WARWICK, RI — The Gamm Theatre is presenting a little bit of romance on Valentine’s Day with a free streamed performance of the balcony scene from the Shakespeare classic “Romeo and Juliet.”
The show, which is the latest installment in a series called “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” which has been running since the beginning of the pandemic last March, will be streamed at 7:30 pm on the theater’s YouTube and Facebook pages.
Artistic Director Tony Estrella said the goal is to explore the famous playwright’s body of work with actors.
“Usually I have a guest come on with me and we talk about a specific character or play and the idea is to help actors who are working on Shakespeare to get better at it and for audiences to have less fear of it by finding out a little more about how his language works,” Estrella explained. “We’ve covered a lot of different plays and characters and I thought for Valentine’s Day we would focus on Shakespeare and love.”
Shakespeare’s romance plays are a mix of tragedy and comedy. The trademark of a Shakespearean tragedy features a number of deaths, onstage and off, while Shakespearean comedies typically end in marriages. Romances usually begin as tragedies, but do not end that way. Because of this, romances are often referred to as “tragi-comedies.” The plays that fall into this particular category include:
- Pericles(written in 1608)
- Cymbeline(written in 1610)
- The Winter’s Tale(written in 1611)
- The Tempest(written in 1611)
Previous installments of “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” have featured actor/director Ricardo Pitts-Wiley (”MacBeth”), actress Karen McDonald (“Escaped Alone”), John Douglas Thompson (“Hamlet”), Remo Airaldi (“Richard III”), and Marianna Bassham (“A Streetcar Named Desire”).
Nora Eschenheimer, who has appeared in previous Gamm productions including “As You Like It,” will play Juliet.
Andrew Burnap, a Tony nominee for his role in “The Inheritance,” will play Romeo.
“We talk about it, we break it down a little bit and then they perform it,” Estrella said. “They’re at home and doing it over their computers, they let it rip with the language, it’s a lot of fun to perform the scene together.”
The Gamm Theatre, 1245 Jefferson Boulevard. For more information, visit the website at gammtheatre.org.