Tag Archive | "Shakespeare"

East End Weekend: Highlights of What to Do August 15 to 17

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"Pont de Tournelle" by Stephen Wilkes is on view at the Tulla Booth Gallery in Sag Harbor.

“Pont de Tournelle” by Stephen Wilkes is on view at the Tulla Booth Gallery in Sag Harbor.

By Tessa Raebeck

Art, films, and alternative energy; there’s plenty to do on the East End this weekend:

 

“Water 2014″ opens at the Tulla Booth Gallery in Sag Harbor on Saturday, August 16, with an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m.

The annual exhibition features contemporary and classic photography “depicting life in and around the most powerful force of nature,” said the gallery. Dan Jones, Karine Laval, Herb Friedman, John Magarites, Blair Seagram, Tulla Booth, Anne Gabriele and Jay Hoops will show their work at the gallery, which is located at 66 Main Street in Sag Harbor.

 

Furthering on your water weekend, visit the Parrish Art Museum for the Maritime Film Festival, a 70-minute screening of short film selections, on Friday, August 15, at 7 p.m.

The program includes a brief talk by artist Duke Riley, a live musical performance and a special sampling of Sag Harbor Rum.

The Parrish Art Museum is located at 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. For more information, call (631) 283-2118.

 

Hosted by Alec Baldwin, the Hamptons International Film Festival presents “Last Days in Vietnam,” on Saturday, August 16, at 7:30 p.m.

The documentary, produced and directed by Rory Kennedy,  follows United States soldiers during the chaotic final days of the Vietnam War, when the North Vietnamese Army was closing in on Saigon as the South Vietnamese resistance crumbled.

A question and answer session will follow the screening, which will be held at Guild Hall, located at 158 Main Street in East Hampton. For more information, call the box office at (631) 324-4050.

 

The East End Climate Action Network will host its first annual Sustainability and Renewable Energy Fair on Saturday, August 16, from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the grounds of Miss Amelia’s Cottage in Amagansett Village.

The event features exhibitions from leading companies in the sustainability and renewable energy fields, as well as informal lectures from energy and environment experts, local food and fun games and other activities for kids. Local artists will perform at the end of the day.

Tony award-winning John Glover will read "The Tempest" at two outdoor performances for the new Bay Street Shakespeare Initiative.

Tony award-winning John Glover will read “The Tempest” at two outdoor performances for the new Bay Street Shakespeare Initiative.

There will also be opportunities to get involved in local sustainability and climate change efforts, including solar energy consultations, beach clean-ups and membership sign-ups for local environmental groups. For more information, visit Renewable Energy Long Island.

 

Celebrating the launch of The Bay Street Shakespeare Initiative, Bay Street Theater will present two outdoor staged readings of The Tempest starring Tony award-winner John Glover as Prospero, on August 16 and 17.

On Saturday, the first performance is a VIP benefit held on a private waterfront estate on Shelter Island. The evening, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails followed by a 7 p.m. reading, includes a reception with the cast.

Sunday’s reading, which is open to the community free of charge, also starts at 7 p.m. at a thus far undisclosed location. There will be bleacher seating, although guests are encouraged to bring chairs, picnics and blankets. The reading will take place as the sun sets, with the stars coming out as Mr. Glover reads Shakespeare’s most beloved plays.

For more information, call the Bay Street box office at (631) 725-9500.

There’s Daggers in Men’s Smiles: Shelter Island Shakespeare Continues with “Macbeth”

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A performance of "Much Ado About Nothing" at the Sylvester Manor in the summer of 2013.

An outdoor performance of “Much Ado About Nothing” at the Sylvester Manor in the summer of 2013. Photo courtesy of the Sylvester Manor.

By Tessa Raebeck

Bloodlust, revenge and sin will fill the Shelter Island Presbyterian Church this weekend, as Sylvester Manor presents “Macbeth,” one of Shakespeare’s most harrowing plays.

Sylvester Manor, with a history of arts programming that goes back to the late 19th century when members of the Sylvester family hosted “summer salons” entertaining artists and writers with poetry readings, music performances and plays, is returning to its creative roots through Shakespeare at the Manor. “Macbeth” marks the fifth production in the series.

