Feature: Deaf actor Joshua Castille brings a new Romeo to APT

Posted August 19, 2023


Lindsay Christians, The Cap Times | August 19, 2023

SPRING GREEN — Joshua Castille enters the world of “ Romeo and Juliet” from behind a stand of trees, pushing a low branch from his face as he approaches from the wings. Benvolio greets him with a gesture in American Sign Language — “good morrow, cousin!”

For the next several hours, Romeo won’t speak aloud. Castille, a Chicago-based Deaf actor making his debut at American Players Theatre this summer, doesn’t wear his hearing aids onstage, to fully embody a young character who — like Juliet — is struggling to be heard.

“I think it’s part of what makes this show special and different, and I think it really defines every relationship differently,” Castille said. “The audience will actually (understand) Shakespeare for the first time, because you’re seeing it, you’re hearing it and you’re putting it together.”

Director John Langs worked with Castille to adapt the script for this production, which APT runs through early October in the outdoor Hill Theatre. Castille worked with Langs four years ago when he played Romeo in a production at ACT Theatre in Seattle, where Langs is artistic director.

Continue reading article here