Shakespeare on the Sound to present “Romeo and Juliet” this Summer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
CONNECTICUT’S PREMIER OUTDOOR SUMMER THEATER
S H A K E S P E A R E O N T H E S O U N D
“ R O M E O A N D J U L I E T ”
ALL NEW PRODUCTION DIRECTED BY
WITH ALL NEW MUSIC AND SONGS BY
STEW AND HEIDI RODEWALD
JUNE 26 – JULY 8, 2012 IN GREENWICH, CT
JULY 18 – JULY 29, 2012 IN ROWAYTON, CT
Rowayton, CT – Shakespeare on the Sound, Connecticut’s premier outdoor summer theater company, will present a newly conceived productionof Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, under the direction of Joanna Settle, this June and July for the company’s 17th season. Shakespeare on the Sound productions are presented “in the park” in the towns of Greenwich and Rowayton, and admission is free of charge.
This year's production finds us at a dinner, with a Shakespearean twist. Shakespeare on the Sound Artistic Director Settle explains: “We are conceiving Romeo and Juliet as a dinner party among eight friends who have an annual tradition of reading a Shakespeare play on a gorgeous summer’s night. Over the course of reading the play, the story will take over and our guests both on-stage and off will find themselves completely consumed over by the momentum and poetry of the events in Shakespeare's classic romance.”
Stew and Heidi Rodewald again return to Shakespeare on the Sound to create all-new music and songs for this production. Lyrics will be provided by both Shakespeare and Stew. In addition, this year’s production will feature two newly commissioned scenes created for the dinner party which Stew will be writing and developing in process with the show’s acting company. Also, in a first for Shakespeare on the Sound, the production will premiere in Greenwich and then make its move to Rowayton, playing two beautiful locations on Long Island Sound:Baldwin Park in Greenwich (June 26 – July 8, 2012) and Pinkney Park in Rowayton (July 18 – July 29, 2012).
Set Design is by Andrew Lieberman, Costume Design is by Tilly Grimes, Lighting Design is by Keith Parham, Sound System Design is by Jessica Paz, Sound Design is by Obadiah Eaves, and Choreography is by David Neumann.
Casting and other news concerning this year’s offering will be forthcoming.
Now in its 17th season, Shakespeare on the Sound has established itself as one of the most popular summer theater companies on the East Coast, drawing large audiences to each performance in the unique under-the-stars settings of its waterfront venues – Pickney Park in Rowayton and Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich.
For more information on Shakespeare on the Sound, visit www.shakespeareonthesound.org.
JOANNA SETTLE (Director) directed Winter Miller’s In Darfur for The Public in 2007, as well as the finale of Suzan-Lori Parks’s 365 Days/365 Plays and Stephen Brown’s Future Me. She has also directed Heather Raffo’s Nine Parts of Desire at Manhattan Ensemble Theater, and restaged the production for the Geffen Playhouse, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, MassMOCA, Seattle Repertory Theatre and D.C.’s Arena Stage. Her other credits include Slither by Carson Kreitzer and the South American tour of Grease! The Musical. Settle served as the Artistic Director of Division 13 Productions from 1998 – 2004 and directed and/or adapted 15 of D13’s 17 projects, including BLOOD LINE: The Oedipus/Antigone Story, two plays by Sophocles, Macbett by Ionesco, and several Samuel Beckett shorts including Cascando and Play. Settle is currently the Artistic Director of Shakespeare on the Sound, where she has directed productions of Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Settle teaches in the Brown University/Trinity Rep MFA Directing Program.
STEW (Book, Lyrics, Music). His work for The Public includes Passing Strange, for which he received the 2008 Tony award for Best Book of a Musical, and four other Tony nominations including Best Musical. He is also a two-time Obie award winner for Passing Strange (Best New Theater Piece/Best Ensemble). Spike Lee shot a feature film of the Broadway production of Passing Strange and it rocked selected theaters before debuting on PBS’ Great Performances in 2009. It’s also 100% on Rotten Tomatoes so rent it now! Stew leads a band called The Negro Problem whose albums have survived much critical acclaim. TNP created “Making It,” a song-cycle for rock band and video, which was commissioned by and performed at St. Ann's Warehouse in February, 2010. In October of that same year “Brooklyn Omnibus,” another live song-cycle with video, was commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music and performed there. Stew is a member of the Sundance Institute Alumni Advisory Board. Stew was Artist-in-Residence at the University of Wisconsin in Madison during Fall 2011 where he taught a class entitled “Song Factory” and was curator there of a weekly public series at the Mitchell Theater which featured leading New York performance and music artists. January 2012 will see the release of the music from “Making It” by The Negro Problem on their new label “Tight Natural Productions.” Stew and Heidi wrote “Gary Come Home” for the “Sponge Bob SquarePants” cartoon because that’s all anyone cares about anyway. This is his 4th season working with Shakespeare on the Sound. Website: stewsongs.com.
HEIDI RODEWALD (Music) was co-composer of the musical Passing Strange, which transferred from The Public Theater to Broadway in 2008, where it was nominated for seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Orchestrations. Passing Strange won a Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Musical, the 2008 Obie Award for Best New American Theater Piece and Best Ensemble and was made into a film by Spike Lee. Rodewald composed music for Karen Kandel's Portraits: Night and Day (2004); Brides of the Moon by The Five Lesbian Brothers (2010); and co-composed with Stew music for Shakespeare’s Othello and Much Ado About Nothing (2010-11). Rodewald joined The NegroProblem in 1997 and since then has worked alongside Stew, performing, producing, arranging, and composing. She is currently working on a new musical, The Good Swimmer, with librettist, Donna DiNovelli.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, 1564-1616, the greatest poet and dramatist of the English language, was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, but made London his home from the late 1580’s on. In the great age of English playwrights, Marlowe and Jonson, Shakespeare’s innovation and vision propelled him as an artist who soared above the rest. He wrote at least 38 plays, a sonnet sequence, and several narrative poems. In every genre, he came to create and then define the medium he was working in with bold adventurism. His tragedies surpassed all, his comedies, his sonnets — all outshone and reinvented what had come before. He was so shrewd a recorder of human interactions, that today we still understand our relationships and the inner workings of our mind through paradigms that Shakespeare articulated. Our understanding of Love would not be the same today without Romeo and Juliet. No aging parent can escape the bitter accuracy of King Lear. His history plays and dramas, under two monarchs and amid a host of controversy, created and defined the English National identity. And he led two successful theater companies. Literally, thousands and thousands of writers have used his titles or lines or phrases as the titles of their books, songs, poems, etc: Brave New World, The Undiscovered Country, The Web of Life, Full Circle. He contributed over 2000 words to the English language and he has been translated more than any writer.