And the Shelter Island community is part of Shakespeare at the Manor productions, with residents hosting members of the company at their homes during the length of the production, playing small roles in the show and even cooking meals for the cast.

“This engages the community beyond being members of an audience and provides everyone with the opportunity to feel connected to the excitement of the weekend. We’ve had a tremendous response from both the companies and the volunteers who have participated,” said Samara Levenstein, the co-chair of the Manor’s arts and education committee, who calls the island’s engagement in the production “community-supported theater.”

It is the fruition of Ms. Levenstein’s “pet project” to bring outdoor and site-specific theater performance to Shelter Island, in the model of Shakespeare in the Park. It started in 2011 with “As You Like It,” performed in a field surrounded by the property’s organic farm. Last summer, “Much Ado About Nothing” brought audience members to the theater, the Manor’s front lawn, by way of canoes.

Drew Foster, the director of “Much Ado About Nothing,” returns to Shelter Island for “Macbeth.” Since graduating from Julliard, Mr. Foster has been directing in Chicago and New York City. “It’s really exciting to have found a gem in Shelter Island and it has a really rich performance history,” Mr. Foster. “It’s fun to carry on the tradition that’s pretty rich within the manor already.”

Director Drew Foster.

Director Drew Foster.

For “Macbeth,” Mr. Foster chose the Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, which will highlight the religious undertones of the play and the dilemmas characters face as they grapple with murder, power and vengeance against a daunting moral backdrop.

“The question of the play is do I kill Duncan or do I not kill Duncan,” said Mr. Foster. “So when Macbeth is wrestling with these questions, he’s literally standing underneath a giant cross, so he has to use that and when someone does something sacrilegious, they’re actually doing it in a church. When the witches come and defame it, they’re literally turning the church on its head—it becomes more immediate.”

“It’s not necessarily a traditional stage or theater experience where you go into a theater and the theater is manipulated to fit the show. We actually chose the show to fit the space,” the director added. “We try to do the whole show around everyone.”

Scenes will be performed in the choir loft, behind the audience, up and down the aisles, on the altar and in the hallway, where the characters are invisible but their voices audible.

With lines as familiar as “blood will have blood,” directors can struggle with how to keep the classic Shakespeare production fresh, but rather than shy away from the challenge, Mr. Foster embraces it, happy to expand on the work of those before him.

“When you’re doing a new play, I find that much more difficult because you’re trying to create something out of nothing,” he said. “These plays have rich histories of performance, so you sort of get to borrow and learn from brilliant people who have tried it out before you.”

Mr. Foster solicited the help of his peers at Julliard and in the New York City theater world in forming the company. “Luckily, I have very talented friends,” he said of his cast. “They’re all amazing. About half of them have been on Broadway and they’re all terrific.”

Actors who attended Julliard with Mr. Foster are portraying both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Robert Eli, who plays Macbeth, has done several shows on Broadway and has a small part on the acclaimed political drama “House of Cards.” Phoebe Dunn will play his bloodthirsty wife, Lady Macbeth. “She’s just out of school,” said Mr. Foster, “very young, but very talented.”

As part of the manor’s partnership with the Shelter Island School, the cast will direct a workshop for high school students this Friday. Students will act as stagehands and ushers and a few students have small roles in the play.

“Macbeth” will be shown Friday, March 7, and Saturday, March 8, at 7 p.m. at the Shelter Island Presbyterian Church. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $7 for students age 8 through college-aged (the play is not recommended for children under 8). Tickets are available at sylvestermanor.org.

Sharing Shakespeare

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Bringing the Bard (and “The Scottish Play”) to the East End

Andrew Botsford as King Duncan, Tristan Vaughan as Malcolm and Vincent Cinque as Donalbain perform a scene from Macbeth during a rehearsal at LTV Studios on Saturday, 12/22/12. (Michael Heller photo)

 

By Annette Hinkle

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”

With that oft-quoted line from “As You Like It,” William Shakespeare offers a poignant reminder of the roles we each take on in our variable and changing lives.

But in some ways, it’s a quote that could also easily reflect the Shakespearean aspirations of Tristan and Morgan Vaughan on the East End.

