"Romeo and Juliet" set in modern-day New Orleans provides a gritty, rock-and-roll fueled take on Shakespeare’s tragedy in the coming production by Wheaton Drama. While the classic language is retained, the adaptation has a shortened running time, and women inhabit several roles traditionally played by men.
It's directed by Jeni Dees, assisted by Jo-Ann Ledger, who note it's an accessible way for audiences to experience the passion and drama of the star-crossed lovers.
Lady Capulet - Trish Ambrosio; Romeo - Garrett Ard; Sampson - Eric Faler; Rosaline - Emma Gotter; Paris - Phoenix Heart; Friar Laurence - James Hill; Friend to Juliet/Street Performer - Katie Kanturek; Police Officer/Street Performer - Emily Karnick; Fortune Teller - Jessica Keith; Capulet - Rod Kelly; Nurse - Kathy Martin; Gloria - Katheryn Pucillo; Peter/Police Officer/Street Performer - Ish Rios; Balthasar - Dan Stromquist; Mercutio - Andrew Trygstad; Abraham - John Trygstad; Montague - Tom Viskocil; Prince/Mayor - Sharon Voss; Tybalt - Eric Waddick; Young Montague - Jake Walker; William - Danny Weber; Benvolia - Lynda Wellhausen; Juliet - Nikki Wilson; Lady Montague - Leah Rae Witt.
Jackie Haiser is the production manager. Katie Lawrence and Katheryn Pucillo are the fight choreographers. Stage management is by Haiser and Lawrence.
Wheaton Drama's Summer Studio Show contains mature themes and stage combat.
The play will be performed in Playhouse 111, 111 N. Hale St., Wheaton. Performances begin at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays, June 28 to July 7. General admission tickets cost $10; contact www.wheatondrama.org or 630-260-1820.
Wheaton Drama’s 2013-14 season includes "Lend Me a Tenor,""Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," "And Then There Were None (Ten Little Indians)," "Steel Magnolias" and "The Music Man." Additional shows include "Broadway Gems: Musicals You Might Have Missed," a musical cabaret offered as a fundraiser from Aug. 9 to 11, and "It's A Wonderful Life – Radio Show," a holiday fundraiser.