Student Matinee Performances: May 21-22, 26-29, 2015 | Public Performance: May 29 at 7:30pm and May 30 at 2pm
The Strand Theatre, 543 Columbia Road, Boston
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Adam Sanders
Perhaps the world’s best-known story of love against insurmountable odds, Romeo & Juliet takes us to Verona, where a violent feud between rival families, the Montagues and Capulets, shatters the peace of everyday life. While the escalating feud and bloodshed pushes the city to the brink of martial law, the teenage children of each family, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet, discover in each other a forbidden love. So consuming and powerful is their love, we imagine it could end the familial strife forever. Then ill-timed circumstances escalate the conflict, fueling vengeance. Hasty choices ultimately push Romeo and Juliet to desperate measures.
How is this well-known and tragic story relevant to today’s youth? “The pressures young people face are tremendous,” says director Adam Sanders, CSC’s Associate Artistic Director. “But these characters find in their relationship something to believe in, without any doubts, and pursue it with ferocity. It’s thoroughly tragic the way that reality consumes them, for what otherwise should be so simple and satisfying.”
“Reading the play as an adult, I’m reminded of all the things that were confusing and challenging for me growing up. How to talk to girls? How to relate to my peers? How to behave ‘like a man’ (meaning ‘adult’ and ‘male’)? How to reconcile my family among others? What I admire about Romeo and Juliet is the sense of clarity and purpose in their actions-that is the thing, I think, that many young people search for the most.”
The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company is committed to reaching out to young people through their acting skills, ability to relate to audiences of all ages and for the remarkable impact this story can have on audiences especially the youth.
The Strand Theatre’s mission is to serve as a cultural and educational resource to artists and audiences regardless of race or cultural background, age, ability, gender, economic level, or sexual orientation. Central to the Strand’s mission is the development and implementation of youth arts educations programs. The Strand Theatre has a special commitment to the surrounding communities of Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan.
Romeo and Juliet at the Strand marks the debut of Shakespeare OFF the Common, an innovative three-part arts program designed to foster community interaction, created in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events, and funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” grant.
Avery Nelson is a Brooklyn based Equity actor, musician and composer born and raised in Boston. With CSC, Avery acted in Romeo & Juliet and King Lear, and also served as a teaching artist, apprentice instructor, and company manager. In Boston he was last seen as Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing (ASP) and as an improviser and music director at ImprovBoston. Soon you can hear him voice the German Chancellor in the radio play Newts! (opposite Mo Rocca) distributed by PRX. His debut piano EP, Hammers & Felt, comes out this summer. See www.averynelson.net for updates, videos, photos, and links to Spotify and SoundCloud, and follow him on IG (@averynelsonbargar) and Twitter (@averynelsonb).
Sophia Blum last appeared with CSC as Lady Capulet in CSC2’s Romeo & Juliet, Titania and Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Calpurnia in Julius Caesar with The Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey’s Touring Company. She also recently played Queen Margaret in Henry VI Parts I, II & III in an Off-Off Broadway production. www.sophiablum,com
Matt Giampietro was recently seen as Tybalt/Apothecary in CSC2’s Romeo & Juliet and in West Side Story at The Palace Theatre in Manchester, NH. Film: “Best Night Ever” and “Leverage” (TNT). Matt earned his MFA in 2012 from the University of Washington PATP.
Charlotte Kinder returns to CSC after appearing in Romeo & Juliet (Juliet) with CSC2 and in Twelfth Night in 2014. Other credits include Greenland (Apollinaire Theatre Co.), Bully Dance (Argos Productions), and The How and the Why (One Bird Productions). Charlotte earned her BA in Theatre Studies from Wheaton College. www.charlottekinder.com
Kelsey Lidsky last appeared with CSC in CSC2’s Romeo & Juliet as the Nurse. Other credits include G Train Exodus (Estrogenius Theater Festival), Dear Mom (Theater for New City), and Nettles (Manhattan Repertory Theater). New School Credits: Eurydice, King John, Fen, and Execution of Justice. After attending Boston University, she received an MFA in Acting from The New School for Drama. www.kelseylidsky.com
Brennan Lowery was last seen at CSC as Lord Capulet in Romeo & Juliet as part of the CSC2 Company. Other credits include Lewis Black’s One Slight Hitch (dir. Rand Foerster), The Skriker (dir. Pitr Strait), Get Me A Guy (dir. John Clancy), Le Pond: a New Musical (dir. Kristin Hoffman), New School Credits: As You Like It, Blue Window, and The Ladder. He appeared in the viral YouTube commercial First Moon Party as well as on National Geographic’s “Brain Games”. www.brennanlowery.com
Christopher Olmstead is delighted to be at CSC after appearing as Peter in CSC2’s Romeo & Juliet. After receiving his BA from Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Chris trained as an apprentice director in London. He spent the last few years directing, performing, and teaching in Germany before returning to the states. Boston credits include Retreat (Roxbury Repertory Theatre).
