Romeo & Juliet

By William Shakespeare
Illustration by Bill Burgard

Februry 10 at 7:30 PM
February 11 & 12 at 8 PM
February 13 at 2 PM
Mendelssohn Theatre

press release | program | photographs

Press Release
ANN ARBOR  The U-M Department of Theatre and Drama presents William Shakespeare's first great tragedy and one of his most beloved works, "Romeo and Juliet." A tale of young love thwarted by circumstance, "Romeo and Juliet" plays February 10 at 7:30 PM, February 11 & 12 at 8 PM, and February 13 at 2 PM at the Mendelssohn Theatre in Ann Arbor. Philip Kerr, professor in the Department of Theatre and Drama, directs.

Written around 1594, "Romeo and Juliet" has been a favorite of audiences for over 400 years. Two young people, kept apart by their feuding families, decide to take fate into their own hands and pursue their love. However circumstances conspire to thwart their efforts as missed chances, poor timing, and mistakes prevent the lovers from finding happiness and tragedy ensues. As their families unite, finally, in sorrow, the sacrifice of the lovers is a haunting reminder of the powerful force of love. The play has inspired over 20 film adaptations, two operas, a Broadway musical, and countless dance interpretations, each finding new ways to interpret the classic tale.

Director Philip Kerr sets the production in 1930s Italy. ""Romeo and Juliet" is about the young," states Kerr. "I wanted to set the play in the past, but not too distant a past so that our student actors would have references to the period. By choosing the 1930s, we refer to an era where conflict and the elements of social change are similar to today yet still set apart from modern circumstance." The time period is emphasized primarily in the costume design with additional references in the scenery through posters from the era. The youth of the characters is also expressed in the costumes, with the use of school uniforms and varying school badges to differentiate between the feuding houses.

Joining Kerr on the artistic team is Sarah-Jane Gwillim, an assistant professor in the Dept. of Theatre and Drama, as assistant director. UM undergraduate student Anup Aurora whose designs were last seen in "The Rover" serves as lighting designer. Janine L. Woods, another undergraduate student whose lighting design work was last seen in "In Arabia We'd All Be Kings," designs scenery. Rachel Kurland, resident costume designer at Northern Stage in Vermont, makes her Department debut. Department of Theatre and Drama chair Erik Fredricksen choreographs the fight sequences while undergraduate student Erin Farrell choreographs the dance sequences for the production. The play also features original music by James Kerr.

Ticket prices are $20 and $15 reserved seating with students only $9 with ID. Tickets are available in person at the League Ticket Office, located within the Michigan League. The Ticket Office is open from 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday and 10am-1pm on Saturday. Order by phone at (734) 764-2538. All major credit cards are accepted. Tickets may also be ordered online at The Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, located at 911 N. University, is handicapped accessible and equipped with an infrared listening system for hearing enhancement.

CAST (Hometown): David Abed (Grand Ledge, MI), Chris Allen (Novi, MI)
Kirsten Mara Benjamin (Detroit, MI), Mikala Bierma (Roseville, MN)
Kate Binkow (Atlanta, GA), Kevin Buchman (Rochester Hills, MI)
Adam H. Caplan (Idyllwild, CA), Nathan Ciccolo (Newton, MA)
Matthew Coyle (Yorba Linda, CA), Karenanna Creps (Pinckney, MI)
Joanna Fetter (Highland Park, IL), De Lon Grant (Duluth, MN)
Anna Heinl (West Bloomfield, MI), Justin Patrick Holmes (Idyllwild, CA)
Elizabeth Hoyt (Manitowoc, WI), Edmund Alyn Jones (Detroit, MI)
J. Theo Klose (West Chester, PA), Kevin Kuczek (Howell, MI)
Adam Miller-Batteau (Ann Arbor, MI), Sharif Nasr (Bay City, MI)
Chelsea O'Connor (Bay City, MI), Nathan Petts (Kalamazoo, MI)
Eric Schinzer (Portage, MI), Maureen Sebastian (Novi, MI)
Rachael Soglin (Madison, WI), Anika Solveig (Minneapolis, MN)
Rob Sulaver (Dearborn, MI), James Wolk (Farmington Hills, MI)

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- Kerianne M. Tupac

Click here to view the Romeo and Juliet program as a PDF file

Production Photographs

Edmund Alyn Jones as Mercutio Maureen Sebastian as La Sonnetina

Cast David Abed as Montague and
Karenanna Creps as Lady Montague

Matthew Coyle as Paris and
Adam H. Caplan as Capulet
Chris Allen as Romeo, Rob Sulaver as Benvolio, and Justin Patrick Homes as Valentine

Anika Solveig as Juliet
and Joanna Fetter as Lady Capulet
Justin Patrick Homes, Rob Sulaver,
Edmund Alyn Jones, Chris Allen

Chris Allen The Capulet Ball

Maureen Sebastian Elizabeth Hoyt as the Nurse, Anika Solveig

Elizabeth Hoyt, Anika Solveig J. Theo Klose as Father Lawrence,
Chris Allen, Anika Solveig

Nathan Petts as Tybalt, Chris Allen De'Lon Grant as Escalus

Anika Solveig Anika Solveig and Chris Allen

Adam H. Caplan J. Theo Klose

Adam H. Caplan, Joanna Fetter Chris Allen

Anika Solveig, Chris Allen Chris Allen, Anika Solveig