Dan Clegg & Rebekah Brockman to Lead California Shakespeare Theater's ROMEO & JULIET; Full Cast Announced!

California Shakespeare Theater continues its 2013 season with a theatrically inventive production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, directed by Shana Cooper (2011's Taming of the Shrew) playing at the Bruns Amphitheater July 3-28.

Ms. Cooper reimagines Shakespeare's eternal story of young love for a company of seven actors playing all the roles, crossing gender and doubling in surprising and illuminating ways. Cooper brings ferocious urgency to the story of young lovers who soar from the heights of romance only to plunge, only too quickly and needlessly, into the depths of tragedy.

The company of seven actors includes Dan Clegg (The Verona Project, 2011) as Romeo, and Rebekah Brockman (most recently Thomasina in A.C.T.'s Arcadia) as Juliet. Playing the remainder of the play's characters are: Cal Shakes Associate Artists Domenique Lozano as the Nurse and Lord Montague, and Dan Hiatt as the Friar and Lord Capulet; Ten Chimneys Foundation Lunt-Fontanne Fellow Nick Gabriel as Tybalt and Paris; Arwen Anderson, who also appeared in The Verona Project, as Benvolio and Lady Capulet; and Joseph J. Parks as Mercutio and the Apothecary.

"One of the things I love about this play is the extraordinary twists of tone," says director Shana Cooper. "The first half of the story is flooded with these little miracles of joy, love, and bawdy, bold humor that distract us from the raw, violent reality of the world. The play begins as a comedy; the more we embrace that comedic life, the steeper the fall once the deaths start."

Ms. Cooper continues, "In the miracle of the young lovers' discovery of each other we see love's capacity to transform us into our best selves, its power to transform our societies, and love's ability to overcome violence and hatred if we can find the strength and courage to remain faithful to that love."

Shana Cooper (Director) returns to Cal Shakes, having directed The Taming of the Shrew in 2011 and served as Associate Artistic Director from 2000-04. She is the cofounder of New Theater House with Yale School of Drama Alumni in 2008. Recent projects include the Unfortunates and Love's Labor's Lost (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), American Night: The Ballad of Juan José and Romeo and Juliet (Yale Repertory Theatre), the BLACK SWAN Lab (a new play workshop series at OSF), Three Sisters (The Studio/New York), and A Lie of the Mind (A.C.T. MFA program). Productions with New Theater House include A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Whale Play by Victor I. Cazares, and Twelfth Night (in collaboration with actors at OSF). Other directing credits include Oklahoma! at the Hangar Theatre (associate director), The Ghost Sonata and Richard III at Yale School of Drama, and productions at Willamette Repertory Theatre, Sonoma Repertory Theatre, Cal Shakes Student Company, Washington Shakespeare Festival, Amherst College (guest artist), Willamette University (guest artist), and Magic Theatre's Young California Writer's Project. Awards: 2010 Princess Grace Award, Julian Milton Kaufman Memorial Prize in Directing (Yale School of Drama), Drama League Directing Fellow, TCG Observership Grant, Phil Killian Directing Fellow (OSF), Jack O'Brien Directing Fellow, and G. HerBert Smith Presidential Scholarship. Ms. Cooper earned her MFA in directing from the Yale School of Drama.

The design team for American Night includes set designer Daniel Ostling, designer of Cal Shakes' productions of The Verona Project, Macbeth, and Much Ado about Nothing, and Tony award nominee for his design of the Broadway production of Clybourne Park; costume designer Christine Crook, who has designed productions for Aurora Theatre, CenterREP, the Magic, SF Playhouse, and Shotgun Players; lighting designer Lap Chi Chu, whose work has appeared at regional theaters throughout the country including Mark Taper Forum, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Old Globe, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Goodman Theater, Arena Stage, Dallas Theater Center, Public Theater, and Signature Theater; composer Paul James Prendergast, who has provided numerous soundscapes at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Guthrie, and Seattle Rep, among others; resident fight director Dave Maier, who has composed combat scenes for numerous Cal Shakes productions; and choreographer Erika Chong Shuch, who has designed movement for such Cal Shakes productions as American Night and The Tempest, in which she also played Ariel.

Subscriptions and flexpasses for the 2013 season are still available. Single tickets for Romeo and Juliet range from $20 to $72, with discounts available for seniors, students, military families, persons age 30 and under, and groups. Prices, dates, titles, and artists are subject to change. For information or to charge tickets by phone with VISA, MasterCard, or American Express, call the Cal Shakes Box Office at 510.548.9666. Additional information and online ticketing are available at www.calshakes.org.

California Shakespeare Theater's 2013 season is supported in part by the generosity of the East Bay Community Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation, the Bernard Osher Foundation, and the Shubert Foundation. Corporate season partners include BART, City National Bank, Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa, Meyer Sound, Peet's Coffee & Tea, San Francisco Magazine, and Sound Associates.

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