Star-crossed lovers, feuding families and the powerful tug of teen-age angst take center stage in a new adaptation of Shakespeare's “Romeo and Juliet,” Tuesday, April 25 at 10 a.m. in the Smith Opera House. The ninety-minute performance, created by TheatreworksUSA, is adapted for a teen-age audience and is suitable for students in middle and high school. The show is part of The Smith's ArtSmart Theatre for Young People Series. Lesson plans and a teacher's guide are available.
In this critically acclaimed eleven-actor production of the classic text with a pulsing rock incidental score, Theatreworks takes Shakespeare's language to the streets of a futuristic crumbling urban wasteland called Verona. Here, the star-crossed children of two warring clans secretly dare to love amid eruptions of violence and familial hatred. Although the Capulets and the Montagues suffer the loss of their children, they realize that their hatred can only lead to tragedy, and they vow a new course of harmony, understanding, and peace.
According to director Rob Barron, the classic tale was chosen for adaptation because it addresses timeless teen issues of family discord, peer pressure and the passion of first love. “Shakespeare's play resonates powerfully, even centuries after it was originally written, addressing contemporary issues of violence, conformity and communication and miscommunication between parents and children,” says Barron, a Yale School of Drama graduate and a veteran Theatreworks playwright/director.
Founded in 1961, TheatreworksUSA is America's foremost professional theatre for young and family audiences. The company creates imaginative, sophisticated shows that are educational, entertaining and thought-provoking. Theatreworks has received the Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel awards, as well as the William M. Dawson Award from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters.
Tickets for the performance are $4.50, with discounts available for groups of 20 or more and may be reserved by contacting the Smith Opera House. Home schoolers and public and parochial school students are invited to attend. Information is also available at www.TheSmith.org.
The Smith Opera House is located at 82 Seneca Street in Geneva. Call 315-781-LIVE or toll-free 1-866-355 LIVE for additional information. The Smith is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, the City of Geneva, the Town of Geneva and by contributions from individual supporters. This production is generously sponsored by the Lyons National Bank and the Delavan Foundation.
This is the final show in the 2005/06 “ArtSmart” series. A limited number of $100 busing subsidies for school districts are still available. Contact The Smith for details or to reserve space.