Press Release: The Ritz Theatre Co. Brings Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to the Main Stage
The Ritz Theatre Company’s spring show is a timeless masterpiece of love and conflict: Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Romantic and exciting, this classic piece of theatre remains a favorite in hearts and classrooms all over the world. The star-crossed lovers, who set the standard for every romantic moment on stage, will come to life in the spring of 2018! We will fill the stage with Renaissance beauty and swirling sword play!
“We are taking several extra steps to assure that this production is accessible to our audience in every way,” explains Ritz Artistic Director Bruce Curless. “Some theatre audiences have found Shakespeare’s work a little difficult to follow, but his language is romantic and poetic, so we are working extra hard to present this action-packed love story with richly stunning visuals and sound. Our costumes are colorful, we are bringing in a sound designer, text coach, and fight choreographers, just for this show!”
Text coach J.J. Van Name explains: “A text coach listens very carefully to the actors during rehearsals and assists them in making choices in the delivery of the language by ‘lifting / heightening’ certain words and phrases so that their meaning and intention become more accessible to the audience . . . all the while remaining natural, and true to their own voices. Shakespeare imbedded lots of ‘clues’ in the text for the actors as to how to do this most effectively, which words to ‘lift’ and give a bit more energy to. Often the tiniest adjustment in a line in this way creates a huge ‘Ah ha!’ moment of deeper understanding and clarity in the meaning and delivery of the lines for the actor as well as the audience.”
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in his career about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare’s most popular plays during his lifetime, and along with Hamlet, is one of his most frequently performed plays.
Believed to have been written between 1591 and 1595, the play was first published in 1597.
In the 20th and into the 21st century, the play has been adapted in versions as diverse as George Cukor’s 1935 film Romeo and Juliet, Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 version Romeo and Juliet, and Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 MTV-inspired Romeo + Juliet.
Ritz Theatre Romeo and Juliet Cast
Katie Knoblock as Juliet
Christian Ryan as Romeo
Jim Ludocivi as Friar Laurence
Jared Calhoun as Mercutio
Tommy Foy as Benvolio
Denise Buzz as Nurse
Scott Partenheimer as Tybalt
Casey Williams-Ficarra as Lady Capulet
Craig Hutchings as Lord Capulet
Iraisa Ann Reilly as Lady Montague
John Nicodemo as Lord Montague
Rob Hargraves as Prince Escalus
Robert Repici as Paris
Josiah Hutchings as Samson/Peter
Emily McHale as Gregory
Dominic Ciarrocchi as Abram
George Hamilton as Balthazar
Faith McCleery as Rosaline
Lauren Berman as Page
Ritz Theatre Romeo and Juliet Production Team
Director – Bruce A. Curless
Asst. Director – Emily McHale
Text Coach – J.J. Van Name
Stage Manager – Alexis Snyder
Dance Scene Choreography – Ann Moser Trenka
Fight Choreography – Sean McGarry and Dominic Ciarrocchi
The Ritz Theatre Gallery, adjacent to our lobby, was created to showcase local artists who are typically unique, unusual, and full of emotion. During the Romeo and Juliet run, artist Abia Johnson will be exhibiting his scratch portraits. Shown in the example in our epk is actor Dominic Ciarrocchi, as Abram of the House of Montague, who he will be portraying in Romeo and Juliet.
The Ritz Theatre Company was founded over thirty years ago to bring live, quality, professional productions to our region … and we’re still doing it today.
Throughout our history, we’ve aspired to make theatre accessible to everyone, to entertain our audiences with favorites, to challenge them (and ourselves) with complex works, to provide on-stage training for actors, to introduce kids to the magic of live theatre, and to help restore the historic building we call our home.
Managed by our staff, supported by a dedicated volunteer base, bolstered by our loyal subscribers, and sustained by our generous sponsors and donors, the Ritz remains a gem in the community we gratefully serve.