Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival Opens w/ Punk Fairy Tale Romeo & Juliet

Erica Soto and Nikhil Pai. Photo credit: Mike Ditz

Erika Soto and Nikhil Pai as Romeo & Juliet. Photo credit: Mike Ditz

This summer Independent Shakespeare Co. presents its imaginative and soul-stirring take on the most famous love story of all time, Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, directed by Independent Shakespeare Co.’s Artistic Director Melissa Chalsma. Romeo & Juliet is the first of two productions being presented at this year’s Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival. Much Ado About Nothing will play July 30 – August 30. Best of all, ISC Summer Shakespeare productions are FREE to the public!

Adolescent bliss spins out of control in an imaginative adaptation that incorporates an original rock score and design that is equal parts fairy tale and punk. Erika Soto and Nikhil Pai (in the title roles) lead a cast of ISC’s most popular performers. They combine the textual clarity ISC is known for with a passionate and athletic physicality to create a Romeo & Juliet that explodes off the Griffith Park stage. 

Comments Independent Shakespeare Co.’s Artistic Director, Melissa Chalsma, “Romeo and Juliet is an incredibly fast-paced play, painting an extraordinary depiction of glorious impulsiveness as well as harrowing consequences. Unique among Shakespeare’s tragedies, it is peppered throughout with indelible comic characters and deeply joyous situations. For its young protagonists, hope seems always within reach, despite all evidence to the contrary. It’s incredible to explore the youthful and desperate hearts that are the center of the play. In our production, that means devising a contemporary yet fantastical aesthetic for the set and costumes, and creating original, live, rock music as the score of the production. We can’t wait to share it with our audience!”

The cast will feature Joseph Culliton, Thomas Ehas, William Elsman, Mary Goodchild, Faqir Hassan, Aisha Kabia, Jack Lancaster, André Martin, David Melville, Xavi Moreno, Ashley Nguyen, Vladimir Noel, Nikhil Pai, Sean Pritchett, Evan Lewis Smith, Erika Soto and Bernadette Sullivan.

Season Production Design is by Caitlin Lainoff. Season Lighting Design is by Bosco Flanagan. Costume Design is by Houri Mahserejian. Composers are David Melville and Ashley Nguyen.

June 25 – July 26, 2015 (Opening night July 3)
No performance July 4
Old Zoo in Griffith Park
Directions are available on the website
Free, ample lot and street parking.
More information: (818) 710-6306 or


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Karen Zumsteg
    Jun 14, 2015 @ 12:37:20

    Looking forward to seeing this production transition from ISC’s indoor space to the park!

    Liked by 1 person


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