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ROMEO AND JULIET Begins This Month at Wheelhouse Theater Co.

The Wheelhouse Theater Company, fresh off the heels of it's critically acclaimed production of Julius Caesar this past spring, and under the direction of Founding Artistic Director Jeffrey Wise, has announced that it will stage a searing and imaginative production of ROMEO AND JULIET, Thursday, June 23rd through July 9th at the Davenport Theatre's Black Box Theatre, 354 West 45th Street. Mr. Wise will co direct with Matt Harrington. The official opening night will be held on June 28th at 7:30PM. www.wheelhousetheatercompany.com

With ROMEO AND JULIET, The Wheelhouse Theater Company sets out to break with cliche in tackling Shakespeare's most iconic love story, mining the polarities of comedy and tragedy, love and hate, through playful, ensemble-driven work which lies at the heart of the Wheelhouse approach to theater. Recognizing that the latter half of the play mirrors the first, the company builds up a great height of comedic joy from which to fall into the depths of tragedy ... a tragedy which proves to be the only possible antidote to breaking the cycle of conflict embedded in a divided status quo that feels eerily familiar to our current cultural climate.

"One of the biggest challenges that we all face in attempting such an iconic play as "Romeo and Juliet" is our own preconceived ideas of what the play should be and is supposed to look like," says Co-Director Jeff Wise. "In an effort to keep ourselves honest, Matt and I decided to split the directorial responsibilities, which will hopefully keep us from falling into the trap of one individual idea...a sort of creative veto power over each other. The result will hopefully be a highly collaborative, physical, inventive take on the established masterpiece. I feel this process mirrors a theme most important to Shakespeare in the writing of this play that examines the need of a jarring event (spoiler alert: the tragic death of Romeo and Juliet) to break the status quo (the ancient and unexplained grudge between Montague and Capulet)."

Preview performances of ROMEO AND JULIET are on June 23, 24, 25 &27 at 7:30PM. The official opening will be on June 28th at 7:30PM, with additional performances on June 29 and July 1 at 7:30PM and July 5-9 at 7:30PM. The running time is 90 minutes, no intermission.

Co-Director Jeff Wise is the founder of The Wheelhouse Theater Company. His directorial credits include: Julius Caesar (Davenport Theater), BACK (Schubert Theater, NYU), Hamlet (Gene Frankel Theater), Henry IV Part II (Access Theater). Acting Credits: Regional-Joseph, Lend me a Tenor, The Pajama Game. NYC: Henry IV Part II, Midsummer Nights Dream, Six Degrees of Separation, The Three Sisters, Bus Stop, La Ronde, MFA: NYU.

Co-Director Matt Harrington previously appeared in the Wheelhouse's inaugural production of Julius Caesar. Broadway: Matilda the Musical (RSC), Twelfth Night and Richard III (Shakespeare's Globe), Harvey (Roundabout Theatre Company). Regional: Philadelphia Theatre Company, Berkshire Theatre Festival, TheatreWorks Palo Alto, Portland Stage, Weston Playhouse, Syracuse Stage. Television: "Boardwalk Empire," "Bored to Death," "Gravity," "The Good Wife." Training: MFA, NYU Graduate Acting.

The cast of Wheelhouse Theatre Company's ROMEO AND JULIET features Cary Donaldson, Rachel Mewbron, Rebecca S'Manga Frank, David Kenner, Mairin Lee and Brendan Titley.

ROMEO AND JULIET's Scene Design is by Brittany Vasta, Lighting Design is by Drew Florida and Costume Design is by Lilah Fisher.

Tickets are $18 and available online at http://wheelhouseromeoandjuliet.eventbrite.com
or in person at the box office, prior to each performance.



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