American Players Theatre
5950 Golf Course Road
P.O. Box 819
Spring Green, WI 53588
Box Office: 608-588-2361
SHAKESPEARE UNDER THE STARS
Oh, do we have a show for you. A play that makes every best-of list grows even more glorious with the marriage of Shakespeare’s spoken poetry with American Sign Language. A mixing of the aural with the visual - Shakespeare’s words take shape on the Hill stage, as his poetry swirls through the air, amplifying the impact of a story that fills and breaks our hearts, time and again. The breathtaking bloom of young love. A savage family rivalry raging in a state addicted to adrenaline and violence. Verona is a place where you move or you die. If anyone took a second to think, maybe things would turn out differently. Runs August 11 - October 7.
In this gorgeous new production, American Sign Language is seamlessly united with Shakespeare’s sweeping poetry. The story is one you likely know - the feuding Montague and Capulet clans come crashing together when the star-crossed Romeo, who is deaf, and Juliet, who is hearing, fall utterly in love, even though they speak different languages. As characters speak their truths with their whole hearts, a chorus of actors speaks along with the signing in this lush, full-hearted imagining of one of the greatest tragedies ever written.
Featuring two actors who are deaf - Joshua Castille playing Romeo and Robert Schleifer playing Friar Lawrence- this production explores nuances between characters a new way.
Casting subject to change
More About This Production
This production of Romeo & Juliet features two actors who are Deaf - Joshua Castille as Romeo and Robert Schleifer as Friar Lawrence. The rest of the cast is hearing.
While this production contains ASL, almost all of the signed lines will also be spoken aloud.
Captioning will be available for every performance using the GalaPro system or app. Please contact the Box Office at 608-588-2361, or email [email protected] to reserve a GalaPro device.
Romeo & Juliet performances will be fully ASL interpreted on the following dates:
Saturday, August 19 at 8:00 PM
Wednesday, September 27 at 10:00 AM (Student Matinee Performance)
Sunday, October 1 at 6:00 PM
Tuesday, October 3 at 10:30 AM (Student Matinee Performance)
Seats with the best view of the interpreter are in Section 6, rows H and back, and noted on the seating chart for each of these performances.
The Box Office is happy to help you book seats in view of the interpreter.
Visit APT's accessibility page for the full list of ASL interpreted performances this season, or for more information.
APT's remarkable 'Romeo and Juliet' demands attention by Lindsay Christians, The Cap Times
August 21, 2023
Deaf actor Joshua Castille brings a new Romeo to APT by Lindsay Christians, The Cap Times
August 19, 2023
Deaf actors make this 'Romeo & Juliet' a truly bilingual love story by Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
September 7, 2023
I’m not sure how it happened but I have been in a long-term relationship with this story since I saw my first production 37 years ago.
The production had swager, leather pants and great sword fights. I was able to meet the actor playing Mercutio who coached me in my first Shakespearian monologue. It was an experience that opened me up to the world of theatre.
Then I found the Franco Zeffirelli’s movie which I watched over and over repeatedly. The Italy of it all, the incredible moonlit romance, the husky voice of Olivia Hussey, all of it shaped my taste for what a beautiful production could be.
The first real play I was asked to direct was Romeo and Juliet. It was a rambunctious, playful warm-hearted production but what to do when the clouds rolled in… I was out of my depth. Then life happened. I fell in love. The kind of bone deep love that hurts to think about and is almost impossible to live through. The kind of love that gives you an exquisite appreciation for a poet who can name the feelings that feel indescribable to anyone except a poet. I was asked to direct the play again and this time I could hear it in my mind's ear. Although imperfect, this production gave me a glimpse of what an artist could accomplish if they brought their vulnerability to a story and if they were brave enough to dig deep. A bit later in life I had another chance to work on this story again. This time I had loved and lost many times and lived through the tragic experience of someone very close to me taking their own life. From this new lens the vividness of how greater obstacles, both inside and out, carve and dictate our fate found it way into the telling of the story. The blood was real now, the language personal the play had so many more secrets to reveal. There was now a familiarity and with and deep affection for the beautifully flawed incredible characters who populate Williams Verona particularly the young woman Juliet who has become so dear to me. Then 10 years later sitting in rehearsal on another project I saw an actor who communicated in American sign language in a performance that was so immediate and soulful that I was struck like a thunderbolt with the idea that this was the Romeo I had always wanted to see. Against impossible odds we made a production that brought the play to life in a completely unexpected way and planted the seeds for the show you are about to see tonight. I am indebted to so many people with whom I have worked to understand this play. Josh Castile, Brenda DeVita, Lindsay Welliver, Reggie Jackson. What incredible partners I have had on this journey. I hope that this production reveals some of the extraordinary love I have come to feel for this play and these characters. And that tonight you can see this timeless story from a whole new perspective.
- John Langs, Director of Romeo & Juliet