New Jersey Stage

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rowan Brings Contemporary Vision Of Romeo & Juliet To The Stage

(GLASSBORO, NJ) -– An updated, condensed and dramatic approach to Shakespeare's tragic and romantic Romeo & Juliet comes to Rowan University's Tohill Theatre April 1-10. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at 3 pm.

Adapted and directed by David Sullivan, the Department of Theatre & Dance presents this 90-minute version of Shakespeare's classic set in a contemporary Italy, which is dominated by religion and family loyalty. Accompanied by the music of Italian rock star Jovanotti, this production focuses on the inspiring yet destructive passion of the title characters and explores the fast-paced tragedy of these "star-crossed lovers."

As Sullivan notes, his concept for the production was inspired by a description from the Royal Shakespeare Company edition of the play, “In a society dominated by religion and family loyalty, two teenagers are trapped by their secret love. As a dangerous vendetta spills out onto the streets, the young lovers are forced to risk all to be together in Shakespeare's fast paced tragedy of thwarted love."

Chris Bratek and Jenna Kuerzi (both of Mullica Hill) head the cast as Romeo and Juliet. They are joined by Dexter Anderson (of Salem, MA) as Balthasar, RoShawn Briscoe (of Dover, DE) as Capulet, Sam Dewitt (of Woodbury) as Abraham, Dane Eisser (of Franklinville) as Mercutio, Tyler Garmella (of Lindenwold) as Benvolio, Brian Graziani (of Winslow) as Peter, Caitlin Hughes (of Elk Township) as Lady Montague, Kaitlin Kemp (of Fredericksburg, VA) as Lady Capulet, Jaried Kimberley (of Westville) as Sampson, Andrea Krapevka (of Edison) as Gregory, Alex McCarty (of Chatham) as Paris, Dwight Merrit (of Collingswood) as Montague, Alex Reggie (of Yardville) as Rosaline, Juan Sanchez (of Teaneck) as Tybalt, and an ensemble featuring Brittany Cinaglia, Amanda DiPietro, Keith Miller, Joseph Napolitano, Bryan Neel, Tyler Shivers, Emily Tomasello, Catherine Verde and Kassi Wilson(of Somerville).

The students are joined by Rowan faculty members Richard Grupenhoff (of Sewell) as the Prince and Donna JorgensEn (of Glassboro) as the Nurse. Recently retired theatre professor Phillip Graneto (of Glassboro) returns to play the role of Friar Laurence.

The creative team includes Heidi Barr (costumes), John Bellomo (fight choreography), Bethany Bender (choreography), David Cimetta (sound), Bart Healy (scenic design) and Robert Thorpe (lights).

Tohill Theatre is located in Bunce Hall on the campus of Rowan University, Route 322 in Glassboro, NJ. Tickets are $15, general admission; and $10 for seniors, non-Rowan students, Rowan staff & alumni. Rowan students are admitted free with valid ID. For tickets and information, visit or call the box office at (856) 256-4545.