Hansol Jung's modern verse translation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet opens its limited run May 14. The production began previews at Off-Broadway's Lynn F. Angelson Theater May 9 where it plays through June 3.
Major Curda (KPOP) and Dorcas Leung (Miss Saigon) play the leading lovers Romeo and Juliet, respectively. Joining them in the all Asian-American company are Broadway's Brian Lee Huynh (War Horse) as Capulet, Purva Bedi as Friar Laurence, Jose Gamo as Mercutio, Zion Jang as Benvolio, Mia Katigbak as the Nurse, Rob Kellogg as Paris/Tybalt, and Daniel Liu as Peter/Lady Capulet. The full company also doubles as the ensemble.
Reuniting for Romeo and Juliet are Jung and Dustin Wills, having previously collaborated together on Wolf Play which won five 2023 Lucille Lortel Awards including Outstanding Play and Outstanding Director. Jung and Wills co-direct Romeo and Juliet which features original music by Brian Quijada, scenic design by Junghyun Georgia Lee, costume design by Mariko Ohigashi, lighting design by Joey Moro, sound design by Megumi Katayama, fight and intimacy direction by Rick and Christian Sordelet, and dramaturgy by Aaron Malkin. Casting is by Andrea Zee. Nygel D. Robinson serves as music director.
"Hansol and Dustin bring an unusual perspective to the familiar story, leaning into the comedy so that the tragedy is in devastating relief: 'See what a scourge is birthed to scorn your hate/That heaven found means to kill your joys with love.' One of the last few lines of the play, we are asked to think on the consequences of ‘rusty hate,’” said Katigbak in a statement.
Announced as part of Play On Shakespeare's current season, Romeo and Juliet was originally commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Play On Project, and is presented by NAATCO in partnership with New Jersey's Two River Theater where it recently made its world premiere.