Chill by Tony Award nominee Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz (the theater's first Broadway production) and Hurricane Diane by former Playwright-in- Residence Madeleine George (which won an Obie Award for its Off-Broadway run). In June 2019, Two River was nationally recognized by USA Today as one of "10 great places to see a play" across the U.S. Two River serves thousands of students and community members through arts and humanities programs at the theater, in schools and throughout its region. Two River Theater is led by Artistic Director Justin Waldman and Managing Director Nora DeVeau-Rosen.

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.




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