Accidental Shakespeare Company presents a virtual film production of Romeo and Juliet, to air in five weekly installments on their YouTube channel, free of charge, beginning on May 15, 2021.
Links to each episode will be made accessible on Accidental Shakespeare Company's Facebook page, linked here: www.facebook.com/AxShakes
This production of Romeo and Juliet was originally announced, cast, and intended to be performed live, in 2020. Once the COVID-19 pandemic began and all live theatre was postponed, director Iris Sowlat brought together the original cast and adapted her concept for a digital medium, using Zoom calls, self-tapes, socially-distant filming, and other video art.
Iris Sowlat chose to set this production as "...a period piece of the 2020 pandemic. We tell stories to understand the world around us, and, if we're producing Romeo and Juliet now, in the middle of this specific time of national trauma, this current historical moment is the best possible setting. I'm intentionally using this cultural moment to explore what it's like to meet the love of your life, someone who you immediately know really hears you, amidst these uncertain times, and then be separated from the one you love."
The majority of the cast are women and non-binary actors, and Romeo and Juliet are intentionally played as a queer couple. Sowlat, who has a passion for queering the canon, says that "Romeo and Juliet is the most beautiful and iconic love story of all time, and I would love to give the world a chance to see this story unfold with a queer pairing. There's something so revolutionary about queer love that is on-mission with the theme of the play. In a world that prioritizes violence, prioritizing peace, love, and pleasure is a revolutionary act."
Melody DeRogatis as Juliet
Sierra Bryn Buffum as Romeo
Elizabeth Quilter as Mercutio / Paris
Polley Cooney as Tybalt / Sampson
AC Rakotoniaina as Benvolio
Lauren Miller at the Nurse / the Prince
Julia Kessler as Friar Lawrence / Gregory
Terri Lynne Hudson as Lady Capulet
Erik Schiller as Lord Capulet
Victoria Montalbano as Lady Montague / Apothecary
Angeli Primlani as Abram
Director: Iris Sowlat
Film Editor: Evelyn Landow
Fight Choreography and cinematography: Polley Cooney
Text Coach: Julia Kessler
Stage Manager: Molly Garrison
Original Music: Owen Owens
Original Graphic Design: James Anthony
Queen Mab Speech video design and performance: Elizabeth Quilter
Production Manager: Iris Sowlat
Saturdays at 7:30pm, beginning with Act 1 released on Saturday, May 15.
About Accidental Shakespeare Company:
Accidental Shakespeare is an ensemble theatre company that thoughtfully explores challenging plays, to forge connections between classical themes and contemporary culture in intimate settings. Accidental Shakespeare was formed in the spring of 2011 by a group of actors, designers, and writers who share a love of heightened language and wit.