Love Is Love In Theatre Presents LILA's Reimagined ROMEO & JULIET
Love is love. This was true for Romeo and Juliet - as they were originally conceived by William Shakespeare - as two young lovers from rival families in Renaissance Italy. It is equally true with Theatre LILA's bold new adaptation, featuring two young women who fall in love, despite the differences in their backgrounds. The Capulets are an affluent, racially-blended, Afro-Latino family, while the Montagues are a middle-class, white family. Featuring both English and Spanish languages; original music, movement, and dance; and the poetry of Shakespeare; Romeo & Juliet: A Theatre LILA Invention will be presented as a world premiere at Overture Center for the Arts, March 14 - 17, 2019.
Directed by Theatre LILA Artistic Director Jessica Lanius, featuring original music by GW Rodriguez, choreography by AJ Juarez, and the performances of Michael Herold, Clare Haden, Peter Hunt, and Jessica Jane Witham. The roles of Romeo and Juliet will be played by Kelsey Rodriguez and HJ Farr.
Schools shows: March 13 & 14 at 9:30 am
General Audience: March 14, 15, 17 at 7:30 pm
March 16 & 17 at 2:30 pm
General Admission: $39 for adults, $25 for students
Overture Center, Promenade Hall
For tickets, call 608-258-4141 or visit overturecenter.org.
Theatre LILA's adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet continues a long tradition of taking inspiration from the world's best loved romantic tragedy and changing it slightly to fit a new time period, medium, or social struggle. To create this adaptation, Theatre LILA Artistic Director Jessica Lanius worked with various collaborators, cutting the playing time down to 120 minutes and translating some passages into Spanish. The adaptation will serve Theatre LILA's aesthetic and the dual language component is designed to encourage meaningful interactions between Spanish-speaking audience members and Shakespeare's timeless story.
Theatre LILA's signature sense of inventive storytelling, ensemble acting, and physicality will completely transform how the story is told. Finding new ways to embody Shakespeare's text by playing with the poetry has resulted in a multi-disciplinary tale that will be engaging on many levels.
The roles of Romeo and Juliet are both played by women; Kelsey Rodriguez and HJ Farr. The story revolves around two teen girls who fall in love, not only with someone from the "wrong" family, but also the "wrong" gender. Still forbidden in many families and cultures, their unstoppable love and passion collide with a long history of hate. Can these two young people navigate their way forward in their relationship, even as they are torn apart by racial, ethnic, and class distinctions? Topics of tolerance, forgiveness, love, violence, racism, and homophobia are at the core of this adaptation.
Traditionally, Romeo & Juliet is presented with more than 25 actors, but Theatre LILA will perform the entire play with a small company of 11 actors and 5 members of a dance ensemble. Each performer portrays multiple roles, adding to the narrative in both English and Spanish, in addition to movement and dance.