(CINCINNATI, Jan. 25, 2019) – Xavier University Theatre continues its 2018-19 season with William Shakespeare’s tragic and beautiful love story Romeo and Juliet. The show runs February 8 through 10 in Xavier University’s Gallagher Studio Theatre.
In fair Verona, tensions rise between two feuding families: the Capulets and the Montagues. Caught in the middle of their parents’ rage, a pair of star-crossed lovers comes together with tragic results.
Being “young and in love has not changed,” says Cat Sholtis, who plays Juliet. “We still have big parties, sneak out, defy our parents, make rash decisions and fall intensely in love.” The feelings of Romeo and Juliet are “so true that there is no room for hesitation or fear, there is just certainty. Where most lovers might be shy and tentative, these two are completely honest with each other, with some of the most beautiful words ever written.”
But Romeo and Juliet is not all drama. The show also includes crude comedy and high-stakes fights. It “competes with Hamlet for the title of Shakespeare’s funniest tragedy, and it offers one of his greatest minds in Juliet,” director Craig Wesley Divino said.
Divino is returning to Xavier University Theatre for his fourth year. “This is an opportunity for which I’m always grateful,” he said. “It’s a chance to spend a few weeks in a room with a handful of smart, dedicated students who want to find out what they’re capable of.”
Divino’s direction has “helped create a community with this ensemble where we are not afraid to take risks and play,” said Ellie Conniff, who plays Romeo. “We hope to make the piece our own by illuminating this story in a way that is fresh to audiences who have seen it before and exciting to those who might be seeing this play for the first time.”
In addition to Conniff and Sholtis, the cast for Romeo and Juliet features Gigi Relic (Mercutio), Kelsey Schwarber (Benvolio), Sam Martini (Nurse), Elliot Auch (Friar Lawrence), Christian Hall (Capulet), Connie Kavensky (Lady Capulet), Kertu Bell (Tybalt), Olivia Pletcher (Prince), Emmy Rice (Paris/Lady Montague), Tess Chadwick (Montague/Second Capulet/First Servant/Musician), Aiden Dalton (Peter/Apothecary/Second Watchman) and Jess Flake (Gregory/Friar John/First Watchman/Second Servant).
Led by Divino, the creative team also includes Joe Leonard (Set Designer/Technical Director), Joe Beumer (Lighting Designer), and Stephen Skiles (Producer). The stage manager is Trever McKenzie. Assistant stage managers are Peyton Wright and Tina Boffa. The assistant directors are Emily Jorgenson and Caroline Conard.
Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 8 and 9 and 2:00 p.m. on Jan. 9 and 10. Tickets for Romeo and Juliet are available now through the Xavier University Theatre Box Office. They are $18 each for adults and $13 each for students, as well as Xavier faculty and staff. To purchase tickets, visit http://www.xavier.edu/theatretickets or call