Marc Pierre Previous CSC credits include Romeo and Juliet and King Lear. Recent credits include An Octoroon (Gamm Theatre), Gone Nowhere (Boston Playwrights Theatre), Leftovers (Company One Theatre), Brawler (Kitchen Theatre Company), Airness (Actors Theatre of Louisville), When January Feels Like Summer (Central Square Theatre), Peter and the Starcatcher (Lyric Stage), Milk Like Sugar (Huntington Theatre Company), The Flick (Gloucester Stage) TV/Film Credits: Castle Rock and Twelve (Joel Schumacher, Dir.) Other: Marc has a B.F.A. from Emerson College. He is a recipient of the Isabel Sanford Scholarship and Emerson College’s Acting Area Award.
Arisael Rivera returns to CSC after appearing as Puck in CSC2’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Friar Laurence in CSC2’s Romeo & Juliet, and in the Ensemble of King Lear on Boston Common. Other credits include Narrator/Arsonist in LA Lights Fire, and Butch in Educational, Career Relevant. Follow him on Twitter: @ari_sael_riv.
Jacob Rosenbaum returns to CSC after appearing as Paris in CSC2’s Romeo & Juliet. Jacob graduated from Connecticut College where he earned a BA in Theatre. He has also studied acting at the British American Drama Academy in London, with the National Theatre Institute, and the Labyrinth Theater Company.
Addison Williams returns to CSC after appearing as Mercutio in CSC2’s Romeo & Juliet. Other credits include Hamlet (Georgetown University), and Richard III (Actors’ Shakespeare Project). He received his BA from Georgetown University.
Adam Sanders is the Associate Artistic Director at CSC. He serves as director of the Apprentice Program, and is the director and originator of CSC2, a cohort of early-career actors. Directing credits for CSC include: Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar (CSC2 Company), Symphonic Shakespeare, (in collaboration with Boston Landmarks Orchestra at the Boston Hatch Shell); co-director: Kiss Me Kate, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Boys From Syracuse (also BLO/Hatch Shell collaborations), co-director/dramaturg: Shakespeare and Leadership (2013 – 2017), and CSCs unprecedented Shakespeare at Fenway performance in 2014; director: Shakespeare and the Law (2017).
William Shakespeare was a renowned English poet, playwright, and actor born in 1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon. His birthday is most commonly celebrated on 23 April, which is also believed to be the date on which he died in 1616. Shakespeare was a prolific writer during the Elizabethan and Jacobean ages of British theatre (sometimes referred to as the English Renaissance or the Early Modern Period). Shakespeare’s plays are perhaps his most enduring legacy, but they are not the only things he wrote. Shakespeare’s poetry has also remained popular to this day.
Shakespeare’s work includes 38 plays, 2 narrative poems, a collection of 154 sonnets, and other poems as well. No original manuscripts of Shakespeare’s plays are known to exist today, and about half of Shakespeare’s plays are only available to us because a group of actors in his company collected them for publication after his death. These writings were brought together in what is known as the First Folio (‘Folio’ refers to the size of the paper used). It contained 36 of his plays, and none of his poetry. Shakespeare’s legacy is as rich and diverse as his work; his plays have spawned countless adaptations across multiple genres and cultures, and his plays have had an enduring presence on stage and film.
His writings have been compiled in various iterations of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by different entities, which usually include all of his plays, his sonnets, and his other poems. From Stratford to London and beyond, William Shakespeare was and is one of the most important literary figures of the English language.
Brynna Bloomfield is a set designer, artist and educator based in Boston, MA. At Emerson College she teaches stage design, mask making and design research, and is lead instructor for Emerson Precollege Program in stage design. Her design and stage craft work spans twenty years. Brynna is also a founding board member of Israeli Stage. Brynna received her BFA in fine arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York and worked in illustration, installation design and animation before attending Brandies University to earn an MFA in theater design. She is a member of IATSE, USA Local 829.
