ACT’s ROMEO + JULIET: Beyond the Theatre

A Contemporary Theatre presents ROMEO + JULIET by William Shakespeare from March 1-31, 2019. Librarians at The Seattle Public Library created this resource list of books, videos, and a podcast to enhance your experience of the show.

ACT partnered with leaders in the Deaf community to make their production of Shakespeare’s classic story of young star-crossed lovers American Sign Language (ASL) integrated. The cast features deaf actors, including Joshua Castille as Romeo. Castille and others participated in a panel discussion on deaf actors and the use of ASL in musical theater at the Seattle Public Library back in June 2018. The Deaf Movement and Musical Theater is a podcast recording of that event. For other examples of Deaf Theater and Arts, watch the streaming video The National Theater of the Deaf: Performance and Commentary and check out Signing the Body Poetic: Essays on American Sign Language Literature, a collection of essays and an accompanying DVD that celebrate and analyze ASL artistic expression.

There have been many film adaptations of Romeo and Juliet. Notable versions include Franco Zeffirelli’s classic 1968 film, Baz Luhrmann’s frenetic and visually rich William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, and Aleta Chappelle’s recent Romeo and Juliet in Harlem, which features a cast of Black and Latinx actors.

Romeo and Juliet has also inspired a number of unique adaptations. Ronit & Jamil is young adult novel in verse set in the modern-day Israel-Palestine conflict. Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-path Adventure is a choose your own adventure style reimagining with more than a billion possible storylines. Ronald Wimberly’s graphic novel Prince of Cats (soon to be a movie starring Lakeith Stanfield) follows Tybalt and his crew of Capulets as they move through a stylized 1980’s Brooklyn battling the rival Montagues.

For these suggestions and more, see the complete resource list for ROMEO + JULIET.

~ Posted by Richard V.

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