Jeremy Smith and Heather Leary as Romeo and Juliet.
Romeo and Juliet to bring romance to Mount Morris
Last summer The Livingston Players, directed by Chris Norton, presented the comic fantasy A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Murray Hill. The local cast of performers put on an amazing show and all who attended had a wonderful experience.
This summer they will present one of Shakespeare’s best known tragedies: Romeo and Juliet. The show will be July 26-28 at 8 p.m. and July 29 at 2 p.m. — as well as Aug. 3 and 4 at 8 p.m.
Cost is $8 per person and all proceeds benefit the arts council and the programs it supports. Performances will take place on the lawn right outside Livingston Arts; please bring lawn chairs and blankets.
Few written works are as universally known as this show, one of Shakespeare’s early masterpieces. Just because “Romeo and Juliet” is universally known does not mean most people have actually seen the show performed.
Norton has worked with the cast to bring fresh and modern interpretation to a timeless tale. “Some may be surprised to find that Shakespeare’s “star-crossed lovers” are nothing of the sort,” shares Norton. He adds, “Shakespeare’s characters are more realistic than any you will find — anywhere in any fiction. This is certainly true of Romeo and Juliet.”
The play will be performed in a modern context, including costumes.
The story of Romeo and Juliet did not originate with Shakespeare. It is a universal theme explored by a man whose greatest genius was understanding, and conveying to us, the human condition in all its great variety.
As one scholar said “Shakespeare doesn’t tell us what to think but he does tell us what to think about.”
Included in the cast are actors from throughout Livingston County. From Avon: John Gaerhig as Friar Laurence. From Geneseo: Heather Leary as Juliet, Kait Meleski as Mercutio, Bill Alden as Juliet’s father and Nate Pollock as Prince Escalus. From Nunda: Jeremy Smith as Romeo, Jay Billyard as Romeo’s father and Jane Farrell as Benvolio.
Director Norton has trained with senior actors from the Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada as well as performed roles such as Mark Antony and Berowne for the Rochester Shakespeare Players.
Norton has directed over 20 community and high school productions in Livingston County in the past decade. He also directed the Rochester Shakespeare in the Park production of “The Taming of the Shrew” in 2006 in the Highland Park bowl.