Casting announced for “Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet” at Chicago Shakespeare
Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) announces the cast and creative team for Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet, a 75-minute abridgment of William Shakespeare’s classic tale of true love found—and tragically lost. Adapted and directed by Marti Lyons and featuring a dynamic ensemble cast, the production speaks to today’s young people about their own lives. In addition to public performances on Saturdays, this production welcomes 1,000 students each day during its five-week run in the Courtyard Theater, followed by an extensive tour to schools across the region through April 28, 2017. Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet will be performed for the public Saturdays at 11:00 a.m., February 25–March 25, 2017.
After each performance, the actors remain on stage for a question-and-answer session, before joining the audience in the Lobby for one-on-one conversations and photo opportunities.
Marti Lyons makes her Chicago Shakespeare directing debut with Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet—but this is certainly not her first experience with the Theater. She credits attending a CST production of Romeo and Juliet while in high school as her first introduction to Shakespeare’s work—and a formative moment in pursuing theater and directing as a career. In addition to serving as a Maggio Directing Fellow at Goodman Theatre in 2015, Lyons has previously directed at Lookingglass Theatre Company, Haven Theatre, Jackalope Theatre Company and Northlight Theatre. She is also an ensemble member at The Gift Theatre and an artistic associate with Sideshow Theatre.
The Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet cast includes Nate Santana (Romeo), Emma Ladji (Juliet), Karen Janes Woditsch (Nurse–through April 7), Colleen Madden (Nurse–beginning April 10), Tim Decker (Lord Capulet), Brian Grey (Mercutio/Friar John), Elizabeth Laidlaw (Prince/Apothecary), Lily Mojekwu (Lady Capulet–through April 2), Patrese D. McClain (Lady Capulet–beginning April 3), Andrea San Miguel (Benvolio), Sam Pearson (Tybalt), Cage Sebastian Pierre (Balthazar), Andrew Saenz (Paris), Peter Sipla (Peter) and Demetrios Troy (Friar Laurence). With a particular interest in exploring a world where women are positioned as strong leaders and fighters, Lyons has cast the roles of the Prince and Benvolio with women actors.
Joining Lyons on the creative team is Fight Choreographer Matt Hawkins in his 20th CST production. Creating the world of Romeo and Juliet onstage at Chicago Shakespeare and in schools across the region are Scenic Designer Courtney O’Neill, Costume Designer Mieka van der Ploeg, Lighting Designer Greg Hofmann, Sound Designer Misha Fiksel, Wig and Make-up Designer Rick Jarvie and Choreographer Stephanie Paul. Hannah Todd is the production’s Assistant Director, Rinska Carrasco joins as Directing Intern and Kathryn Walsh is Verse Coach.
Chicago Shakespeare’s Short Shakespeare! series is emblematic of the Theater’s commitment to young audiences, which has resulted in one in four audience members being age 18 or under. Whether families attending a summer musical production at Navy Pier or the free Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks tour in neighborhoods across the city, or the 40,000 students and teachers each year who participate in celebrated Team Shakespeare education programs—CST strives to bring a theater-going experience to the next generation.
In addition to five weeks of public performances, the production will host student matinee performances in the Theater’s home and then embark on a five-week tour to urban, suburban and rural schools across the Midwest. With a crew of seven and a 20-foot-long box truck, the production will transform each venue, giving students the experience of a fully realized professional performance. Chicago Shakespeare partners with teachers to extend the experience into the classroom, providing show-specific materials and activities in addition to leading free professional development workshops for teachers.
Saturday, February 25, 2017 – 11:00 a.m.
Saturday, March 4, 2017 – 11:00 a.m.
Saturday, March 11, 2017 – 11:00 a.m.
Saturday, March 18, 2017 – 11:00 a.m.
Saturday, March 25, 2017 – 11:00 a.m.
For more information, visit www.chicagoshakes.com/
Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet will be performed at Chicago Shakespeare Theater Saturdays at 11:00 a.m., February 25–March 25, 2017. Tickets are on sale now for $22–$34 (subject to change). For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater’s website at www.chicagoshakes.com.
CST strives to make its facility and performances accessible to all patrons through its Access Shakespeare programs. An Access Shakespeare performance for Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet will take place on Saturday, March 18 at 11:00 a.m. and includes ASL Duo-interpretation, Open Captioning and Audio Description.
ABOUT CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE THEATER
Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) is a leading international theater company and the recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award®. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, CST is dedicated to creating extraordinary production of classics, new works and family programming; to unlocking Shakespeare’s work for educators and students; and to serving as Chicago’s cultural ambassador through its World’s Stage Series. Through a year-round season encompassing more than 650 performances, CST attracts 225,000 audience members annually. One in four of its audience members is under eighteen years old, and today its education programs have impacted the learning of over one million students. CST is proud to take an active role in empowering the next generation of literate, engaged cultural champions and creative minds. During 2016, CST spearheaded the Shakespeare 400 Chicago festival in addition to announcing the creation of an innovative performance venue, The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare.