Recommended Minimum Age: 7
Romeo and Juliet
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Sherri Young and L. Peter Callender
Your first sight… your first touch… your first kiss? ROMEO AND JULIET, Shakespeare’s iconic story of young love, passion and innocence, is set in the 70s when the world was changing culturally and socially. But undying love dances in the vivid imagination of youth then as now. Join us as the funk, the bump, and talkin’ jive provide the rhythm of this heart-stopping, soul-dizzying story.
In partnership with Oakland School for the Arts
Teacher’s Night Out Event is sponsored by Litquake
Romeo and Juliet is iconic for first experiences. Many times the story of Romeo and Juliet is the first introduction of Shakespeare to young people either in middle or high school. Because we have a double-cast of 14 and 15 year old teens playing the leading roles, this process revealed a lot of first-time experiences for our cast as one of my Juliet ran to me after having to kiss Romeo and said, “Hold me! That was the first time I ever kissed a boy.” It is this innocence that is hard to contain and capture as we see these youths grow in front of our eyes as young adults.
We could not have asked for a better cast than the adults and youths who have taken this performance to their hearts. This production is extremely special and personal to our company. We have two company members cast in the leading roles that have worked with our organization in previous productions. We are honored to have so many emerging and seasoned professionals on this stage. One of African-American Shakespeare Company’s goals has been to cultivate the next generation of talent, artisans, and leaders in the field.
Peter and I could not accomplish this cultivation without some assistance. When I think about the wealth of emerging talent—I think of Oakland School for the Arts which advocates to have a diverse student body and to provide professional and semi-professional opportunities for their students as they develop their talent and become leading artists in the field. So a personal thanks goes out to the OSA faculty who worked with our actors to allow them to participate in this production. And a special thank you to Artistic Director of Oakland School for the Arts, Donn Harris, who continues to be a fierce advocate of providing quality art programs in the Bay Area.
I must recognize our wonderful Artistic Director, L. Peter Callender, who has so much love and passion for Shakespeare, language and the arts it becomes contagious. One cannot help but to become enthralled with the magic Mr. Callender injects on the stage. This organization could not run without his passion and leadership.
Finally, African-American Shakespeare and its board of directors dedicate this season to one of our most beloved trustee, supporter, and friend Willie C. Archie. Through his leadership as our President for three years; and his dedication to our organization we give honor to him and his beloved family. If the value of what men create lives long after we have left, then W. C. Archie has left us with a wealth of treasure.
Executive Director and Founder