The Vaughans are classically trained actors who met while earning MFA degrees at The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting (ACA) at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Both also studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, the Bard’s home turf, so to speak, which makes it a theatrical form they know well from both sides of the pond.

Now, husband and wife are looking to share their knowledge and passion for Shakespeare with the local community through a new classical theater ensemble. The Round Table Theatre Company & Academy is one in which the couple will not only produce plays, but offer classical training to local actors (and would-be actors) as well.

The new company’s first production will be “Macbeth” (aka “the Scottish play” by superstitious thespians who fear bad luck if its title is uttered within the confines of a theater). That play will run January 11 to 20 at LTV studios in Wainscott, where the Vaughans are not only producing (Tristan is directing while Morgan is the text and voice director) they are also acting — Morgan plays Lady Macbeth and Tristan is taking on the role of Malcolm.

When asked why Macbeth was chosen as the first production for the company, Tristan responds, “The main reason is our familiarity with the script. It’s also one of the shortest of Shakespeare’s plays.”

Tristan notes another reason is the 1979 film version of “Macbeth” starring Ian McKellen and Judi Dench which he saw when he was 18. At the time, he was working on a production of the play, but admittedly, didn’t understand what it was all about.

“But I realized I could appreciate it, and worked on it and came to understand it,” he adds. “Macbeth is what brought Shakespeare to life for me — working on the play and seeing that production.”

“It’s a great play,” he says. “So poetic and so tragic — and so arresting. It was no question in my mind the one to start with.”

Producing, directing, acting … though it’s not easy for the Vaughans to wear so many hats in a single production, Tristan explains the reasoning behind this decision.

“We wanted to walk the talk in terms of illuminating the text and raise people up,” says Tristan. “This first time, so we wanted people to know that we know what we’re doing.”

“It’s pragmatic too. I’m not paying two actors,” adds Tristan who admits that directing while acting is quite a challenge. “I’m not planning to do it in the future.”

“We’re feeling very overwhelmed at times,” admits Morgan. “But it’s fun for us at the same time.”

“This is the work of trying to realize a dream — getting something off the ground and feeling the energy out here and seeing what clicks,” says Tristan.

It’s an energy that was born two years ago when the Vaughans relocated to the East End from Los Angeles after a rather unfulfilling experience in the professional world of acting out there.

“We were literally told to take our classical degrees off our resumes,” says Morgan. “No one cared.”

But here on the East End, Morgan (an East Hampton native) and Tristan, who hails from Dallas, found an audience eager to partake of what they had to offer. The Vaughans began teaching Speaking Shakespeare, a class at Guild Hall, and were surprised by how quickly it caught on.

“People came out of the woodwork to do it,” recalls Morgan. “So we thought why not create a company and an academy to train people in the text who are in the nascent stages?”

“A couple people in our show took the class,” she adds. “That’s what we’re really trying to go for. A fully professional company of people who have been trained. That’s going to take a while, but the beginnings are there.”

As a result, for this inaugural production Morgan and Tristan are relying on a number of professional actors as well as those who are just cutting their teeth, so to speak, on the Bard. They believe it’s a combination that works well on stage.

“It brings the inexperienced actor up and tends to elevate them,” explains Morgan. “People rise to the occasion really amazingly. As an actress, if I’m working with someone who’s not there, it brings me down. If someone is there it brings me up.”

Taking the title role of “Macbeth” will be Jeff Keogh, an Australian native now living in Washington, D.C. Like the Vaughans, he also studied at ACA and came highly recommended by the school’s director.

“Jeff is a good example of the way we were trained,” explains Morgan. “He’s a natural actor. It’s not about this typical way of doing Shakespeare. He’s doing heightened text and you understand it because of how he delivers it. It’s very conversational and not what people expect.”

Making sure that audiences understand what Shakespeare is getting at in the text is an important goal for Tristan and Morgan. They understand that many people — Americans in particular — are intimidated by Shakespearean plays and often feel as if they don’t get it. As a result, the couple explains it’s their job to make sure it comes across in a way audiences can grasp.

“If people come to this and don’t understand, it doesn’t have to do with their level of intelligence, the actors have to convey it,” says Tristan.

