Shakespeare In The Parking Lot Turns 25
Romeo and Juliet
Thursdays through Saturdays,
July 11 – 27, 2019
@ 7:00 pm
At La Plaza @ The Clemente Parking Lot, 114 Norfolk Street in the Lower East Side
FREE to All
Subways: F to Delancey Street, M to Essex Street.
Presented by The Drilling Company
Info call 212-877-0099 or visit www.shakespeareintheparkinglot.com and www.drillingcompany.org
Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:00 PM
Running time 100 minutes
NEW YORK — Shakespeare in the Parking Lot will present “Romeo and Juliet,” directed by Lukas Raphael, July 11 to 27 at La Plaza @ The Clemente Parking Lot, 114 Norfolk Street. This popular New York summer institution is now in its 25th year. Its concept–presenting Shakespeare plays with a “poor theater” aesthetic in a working parking lot–is now widely imitated around the US and around the world, with productions as far away as New Zealand. The Drilling Company, led by Artistic Director Hamilton Clancy, has produced the attraction since 2005.
The play exquisitely demonstrates the futility of partisanship, pleading for similar people to stop killing each other for reasons they no longer remember. Director Lukas Raphael will set the play in New York in the early 1990’s, with the Montagues and Capulets imagined as families of a Lower East Side neighborhood. In this concept, the Capulets (Juliet’s people) are long standing stewards of the neighborhood. Romeo’s Montagues, on the other hand, are upwardly mobile, eager to rise above it. Raphael once directed “Romeo and Juliet” in North London as a Tango musical set in Buenos Aires. This time, he sees his job as telling a fast, gritty story clearly and succinctly, stressing its language and incorporating sounds of the street and city to provide the backdrop. Instead of duels with swords, he will have knife fights choreographed by Frank Alfano, who staged the fights in an Off-Broadway adaptation of “A Clockwork Orange” in 2015.
The cast includes Adam Huff (as Romeo), Anwen Darcy (as Juliet), Alessandro Colla (as Mercutio), Una Clancy (as Nurse), Jake Lesh (as Tybalt, Paris), Kendra Lee Oberhauser (as Lady Capulet) , Jack Sochet (as Capulet), Serena Miller (as The Friar), John Caliendo (as Benvolio) and Samantha Sutliffe (as Gregory, Apothecary, Peter). Set design is by Lukas Raphael. Costume design is by Sofia Piccolo. Fight choreography is by Frank Alfano.
The cast is an ensemble of Drilling Company artists who have been honed through the years in many Drilling Company and Shakespeare in the Parking Lot productions. Anwen Darcy (Juliet) appeared as Beatrice in “Much Ado About Nothing” in Shakespeare in the Parking Lot in 2016 and stole the show as Mercutio in The Drilling Company’s production of “Romeo and Juliet” for Bryant Park Shakespeare in 2015, earning praise from the The Village Voice’s Miriam Felton-Dansky for her “strong…punky” performance. Adam Huff (Romeo) has appeared in Shakespeare in the Parking Lot as Bertram in “All’s Well That Ends Well” (2016) and Bassanio in “The Merchant of Venice” (2015). Alessandro Colla (Mercutio) has appeared in the Parking Lot in many major roles including Richard the Third, Hamlet, Toby Belch and Duke of Gloucester.
Director Lukas Raphael grew up in Leipzig, Germany and found Shakespeare while in school in the Isle of Man. He trained at the University in Exeter, LAMDA, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Academia Dell’Arte and later the Atlantic Theater Company Conservatory. He was the Artistic Director of a theater Company in England (2006-2010) before moving to New York in 2012. His directing credits include: “The Tempest” (The Drilling Company in Bryant Park), “The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine,” “The Triumph of Death,” “Tryst” (independent feature film), “Romeo and Juliet de Buenos Aires,” “A Midsummer Nights Dream,” “Titus Andronicus” and “As You Like It!” Beside Shakespeare in the Parking Lot and The Drilling Company, he has acted with several UK companies and several regional theaters in the US.
ABOUT SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKING LOT
Shakespeare in the Parking Lot (SITPL) is now in its 25th year. It was begun in 1995 by Expanded Arts under the artistic direction of Jennifer Spahr. When Ms. Spahr retired in 2000, an organization known as Ludlow Ten was formed under the direction of Leonard McKenzie. The Drilling Company began co-producing SITPL with Ludlow Ten in 2001. After Mr. McKenzie’s retirement in 2005, The Drilling Company was asked to continue the great tradition of Shakespeare in the Parking Lot. A chronology of the year-by-year offerings in the unique setting is available on the Shakespeare in the Parking Lot website, www.shakespeareintheparkinglot.com. The concept of free Shakespeare in a parking lot, presented with a “poor theater” aesthetic, is now widely imitated around the US and around the world, with productions as far away as New Zealand.
In 2014, having lost its Parking Lot when the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area gave way to a giant mixed-used development, The Drilling Company sought a new location in the Lower East Side to continue the spunky Lower East Side tradition. After a nine-month search, the new space adjacent to The Clemente, on Norfolk Street between Delancey and Rivington Streets, was arranged. Like the previous location, it is a working parking lot and has the urban, gritty atmosphere that has made these productions memorable through the years. It is just three blocks from the municipal parking lot where the annual Free Shakespeare festival originated.
ABOUT THE DRILLING COMPANY
Beside producing Shakespeare, The Drilling Company (www.drillingcompany.org), led by Artistic Director Hamilton Clancy, is an incubator of new American plays. It produced new works in an intimate theater space at 236 West 78th Street, formerly 78th Street Theater Lab, from 1999 to 2014 and is presently seeking new digs for this aspect of its work. Last season, it presented “Gabriel: A Polemic” at North of History, a “popup” gallery and performance space located at 445 Columbus Ave. (between 81st and 82nd Street), near its 15-year home. The company is also the exclusive producer of Shakespeare plays for Bryant Park Presents Shakespeare. Its next production there will be “Othello” August 29 to September 7. Info on Bryant Park events: www.bryantpark.org.
ABOUT THE CLEMENTE CENTER
The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center Inc. is a not-for-profit Puerto Rican/Latino cultural institution located on the Lower East Side whose mission is focused on the cultivation, presentation, and preservation of multi-cultural artists and performance events that fully reflect the cultural diversity of the Lower East Side and the City as a whole. The Clemente offers support services and subsidized administrative, studio, rehearsal, community and performance/exhibition space to artists and nonprofit arts organizations; venue rentals for performance, and public programs that reflect and advance the Center’s vision. Housed in a City-owned architectural landmark-quality building, the five-story, 98,000 square foot building has two art galleries; four theaters; three rehearsal/multi-use rooms, an outdoor plaza and 46 visual arts studios. It is also home to 11 performing, arts, and educational organizations.
IF YOU GO
“Romeo and Juliet” will be performed July 11 to 27, Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:00 PM. All admission is free. Seats are available on a first come first served basis, with audience members often arriving early to secure a place. Audience members are welcome to bring their own chairs. Once seats are gone, blankets are spread out. No one has ever been turned away and there’s never a wait for tickets.