Scott Pinkney A lighting designer for more than 40 years, Mr. Pinkney was represented on Broadway by Harvey Fierstein’s ground breaking and Tony Award winning Torch Song Trilogy. Off-Broadway credits include the premier of Mark St. Germain’s Becoming Dr. Ruth, Leonard Nimoy’s Vincent, Mark Medoff’s Majestic Kid, the premier of Ken Ludwig’s Divine Fire, the US premier of Cole Porter’s Nymph Errant, and the world premier of Morris West’s The World is Made of Glass. His many regional credits include Ulysses on Bottles for Israeli Stage (2016 IRNE Award Nomination),The Comedy of Errors for Commonwealth Shakespeare (2010 Elliot Norton Award), Don Juan for the Denver Center (Denver Critic’s Circle Award), The Balkan Women, for Bristol Riverside Theatre (Barrymore Nomination), My Fair Lady for Theatre Virginia (Phoebe Award), and Larry Gatlin’s new musical for Theatre Under the Stars. Recently, he has designed productions of American Son by Christopher Demos-Brown, Mark St. Germain’s The Best of Enemies, The Crucible, Streetcar Named Desire, Carousel, The Whipping Man, Follies, West Side Story, The Importance of Being Earnest, Wonder of the World and Ring Round the Moon and many others for The Barrington Stage Company, where he was named an Associate Artist in 2014. Other credits include designs for The New England Conservatory Opera, The Actors Shakespeare Project, The New Repertory Theatre, The Lyric Stage, The Olney Theatre, The NORA Theatre, The Delaware Theatre Company, Peoples Light & Theatre Company, The Los Angeles Actor’s Theatre and many others. Internationally, he has designed several productions for The Singapore Repertory Company and concert stage lighting for the Club Mohamed-Aly in Cairo. In addition to his theatre work, Mr. Pinkney’s company, Pinkney Associates, LLC, designs lighting for museums, exhibits and events throughout the world. He has been a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829 since 1980 and currently serves as an Associate Professor at Emerson College in Boston, teaching lighting design.
Brooke Stanton (she/her) is a costumer who has worked in theatre, film, and television. During her five years with George Lucas’ ILM, she built creatures for the Star Wars Special Edition Trilogy and The Phantom Menace. She has toured internationally and nationally designing for Peter Sellars. Other clients include Disney, Columbia Pictures, CBS, American Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Aspen Music Festival, Boston Symphony Youth Orchestra, Commonwealth Shakespeare, New England Conservatory, and Odyssey Opera. She studied Costume Design at NYU and Textiles at California College of the Arts. www.brookestanton.com
Colin Thurmond has established himself as one of the leading creative forces of his generation. Equally sought after as music director, performer, composer and pedagogue, Dr. Thurmond has performed for the premier of a Nicholas Cage film and classical music with members of the Berlin Philharmonic. From the world’s most renowned concert halls to the grittiest nightclubs, Thurmond’s musicianship breaks boundaries of what it means to be a 21st century artist, causing the Boulder Examiner to write, “Mr Thurmond has got to be Superman!”. He received his doctorate from New England Conservatory. www.colinthurmond.com
Yo-El Cassell’s CSC credits include Comedy of Errors, All’s Well That Ends Well, Othello, Coriolanus, Two Gentleman of Verona, Twelfth Night, King Lear, Romeo & Juliet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Kiss Me Kate and Symphonic Shakespeare with Boston Landmarks Orchestra. Off Broadway: Moonlight Interior. Many productions with American Repertory Theatre, Lyric Stage Company of Boston, New England Conservatory, Boston Opera Collaborative, and Nantucket Dreamland Theatre. He has taught at Boston Ballet, Skidmore College, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, The New England Conservatory, and Harvard University Dance Department.
Nile Hawver is a Boston-based actor, musician, photographer, and fight director. Previous work with CSC includes fight consultation for Birdy, Death and the Maiden, fight direction for Our American Hamlet, fight direction for CSC2’s Romeo and Juliet and playing Sebastian (Twelfth Night) on the Common in 2014. As an actor: Once at Speakeasy Stage. Breath and Imagination; (Lyric Stage) ,Man of La Mancha; (New Repertory Theatre), Edward II; (Actors’ Shakespeare Project); Finish Line, (Boston Theater Company); Violet and Mothers and Sons, (Speakeasy Stage); Etherdome, (Huntington Theatre Company), Central Square Theatre, Greater Boston Stage Company, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Ocean State Theatre Company, and more. MFA: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. When he’s offstage, Nile is usually behind a camera, taking photos for actors and theatre companies, including CSC, throughout Boston. Huge thanks to Steve for all of the creative collaborations! www.
Victoria Townsend (she/her) is a Boston-based director, teaching-artist and occasional performer. In addition to her work on artistic programming for CSC, she also serves as the Academy Coordinator for the Apprentice Program and CSC2, as well as work on many other educational programs. Directing Credits: For CSC: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2023), As You Like It (2022) and several Boston Theater Marathon pieces; Emerging Playwright’s Festival (Wheelock Family Theater), Cosi Fan Tutte (New England Conservatory’s UGOS Program), The Memorandum (Flat Earth Theater). Assistant Directing Credits: Fear and Misery in the Third Reich, Kiss me Kate, Romeo and Juliet and Shakespeare and Leadership (CSC) and L’Egisto (NEC/UGOS). She has also served as a teaching-artist for Watertown Children’s Theater and Live Arts Education. A Massachusetts native, Victoria currently resides in Woburn and is a graduate of Saint Michael’s College in Vermont with degrees in Theatre and English Literature and holds a certificate in Social Impact Management and Leadership from the Institute for Nonprofit Practice & Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University.