“In Britain, it’s about text and technique,” explains Morgan. “In America, it’s ‘how do you feel about this?’ and bringing your own experience. We’re trying to bring both together and you can’t have one without other. With Shakespeare, the British are a little technical and Americans tend to be emotive. Our idea is to go right between that.”

“We want to break down the barriers between Americans and Shakespeare,” adds Tristan. “It belongs to us, we’re native English speakers, just like in England.”

The Vaughans are also looking to bring back some of the sensibility that dictated how plays in Shakespeare’s day were perceived by the masses.

“The difference between Elizabethan Shakespeare and our own modern version is people back then didn’t go to ‘see’ a play — they went to ‘hear’ a play,” stresses Tristan. “Our culture is so visual now, but words were mysterious then. They were onomatopoeic, the sounds were what people relished. It was an audio culture and we’re trying to change people from gazing at a computer screen to replicating that sound.”

But the Vaughans aren’t completely rejecting the modern age with this production either. With the possibilities that abound at the LTV studio space, Tristan and Morgan are capitalizing on the unconventional.

“Because of where we’re doing it, it’s not just a proscenium stage,” explains Morgan. “We’ll be doing it on a thrust stage. Macbeth will be right there. I think it’s more exciting and that’s different than the audience watching from a safe place. It isn’t just going to be people walking out and saying things. We’ll be using the whole space.”

There will also be an opportunity for multi-media visuals on stage. Original artwork by Brian Leaver, for example will be offered on screen behind the action during “Macbeth.” Highlighting the work of other artists is something the Vaughans would like to do in future productions as well.

“We want to cultivate a community of visual artists as well as actors, and give them a showing,” says Tristan.

After this initial production of “Macbeth,” the Vaughans will continue to offer classes to help bring the words and works of Shakespeare to life for residents of the East End. Whether these are people who have wider theatrical aspirations or not, Morgan and Tristan are looking forward to bringing the community into the Shakespearean fold (including teens) because experience has shown, it’s definitely an idea whose time has come.

“We wouldn’t have started this if Speaking Shakespeare hadn’t been so successful,” says Morgan. “I think we realize there’s a market for it.”

 

Round Table Theatre Company & Academy’s inaugural production of “Macbeth” will run at LTV Studios (75 Industrial Road, Wainscott) from January 11 to 20. Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 ($15 students/seniors). Visit www.tveh.org or www.roundtabletheatrecompany.org for details. The production is a fundraiser for both LTV and Round Table’s season as well as its acting classes and reading workshops at Guild Hall. Yuka Silvera is costume designer, Sebastian Paczynski is the lighting designer and Jennifer Brondo is stage manager.

Below: IT’S GOOD TO BE THE KING: Andrew Botsford (King Duncan), Tristan Vaughan (Malcolm) and Vincent Cinque (Donalbain) rehearse “Macbeth” at LTV Studios. (Michael Heller photo)

A New Shakespeare Fest Comes to Town

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Midsummer Night's Dream

Gerard Doyle (as Theseus) and Licia James Zegar (Hermia) in rehearsals for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” max tabet photo

by Emily J. Weitz

 

When Josh Perl was first trying to pitch investors on the idea of an outdoor Shakespeare festival, he realized that, outdoors in the summertime, Shakespeare pitches himself. That is possibly most true of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” whose whimsical, magical quality lends itself perfectly to the landscape of a rolling green at dusk.

When Perl started The Naked Stage in 2000, the focus was really on play readings, which it frequently hosts at Guild Hall’s John Drew Theater. He didn’t necessarily have the goal of bringing Shakespeare to the East End.

Back then, it wouldn’t have been necessary, with the annual Hamptons Shakespeare Festival going strong in the hills of Theodore Roosevelt County Park Montauk.

But by the time Perl started planning for this summer’s production, it had been six or seven years since the Hamptons Shakespeare Festival had last performed out in Montauk. And for a man who, as an actor, had set a goal of performing in every known Shakespeare play at some point in his career, to his way of thinking it was high time the father of English Literature came back to town.

“I was at the Bridgehampton School one night,” recalls Perl, “and I was up on the second floor. I looked out the fire exit, and I saw this beautiful green field with a gentle slope, over the balconies [or fire escapes]. I just imagined Romeo and Juliet taking place there.”

