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updated: 6/21/2013 9:50 PM

Passion ahead! "Romeo & Juliet" comes alive at Wheaton Drama

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  • Garrett Ard as Romeo and Nikki Wilson as Juliet perform during the Taste of Wheaton. Audiences can see the full production of "Romeo & Juliet" from June 28-30 and July 5-7 at Wheaton Drama.

      Garrett Ard as Romeo and Nikki Wilson as Juliet perform during the Taste of Wheaton. Audiences can see the full production of "Romeo & Juliet" from June 28-30 and July 5-7 at Wheaton Drama.
    Steven Merkel

Jo-Ann Ledger

"I defy you stars!" Breaking with tradition, Wheaton Drama, Inc. is presenting "Romeo & Juliet" as the 2013 Summer Studio Show.

Inspired by modern-day New Orleans, each of the six performances has pre-show entertainment which begins approximately 20 minutes before curtain. Jackson Square-style street performers and tracks from pillars of the New Orleans music scene bring a distinct flavor to the show. Rock music is used during the scene changes and exciting fight sequences, and a Fortune Teller guides the audience through William Shakespeare's famous tragedy.

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While the classic language is retained, this version has a shortened running time and women are playing several characters traditionally portrayed by men.

Staged in the air-conditioned comfort of Playhouse 111, Wheaton Drama's "Romeo & Juliet" is a high-energy, accessible way for audiences to experience the passion and drama of the titular star-crossed lovers and their families' violent feud.

Fans of Shakespeare in the Park will enjoy the feel of an outdoor production without actually having to battle weather, nature, and uncomfortable seating.

The "Romeo & Juliet" cast is: Trish Ambrosio as Lady Capulet; Garrett Ard as Romeo; Eric Faler as Sampson; Emma Gotter as Rosaline; Phoenix Heart as Paris; James Hill as Friar Laurence; Katie Kanturek as Friend to Juliet/Street Performer; Emily Karnick as Police Officer/Street Performer; Jessica Keith as Fortune Teller; Rod Kelly as Capulet; Kathy Martin as Nurse; Katheryn Pucillo as Gloria; Ish Rios as Peter/Police Officer/Street Performer; Dan Stromquist as Balthasar; Andrew Trygstad as Mercutio; John Trygstad as Abraham; Tom Viskocil as Lord Montague; Sharon Voss as the Prince; Eric Waddick as Tybalt; Jake Walker as Young Montague; Danny Weber as William; Lynda Wellhausen as Benvolia; Nikki Wilson as Juliet; Leah Rae Witt as Lady Montague.

Jeni Dees directs, assisted by Jo-Ann Ledger. Jackie Haiser is the production manager. Katie Lawrence and Katheryn Pucillo are the fight choreographers. Stage management is by Jackie Haiser and Katie Lawrence.

Performances of "Romeo & Juliet" are June 28 at 8pm, June 29 at 8pm, June 30 at 3pm, July 5 at 8pm, July 6 at 8pm, and July 7 at 3pm at Playhouse 111, 111 N. Hale Street, downtown Wheaton. Tickets are just $10 each. Seating is General Admission. This show contains mature themes and stage combat.

Wheaton Drama's 2013-2014 season includes "Lend Me a Tenor", "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat", "And Then There Were None" ("Ten Little Indians"), "Steel Magnolias", and "The Music Man". Additional shows include "Broadway Gems: Musicals You Might Have Missed" - a musical cabaret (2013 Summer Fundraiser) from August 9 -11, and "It's A Wonderful Life - Radio Show" (2013 Holiday Fundraiser).

For show tickets and information, please visit, or call 630-260-1820. Follow on Twitter at WDIpublicity.

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