ST. PETERSBURG — As part of its virtual return, American Stage will present the Shakespeare Lite production of “Romeo & Juliet” on Sunday, June 7, 2 p.m., via a live Zoom performance.
To register, visit zoom.us/webinar/register/2815901550853/WN_8LFLeoLWT2eU5zYYweVwqQ.
The production is one of four plays — each to be performed in less than an hour — American Stage will serve up in its Shakespeare Lite Festival. Each play will feature favorite American Stage actors.
“Romeo & Juliet” will be directed by Kristin Clippard, American Stage associate artistic director. In this quintessential Shakespeare story of young love, two star-crossed lovers from feuding families are determined to be together at all costs. Before the performance, viewers will enjoy a brief prologue with insight into the play’s action and characters. Following the play, there will be a chat-back session featuring a Q&A with the cast and director.
The cast of “Romeo & Juliet” will feature Julia Rifino as Juliet; Andrew Coleman as Romeo; Billy Finn as Mercutio/Paris/Abram; Benjamin T. Ismail as Tybalt/Paris’ Page; Amanda Schlachter as Lady Cap/Gregory; Roxanne Fay as Nurse/Sampson; John Perez as Benvolio/Friar Lawrence; Kianna Jackson as Prince/Apothecary; and Richard Watson as Capulet/Balthasar.
Longtime American Stage patrons may recall that “Romeo and Juliet” served as the production for Shakespeare in the Park during the 2002-03 season.
Shakespeare Lite is one component of the theater’s virtual return.
“While the current pandemic crisis has closed our doors to live events indefinitely, we have had the opportunity to consider the core of our mission and determine how to move forward in a time of such great uncertainty,” said Stephanie Gularte, CEO/producing artistic director at American Stage. “Ultimately, underlying all of our work is the goal of uniting our community through the shared human experience via stories and classes that promote connection and empathy. Our virtual programs will allow American Stage to continue to provide a sense of community unity and to help keep us all connected.”
American Stage has developed virtual engagement programs dedicated to keeping the community connected through the powerful experiences of live storytelling and impactful arts education. The new launch includes Virtual Stage, where the stage and the digital world come together; and Virtual Academy, an online classroom where students of all ages have the opportunity to explore new people, places and ideas safely from home.
Following is a look at the Shakespeare Lite Festival schedule:
- “Romeo & Juliet” — June 7, 2 p.m.
- “Comedy of Errors” — June 14, 2 p.m.
- “Othello” — June 21, 2 p.m.
- “Twelfth Night” — June 28, 2 p.m.
Most Shakespearean plays include mature situations and are best suited for audiences older than 12. For additional information, visit americanstage.org.