Originally published in Compass, June 26, 2014
Opera House presents Shakespeare in Stonington
In celebration of Opera House Arts’ 15th Anniversary Season, OHA will present a two production repertory program, including the world premiere of a new work, opening July 3 at the Stonington Opera House, according to a news release from OHA.
OHA will offer a new production of Romeo and Juliet directed by Holly L. Derr and the world premiere of R&J&Z (Romeo & Juliet & Zombies) by Melody Bates, directed by Joan Jubett. The same eight-member, Actors Equity cast, plus multiple members of the community, including five student interns, will perform both shows. The cast features Bangor High School graduate and New York City-based actor Matt Hurley. The productions feature scenic design by Tom Lee, lighting design by Miranda Hardy, and original sound design by Mark Van Hare. The run includes two facilitated Talk Backs hosted by national cultural journalist Alicia Anstead and featuring Shakespeare scholar Yu Jin Ko of Wellesley College on July 18 and 19.
Bates’s R&J&Z, one part horror movie and one part Shakespeare with equal doses of humor, takes off from Act V of Romeo and Juliet and is written in the same iambic pentameter verse for which Shakespeare is acclaimed. The narrative asks, what if Romeo and Juliet, Western culture’s most famed star-crossed lovers, got a second chance? Set against the historical backdrop of Verona’s plague, R&J&Z throws old and new characters together over the course of an apocalyptic and action-packed 24 hours.
Show times and ticket prices vary; consult operahousearts.org for details.