News Section: Arts and Entertainment
Asolo Debuts Romeo & Juliet Ahead of New Stages Tour
SARASOTA – Romeo & Juliet, the latest production in the Asolo Repertory Theater's New Stages tour, kicks off this month, when a 45-minute adaptation of Shakespeare’s most widely-known work will be presented to students at schools throughout the region.
The Team Montague cast
Photo by Daniel Kelly
Actors from the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training gave a special preview of the production last Thursday, with each of the tour's two teams presenting a full performance for local fans at the Cook Theatre.
Developed with students 12 and older in mind, the adaptation by Lauryn E. Sasso and Dmitry Troyanovsky manages to maintain the integrity and depth of Shakespeare's masterpiece in a stripped down and highly-accessible version.
Troyanovsky, who also directs, infuses modern attire and body language in a way that affords a familiarity to the work that is sure to play well with the teen-set, many of whom will be getting their first glimpse of live theater.
It was the second year in a row that my son and I took in the event, and after being quite impressed with the version of Macbeth that the Conservatory took on the road last season, we left last week's production equally enthused. More than 50 performances have already been scheduled at schools all throughout Tampa Bay.
We took in the evening's first show, which was performed by "Team Montague." The beautiful and exuberant Lucy Lavely was larger than life as Juliet and Maxey Whitehead, fresh off of her successful turn as director in the all-student production of Oleanna earlier that week, gave a strong multi-gender performance as both Tybalt and the nurse.
In a virtual clinic on versatility, the talented Zlatomir Moldovanski stole scenes as Mercutio, Friar Laurence and the Apothecary, while Cale Haupert also impressed in multiple roles and Jefferson McDonald offered a solid performance as Romeo.
The Conservatory's first regular production of the season, The School for Lies, opens October 29.
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