The Acting Company Partners With The Juilliard Drama Division For Shakespeare Tour
The Acting Company is proud to announce JULIUS CAESAR and ROMEO & JULIET, two touring productions visiting New York City schools across the five boroughs in January 2020. In an expansion of the Company's five-decade relationship with the Juilliard Drama Division, the school touring productions will for the first time feature casts of current Juilliard acting students.
Of the partnership, Acting Company Artistic Director Ian Belknap says, "Collaborating with Juilliard reconnects us to our founding principles of company, classical plays and touring, which helps actors to develop their skills by playing to diverse and varying audiences. It is exciting to be partnering together once again to take free Shakespeare to some of the neediest schools in our city. These students will experience some of the best young actors in the country at no cost."
Evan Yionoulis, Richard Rodgers Director of the Drama Division at Juilliard, says, "Our students are thrilled to be able to share their work on these exciting plays with the next generation of audiences and give them the opportunity to experience the power of Shakespeare. This collaboration with The Acting Company perfectly aligns with Juilliard's deep commitment to training artists as citizens."
From January 22-31, The Acting Company will bring productions of two of Shakespeare's most powerful works, JULIUS CAESAR and ROMEO & JULIET, into 12 schools across the boroughs of New York City, reaching up to 7,500 middle and high school students with free or low-cost performances and a range of education programs that will introduce young audiences to live theater and the themes and language of Shakespeare's compelling, poetic and timeless stories. Each school receiving a performance-the majority of them Title I-eligible schools in some of the city's most under-resourced communities-will also have the opportunity to engage in education programs with Acting Company alumni teaching artists Jimonn Cole (X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation; Hillary & Clinton), Gabriel Lawrence (The Acting Company's Julius Caesar national tour; Fairview), Katherine Puma, Joshua David Robinson (X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation), and associate artistic director Devin Brain to expand students' understanding of the two works.
Perhaps the most widely studied of Shakespeare's plays, ROMEO & JULIET is a highly relatable exploration of vendetta, violence, and the dangerous passion of youth. It reveals the beautiful idealism and dangerous impetuousness of the young, as well as the resistance to change that sometimes afflicts older generations. Directed by Mary B. Robinson, the cast of ROMEO & JULIET will feature Ella Beatty (Nurse/Gregory/Lord Montague), Lennox T. Duong (Friar Laurence/Lady Montague /Sampson/Peter), Jesse Epstein (Lady Capulet/Abram/Apothecary), Aaron Gonner (Romeo), Frank Iriele (Tybalt/Friar John/Chief Watchman), Miles Jacoby (Lord Capulet/Balthasar), Anders Craggs Keith (Mercutio/Prince), Sasha-Raphael Prissert (Benvolio/Paris/Watchman), and Morgan Scott (Juliet). Brandon Allmon-Jackson serves as production supervisor and Brianna Rafidi is the stage manager.
JULIUS CAESAR captures key features of our modern political moment, making it an engaging play to bring to schools as they work with their students to make sense of current events. The play grapples with timeless questions of power and ambition, of what moral sacrifices we are willing to make in the name of our ideals, and of the inevitable consequences of linking violence to politics. Alex Correia directs JULIUS CAESAR, featuring Oluwatobiloba Adeyemo (Casca/Lucilius), Luca Fontaine (Decius Brutus/ Murellus/Messala/Dardinius), Marianna Gailus (Portia/Trebonius/Cinna the Poet/Young Cato /Strato), Britnie Narcisse (Antony), Alexia Pores (Calphurnia/Cinna/Lucius/Titinius/Clitus/ Lepidus), Orlando Rivera (Cassius), Blake Russell (Julius Caesar/Pindarus/Voluminius), Gabriela Saker (Octavius Caesar/Metellus Cimber/Soothsayer/Popilius), and Arianna Gayle Stucki (Brutus). James Johnson serves as production supervisor and Sydney Gustafson is the stage manager.
The Acting Company's 2020 season will also include a two-show repertory performed Off-Broadway this summer at the Lucille Lortel Theater. The popular John McDonald Salon Reading Series will return with four readings of plays that align thematically with the repertory season, featuring casts of Broadway favorites and Company alumni. Further details will be announced at a later date. More information about the Shakespeare school tour and 2020 season may be found at www.theactingcompany.org.