Arts News


Academy Summer Shakespeare Presents Romeo and Juliet


The cast of SJA Theatre's Romeo and Juliet: (front) Andrea Otto; (2nd row, l-r) Katie Gilmartin, Desirae Downing, Alice Morrison, Kyle Jablonski, Ceirra Manassa-Curnin; (3rd row, l-r) Lukas Morris, Sierra Norko, Lucas Masure, Nathan Colpitts, Darby Ely (4th row, l-r) Hannah Buck (Persons), Mariah Rust, James Rust, Gavin Ghafoori; missing from photo: Rolincio Davis, Jr. The play will take place Wednesday, July 26th, Friday, July 28th, and Saturday, July 29th at 7:00 p.m. in the St. Johnsbury Academy Amphitheater and on Sunday, July 30th at 2:00 p.m. in the Stuart Black Box Theater. Tickets are available at the door.


St. Johnsbury Academy's Summer Shakespeare presents Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's most popular and romantic play, on Wednesday, July 26th, Friday, July 28th, and Saturday, July 29th at 7:00 p.m. in the St. Johnsbury Academy Amphitheater and on Sunday, July 30th at 2:00 p.m. in the Stuart Black Box Theater, which is also the rain location for all the Amphitheater performances. Tickets are available at the door and are $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. Audience members should bring a lawn chair or cushion and a sweater for the second half; refreshments will be sold at intermission to benefit the costume fund.

For the second summer in a row, Academy Summer Shakespeare has taken on a tragedy. Director Janet Warner-Ashley's reasons for choosing Romeo and Juliet are simple: "First, the students requested the play; second, it is a great play to involve and encourage younger actors; and third, it is always timely because it demonstrates how feuding in the adult world harms everyone, including the young. Not only does this play about young love have meaty roles for teens, it allows the actors to feel empowered by the message that we can get over our differences no matter what they are if we look through the unjaded eyes of the young. While teaching, I am constantly learning from my students."

As always, the Summer Shakespeare cast is multi-generational. Five rising SJA ninth graders, Lukas Morris, Ceirra Manassa-Curnin, Rolincio Davis, Jr., Darby Ely and Gavin Ghafoori play many roles from chorus members, dancers, friars, apothecaries, pages and cooks to Lord Montague and Paris, Juliet's intended. The Class of 2019 is well represented with James Rust as Benvolio, returning for his third production, Sierra Norko as Lady Capulet, Lucas Masure as Lord Capulet, returning for his third production and Hannah Buck (Persons) '19 in five roles ranging from Masker to Watchman. Academy alumni make up many roles with Romeo played by Kyle Jablonski '14, Juliet by Alice Morrison '16, who is returning for her fifth production, The Nurse by Desirae Downing '15, The Prince by Mariah Rust '16, who is returning for her sixth production and Tybalt by Katie Gilmartin '14. The cast is rounded out by community members with Nathan Colpitts as Mercutio, returning for his seventh production and Andrea Otto as Friar Laurence returning for her fourth production. Felicity Norko '18 is helping with tech and alumni Josh Duncan '09 and Amanda Allen '12 are returning for their seventh summers as technical director and stage manager. Romeo and Juliet marks the seventh Summer Shakespeare for costumier, Jane Vinton, producer, Bill Vinton and director, Janet Warner-Ashley.

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