Summer Shakespeare Theatre, a program of the Fox Valley Summer School Consortium will present the Bard’s most popular and powerful works, ROMEO AND JULIET, July 24-27 in the Appleton North High School auditorium, 5000 North Ballard Road.    A cast and crew of 40 students from several area high schools spend six weeks learning about Shakespeare and the theatre of the Renaissance while preparing a play for public performance.  Appleton North High School theatre instructor, Ron Parker, moved the program to the Fox Valley 15 years ago after founding and directing the program in Kenosha.  “For more than a quarter of a century Summer Shakespeare Theatre has been a wonderful opportunity for students from different schools  who are interested in theatre to study and perform the work of the greatest playwright in the English language.  In addition, students from various schools have a chance to meet and work together on a common project. This is a program unique in the country, and its continued success is truly due to the dedication and enthusiasm the many hundreds of students who have been part of it over the years.  Their love of Shakespeare and their belief in the program have made Summer Shakespeare Theatre possible and will continue to make it possible for many years to come.” 

Audiences who attend this summer’s performances of ROMEO AND JULIET will be treated to elaborate costumes and scenery, an original musical score created exclusively for this production by London composer Jay Chakravorty, and several special surprises.  In addition, one of the student actors will portray Shakespeare himself and will provide pre-play commentary as well as mingle with audience members during the show.   An exciting feature of the performance is the seating of audience members directly on the stage in a “studio theatre” environment to create a more intimate setting for the drama and to involve the audience in the action. 

Shakespeare’s most popular and most often produced play tells the story of two teenagers from the warring Capulet and Montague factions who fall in love at first sight. Caught between their feuding families, Romeo and Juliet desperately struggle to build a world insulated from the violence and hate, but their love is thwarted and forced towards a final confrontation with their tragic destiny.  “We’re taking a very different approach to the play,” said Parker, “focusing on the hate which destroys the young couple rather than on their romance.  Shakespeare is showing us through this timeless tragedy what comes of holding hatred and bigotry in our hearts—a lesson which speaks to us today just as strongly as it did to those of his own time.”

Performance times are 7:00 P.M. on July 24th,  25th,  26th,  and  1:00 P.M. on July 26th and 27th .  Admission is $8.00 and seating is limited to 120 per performance.   Tickets can be purchased at the North High School main office between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M. and at the door.  All seats are general admission.  

For further information, contact Ron Parker, director at 707-0487 or by e-mail, .