COLDWATER – High school students from the surrounding region will see Michigan Shakespeare Festival’s production of “Romeo and Juliet,” the Shakespearean tragedy of two star-crossed lovers, at Tibbits Opera House on May 7.
Tibbits presents the professional touring troupe as it recreates the beloved Shakespearean tragedy between two feuding families, the Montagues and the Capulets. This high-energy adaption is part of Michigan Shakespeare Festival’s educational outreach to high schools in southern Michigan, northern Ohio, and northeast Indiana. The production will be set in a combination of period-style and modern sensibilities, similar to how Shakespeare's own company would have mixed their current fashion with costume pieces and properties. The combat scenes will use classic Renaissance rapier and dagger.
The Michigan Shakespeare Festival started in 1995 as an outdoor summer event in Jackson, Michigan and has grown into a major attraction which utilizes a replica of the Globe Theatre. The non-profit group inspires and entertains diverse audiences while developing an appreciation for professional performances of Shakespeare's works, other classical plays, and literary adaptations. The Touring Company consists of 10 professional actors and a technical director.
The show, which is targeted primarily to high school freshmen and is 90-minutes long, will be presented at 9AM and again at 12PM. Students from Coldwater High School, Hanover-Horton, Pansophia Academy, Quincy High School, Reading High School, Adrian High School, Colon High School, Bronson High School, Burr Oak High School, and Fremont High School from Fremont, Ind., as well as several homeschool groups are currently registered to attend.
“Though students read and study the play in class, to truly understand it as Shakespeare intended, they need to see it performed. Tibbits is so happy provide students with this opportunity,” said Tibbits Director of Operations Stephanie Burdick. She added, “We encourage any school groups who want to supplement their ‘Romeo and Juliet’ curriculum to come see this production.”
ASAMA Coldwater Manufacturing has teamed with Tibbits to help the theatre present the school programming series. In addition to Michigan Shakespeare Festival presenting “Romeo and Juliet” on May 7, Wild Swan Theatre will conclude the series with their presentation of “Jack and the Beanstalk” on May 8 and 9. Other school programming presentations this year included “ArtReach”, “JazzReach”, “Reg Pettibone’s Authentic Native American Program”, and Young Michigan Dances’ “Campfire Stories from the New World,” for area students. The series is also funded in part by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Michigan Humanities Council.
For more information about this production or to make a reservation, please call Tibbits at 517.278.6029. The 9AM show is almost sold out, but there are seats available for the afternoon performance. The public is welcome to attend. The cost is $5 per person. Reservations are encouraged, especially for large groups, as they may not be available at the door. Both performances will be held at the historic Tibbits Opera House at 14 S. Hanchett St. in Coldwater, MI. For a complete listing of all shows and events held at Tibbits, please visit Tibbits.org