A couple years ago, Perl and his business partner, Peter Zablotsky, created HITFest (Hamptons Independent Theatre Festival) as a DBA of the East End Naked Stage Theatre Company.

“The Naked Stage could be thought of as the parent organization,” says Perl.

When he spoke to Zablotsky about the idea of bringing Shakespeare back to the Hamptons at the Bridgehampton School, they decided to go for it.

“The school has been amazing, giving us the space to do this,” says Perl who adds that the cast of professional actors, local and imported, has been responding tremendously to the script.

“Gerard Doyle, who teaches at Ross, [School] rarely does any acting anymore,” says Perl. “He plays Theseus, and has a huge amount of lines. He’s such a professional. The woman who plays Titania and Hippolyta so excellently is Clodagh Bowyer. Here you have this gorgeous raven-haired beauty falling in love with a donkey!”

The cast has been rehearsing in the evenings, and since they’re still on-book, rehearsals have had to take place inside. But Perl is sure that once the process is brought out in the open, it will be transformative.

“There’s something so beautifully whimsical about this play,” says Perl. “When the lovers run away to the woods to escape parental authority, that’s the kind of thing that happens every day here, with kids running away to the beach.”

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” was actually the first play Perl ever acted in in his professional career, when he played Demetrius at a festival in Vermont.

“The plays with magic in them always appealed to me most,” he says. “And this, with Puck and Titania and the fairies, it’s just a great time.”

Another aspect of seeing Shakespeare outdoors that Perl believes is integral to his mission is its accessibility to children.

“When I first proposed the idea,” says Perl, “I heard so many stories about people to whom that Shakespeare Festival was a touchstone of the summer. I have small children, and I am constantly thinking about what choices we give our children.”

In a world of iPads and the Internet, he notes, it becomes a real question what stories our kids hear.

“How do we pass on culture to them?” asks Perl. “These rich stories of gods and lovers and funny people putting on a play … How do we share that? It’s this. It’s Shakespeare in the summer. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to bring your kids to theater. This is about giving young people appealing choices that give the best of what culture has to offer. And to me, Shakespeare is the peak.”

Since 2008, Perl and Zablotsky have formed a nonprofit, built a black box theatre in the Bridgehampton Community House, and begun an outdoor Shakespeare Festival.

“Theaters have been having a hard time of it,” says Perl, “but we have been expanding, growing, and paying salaries. And I can say confidently that this is the first performance of an annual Summer Shakespeare Festival.”

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” runs August 2 to 19, Thursdays to Sundays at 7 p.m. behind Bridgehampton School, 2685 Montauk Highway. Tickets are $20. Call 525-2995 or visit hitfest.org to reserve.

 

Gerard Doyle (as Theseus) and Licia James Zegar (Hermia) in rehearsals for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” max tabet photo

 

East End Thoughts: All for Love

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By Richard Gambino

“Oh, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!” a love-struck Romeo exclaims when he first sees Juliet at a dance. And several things are making this winter burn brighter on the East End. One, a man named Harry Carlson is continuing his wonderful Shakespeare Saturday mornings, as he has done for some years. We watch, from recordings this long-time Shakespeare scholar and teacher has collected over a life-time and put on DVDs, different productions, scene compared to same scene, of Shakespeare’s plays, and briefly discuss them. In recent weeks, we’ve  watched some productions of Romeo and Juliet, with an emphasis on  the deservingly celebrated, very moving 1968 production directed by Franco Zeffirelli. As a bonus, we watched an astonishingly poignant dance version of the play, choreographed to Prokofiev’s music by Kenneth MacMillan, and performed at the Teatro alla Scala in Italy.

All this is presented via the  technologically up-to-date, digitally-projected large-screen system, and superb sound system at the Amagansett Public Library. More, this unique and priceless on-going gift is free of charge. It’s all for the love of the best plays ever written — one need only show up from 10:30 to 12:30 every other Saturday morning. (For information about dates, call the Amagansett Library at 267-3810.)

