SAN DIEGO–Cygnet Theatre will close its 10th anniversary season by presenting the San Diego premiere of Joe Calarco’s Shakespeare’s R&J.
Part Dead Poets Society,part Lord of the Flies, Calarco’s work takes audiences to an all-male Catholic boarding school where four schoolboys secretly discover Shakespeare’s most famous love story. The repressive school bans the play in favor of Latin conjugations and the Ten Commandments, but the four students unearth a secret copy and steal into the night to recite the prohibited tale of adolescent passion. The story gradually draws the boys into a discovery of universal truth that parallels their own coming-of-age. A riveting drama within a drama, Shakespeare’s R&J transcends the boundaries between play and player. An international phenomenon, Calarco’s adaptation has been staged all over the world including Japan. The show will be presented by Cygnet Theatre from May 22 through June 16.
This emotionally explosive drama will be directed by Cygnet Associate Artistic DirectorGeorge Yé. Currently a faculty member at USD and Mesa College, Yé will also serve as fight director for the2013 Summer Shakespeare Festival at the Old Globe Theatre and has numerous local credits at the Old Globe and La Jolla Playhouse with such hit shows as Allegiance, God of Carnage and Peter and the Starcatcher. His long-time association with Cygnet Theatre dates back to 2006 when he directed a production of Copenhagen at the Rolando Theatre. He has designed sound for numerous Cygnet Theatre productions and received a Critics Circle Craig Noel Award for Escanaba in da Moonlight.
“This is a classic love story reinterpreted through sonnets,” explained Yé. “It’s set in a world full of boys who grow during the evening and learn to accept that love is love no matter who is experiencing it. If you think you know Shakespeare, you’ve never seen it like this!”
The production is rooted in the cross-gender performances of the Elizabethan stage where men played all the roles. The cast will feature four graduates from the North Carolina School for the Arts. “I’m thrilled to continue the relationship with my alma mater,” said Artistic Director Sean Murray. “It enhances our already existing nurturing relationship with theater students and graduates from San Diego State.” Featured in the production are Dave Thomas Brown, Christian Daly, Tyler Lea and John Evans Reese. All except Christian Daly, who appeared in Man of La Mancha, are making their Cygnet Theatre debut.
Performances for Shakespeare’s R&J are May 22 through June 16 at the Old Town Theatre. Show times are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3 p.m., and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased by phone at (619) 337-1525, online at www.cygnettheatre.com, or by visiting the Box Office at 4040 Twiggs St. Discounts are available for students, active-duty military, CygNext members, seniors and groups of 10 or more.