543 Columbia Road
Boston, MA 02125
From South: Take I-93 North to exit 15, Columbia Road. Left at the bottom of ramp to third set of lights.There is a Kentucky Fried Chicken / Tedeschi’s on the corner. Turn left onto Columbia Road. Go through two sets of lights, the Strand is on the left, just past Bank of America.
From North: Take I-93 South to exit 15, Columbia Road. Right at the bottom of ramp to third set of lights. There is a Kentucky Fried Chicken / Tedeschi’s on the corner. Turn left onto Columbia Road. Go through two sets of lights, the Strand is on the left, just past Bank of America.
From West: Mass Pike (I-90) east into Boston, to I-93 south. Follow “From the NORTH” directions.
From Jamaica Plain/ Brookline: Take the JamaicaWay south to the Arborway. Keep straight to the rotary. Go 3/4 around the rotary and turn into Franklin Park. Go through the park, and turn left onto Blue Hill Avenue. Go about 50 yards, then make a right onto Columbia Road. The Strand is about 1 1/3 miles down on the right, just past the Strand/ Walgreen’s Pharmacy.
On street parking is available on Columbia Road.
Free off-street parking is available in the Ramsey Street Municipal lot. Ramsey Street is located at the intersection of Dudley Street and Columbia Road behind CVS Pharmacy and Payless Shoes.
For evening and Sunday shows, free parking is also available in the Citizen’s Bank and Santander Bank parking lots. The Citizen’s Bank lot is located at the corner of Columbia Road and Cushing Avenue. The Santander Bank lot is located in the rear of the bank at 585 Columbia Rd.
Red Line: Get off at Andrew station. Take the #16 (Forest Hills) or #17 (Field’s Corner) bus to Upham’s Corner/Dudley Street. Get off in front of Payless Shoe Store. The Strand is up one block on the left, just past Bank of America.
Orange Line: Get off at Ruggles station. Take the #15 (Upham’s Corner) bus via Dudley Station. Get off in front of Get off in front of Payless Shoe Store. The Strand is up one block on the left, just past Bank of America.
Orange Line: Get off at Forest Hills station. Take the #16 (Forest Hills) or #17 (Field’s Corner) bus to Upham’s Corner/Dudley Street. Get off in front of Payless Shoe Store. The Strand is up one block on the left, just past Bank of America.
The performance runs approximately under 2 hours without intermission.
For student matinees, each performance is followed by a talk back with the cast which will last no more than an additional half hour. Schools may choose to be dismissed before or after the talk back and can indicate this preference when booking.
Stage2 productions are presented using Shakespeare’s original text, cut for length to approximately 1.5 hours without intermission. Our cuts focus on highlighting the themes, ideas and language that will resonate strongly for a student audience. Our creative team and performers make choices that serve to illuminate the storytelling for this audience without “watering down” the source material.
Yes, there are several locations in the theater to accommodate wheelchairs. For student matinees, please indicate any seating needs during booking. For any specific requests for the April 3 performance at 7pm, contact 617-426-0863.
For student matinees, please indicate any seating needs during booking.
Yes, visit the box office for assisted listening devices.
The theater will open for seating roughly a half hour before curtain time.
We advise you give yourself plenty of time for parking and walking to the theater.
The Strand Theatre staff will meet all buses at the curb in front of the theater for drop-off of students, They will then advise drivers on the best location to park.
There is no food or drink permitted in the theater.
For student matinees, students may bring bagged lunches to store under their seats for the duration of the show. No food or drink is to be consumed in the theater during the performance. If your school group would like to secure a space for students to eat in after the performance, please let us know at time of booking.
Audience and actor safety is our main concern. In cases of heavy snow or extreme weather, we will cancel and try to re-seat patrons into an alternative performance date. Weather updates can be found on the homepage of our website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
For student matinees, a member of our Audience Services team will be in touch with school group’s lead chaperone should there be any changes or cancellations to the performance.
To reschedule for evening performances, call 617-426-0863 at least one business day before your reservation. We will make our best efforts to seat you in another performance. Seating will be based on availability. It is not our policy to refund tickets but we are happy to re-seat you on another date. If you miss a production altogether, we will re-seat you in an alternative production of your choice based on availability.
The taking of photos or video is strictly prohibited.
To make a donation or call 617-426-0863. Click on the Ways To Give tab on our website to learn more about upcoming fundraising events and ways to get involved.