Now, regarding the kind of  instant great attraction Romeo feels for  Juliet, which she in turn feels for him, a recently published book tells of a study which tested men and women. (Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes? By Jena Pincott. Personally, I wouldn’t get any closer to this question than I would to a cobra.) Individuals (heterosexuals) were shown pictures of the faces of people of the opposite sex. Unknown to the subjects, large numbers of people had previously studied these same pictures and judged half of the faces as “hot,”  and the other half as “not.” (It seems we’ve come a long way since Shakespeare’s eloquence.) The faces were flashed before the subjects for only thirteen milliseconds (13/1000 of a second). Some complained that they could not really see the faces so quickly run before them. Yet despite that, the subjects scored the faces as being either attractive  or not attractive the same as had the people who had rated them before —  these previous  individuals having studied the faces for a much longer time. The author concludes, with a reductionism typical of our time, that parts of the human brain — the nucleus accumbens, orbitofrontal cortrex and the amygdala — tell us instantly whom we are attracted to, and whom not.

But looks are not enough. Women, at least, are more cautious about blindly going with their initial attraction. This is explained by the fact that in a given year, a man can father a lot of babies by a lot of women, but a woman may carry only one pregnancy to term, so she is a lot more selective in her sex life. When I read this, I could not help but thinking, “Before the pill.” These kinds of explanations were labeled as “just so” explanations, i.e., a bit too neat, by none less than one of the greatest evolutionary biologists of our time, the late Stephen Jay Gould. Another example: There is a brain expert on TV, an M.D., who tells us that the best aphrodisiac a man can use is to put some baby powder behind his ears. He claims the powder’s scent turns a woman’s  thoughts towards (freshly-diapered) babies, and ….  Just so. But I tried it on my wife, and she just asked if I had a skin rash.

There’s more. As anyone can guess, some pick-up lines used by men work better than others. It is said that this shows that women are indeed thinking beyond a short sexual pleasure. (With some men, women complain, all too short.) “Hey babe, I’m like Fred Flintstone — I can make your bed rock!” This is not a line likely to get a man far. Compare it to Romeo’s first words to Juliet, at the dance. Taking her hand, he says, “If I profane with my unworthiest hand/ This holy shrine, the gentle fine [punishment] is this/ My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand/ To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.” (I expect that after men read this article, this Saturday night many a man in Sag Harbor’s bars will be seen and heard trying Romeo’s approach on a woman.)

Whatever we may think of the idea that women’s judgment is more selective than that of men in affaires d’amour  – in my opinion,  after having watched both for a long time, the judgment of both genders is … shall we say, less than sterling — Juliet is a bit more cautious about trusting her attraction than all-speed-ahead Romeo. So she later says to him, “Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say ‘Aye;’/ And I will take thy word. Yet if thou swear’st,/ Thou  mayst prove false. At lovers’ perjuries,/ They say Jove laughs.”  But not much later, she says to him one of the most famous declarations of love ever written, “My bounty is as boundless as the sea,/ My love as deep; the more I give to thee, /The more I have, for both are infinite.” Imagine hearing this from someone with whom you are in love. And this from a young woman who, we are told early in the play, is still two weeks short of her fourteenth birthday. A kid.

So I went to a performance of Romeo and Juliet at the Bay Street Theatre on January 29 with much on my mind. Speaking of Juliet being a kid — and also of Romeo, whom most Shakespeare fanatics, like me, guess is about sixteen years old  – the performance at Bay Street was by … well, kids. The kids in the Hayground School were the performers, costume designers and set designers — all the kids in the school, from pre-K  through eighth grade. They had had a four week in-depth immersion in the play with a group from Massachusetts called  Shakespeare & Company. My first impressions were, one, the theatre was filled by the audience, and two, I smiled when I saw a set built to look like a wall in Verona had graffitied on it, “Tyblalt is a cankerblosoom.” It perfectly fits that character’s poisonous personality, filled with hatred and malice. The kids were true to the play, some saying some very difficult lines with precision, and most with feeling. In their acting, they presented the play’s tragic essence earnestly. Indeed, at the afternoon performance, one of the girls playing Juliet, a six-year old, on cue drank a narcotic causing her to collapse into a comatose, death-like state. She did this so convincingly that it brought forth a quite audible gasp from the audience.

Bravo to all those who, all for love, are teaching our winter to burn bright!

RICHARD GAMBINO believes that never has a tale of woe brought more joy to the East End than this of Juliet and her Romeo.