Independent Shakespeare Co. (ISC), presenters of the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival, will stage a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet in the company’s Atwater Village Studio. It will be directed by ISC’s artistic director Melissa Chalsma, and features choreography by J’aime Morrison-Petronio.
The most famous love story of all time gets an athletic and imaginative staging in this new adaptation that incorporates dynamic choreography and visually rich design. A cast of eight tells the story of adolescent bliss spinning out of control by combining the textual clarity ISC is known for with spirited and lyrical movement. This production is 90 minutes long and features Erika Soto and Nikhil Pai in the title roles.
Chalsma says, “We’ll be using the experimental opportunity provided by our Studio to explore how movement and stage craft helps us tell the story of Romeo & Juliet in an immediate and actor-driven way. The actors will be involved in every aspect of what the audience sees, from manipulating the lighting to creating the live sounds.”
In addition to Soto and Pai, the cast will include Kevin Angulo (Montague/Friar John), Lovelle Liquigan (Benvolio/Lady Capulet), André Martin (Capulet/Mercutio), Evan Lewis Smith (Tybalt/Friar), Bernadette Sullivan (Nurse/Apothecary) and Xavier J. Watson (Paris/Prince).
Scenic and lighting design is by Cat Sowa. Sound design is by Melissa Chalsma. Costume design is by Daniel Mahler. The stage manager is William Elsman.
Romeo & Juliet will open on Friday, April 4 and run through Saturday, May 3 at the Independent Shakespeare Co. Studio, 3191 Casitas Ave., #168, (between Fletcher Drive and Glendale Blvd.) at the Atwater Crossing Arts + Innovation Complex, Los Angeles, CA 90039. There is free, ample lot and street parking. Special student matinees are Tuesdays and Wednesdays from April 8 – 30. For tickets call (818) 710-6306 or go to http://www.iscla.org.
Pictured above: Erika Soto stars as Juliet in Independent Shakespare Co.’s new adaptation of Romeo & Juliet. Photo credit: Mike Ditz.