SHAKESPEARE’S R&J – JUNE 1

Adapted by Joe Calarco
Directed by Peter Vamvakas
Tuesday, June 1, 2021 – 7 pm

Four young students of an exclusive girls’ boarding school, tired of going through the usual drill of conjugating Latin and other tedious school routines, decide to vary their very governed lives. After school, one breaks out a copy of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and they all take turns reading the play aloud. The Bard’s words and the story itself are thrilling to the girls, and they become swept away, enmeshed in the emotion so much so that they break school rules to continue their readings. The rigidity of their lives begins to parallel the lives of the characters in the play: roles in the family, roles in society, and the roles played by men and women soon seem to make all the sense in the world, and then, suddenly, they seem to make no sense at all. Although they had been taking turns playing all the parts, two eventually emerge playing Romeo and Juliet exclusively, bringing a whole new dimension to the proceedings. Perceptions and understanding are turned upside-down as the fun of play-acting turns serious, and the words and meanings begin to hit home and universal truths emerge.

Peter Vamvakas (Director)
Peter is proud to again be directing with Pride Arts Chicago where he most recently directed a reading of TWELFTH NIGHT. Other directing credits include 10 musical theater productions for NTYA Musical Theatre for Young Audiences; THE NUTCRACKER (Theatre at the Center); AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITOR, assistant director/fight captain (Chamber Opera Chicago); SEASCAPE, DIAL ‘M’ FOR MURDER, ROBIN HOOD, BROKEN GLASS (Bowen Park Theatre Company); Shakespeare by the Sword (Theatre of Western Springs); HARMONY HIGH (Kahilu Theatre, HI). Performance credits include Antonio/Sea Captain in TWELFTH NIGHT (Pride Arts Chicago); Captain A.J. Smith in TITANIC (Jeff Award nomination/best musical Griffin Theatre Co.); Dr. Tambourri in PASSION (Jeff Award, best musical-Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre); The Porter/First Murderer in MACBETH and The Player King and Gravedigger in HAMLET (Shakespeare on the Green); Robert Ewell in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and Will in THE DEVIL’S ARITHMETIC (Apple Tree Theatre).