CTL to open season with ‘Romeo and Juliet’

Who could be better to lead the Community Theatre League into its 42nd season than William Shakespeare?

As its 2018-19 season opener, Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” has 7:30 p.m. performances on Sept. 14-15 and Sept. 20-22, with a 2 p.m. finale on Sept. 23.

CTL’s leadoff Main Stage attraction will be presented at the Community Theater, 100 W. Third St.

Bernadette Haas Jones, who directed last season’s Main Stage closer “Anything Goes,” is back in the director’s chair for the opener.

“We know what we are, but not what we may be.” Although this quote is from “Hamlet,” Jones believes that this quote may be equally applicable to the Bard’s tragic tale of star-crossed lovers.

Set in Elizabethan times, “Romeo and Juliet” focuses upon the impetuous young lovers, divided by the injustice and prejudice of their feuding families.

Heading the cast are Derek Matthews, as Romeo, and Abbey Neamand, as Juliet.

Playing principal roles are Joe Taylor, as Mercutio; Tim Hippensteel, as Benvolio; Connor Hill, as Tybait; and Maggie Able, as the nurse.

Featured in the large cast are: Andrew Shaffer, Jason Kriner, Janet Stroble, Bob Jones, Deb Buckman, Ramsey Uhter, Matthew Zeigler, Ellen McCormick, Emery Fox, Kurt Edkin, Demon-d Jackson, Maggie Able, Liam Gscheidle, Fred Lowmiller, Sonja Hiserman and Adam Fox.

The director is impressed with the enthusiastic hard work by the cast of “newbies” and veterans. Jones’ sentiments are shared by Philip J. Vonada, the show’s stage manager.

Vonada is also thrilled that “Romeo and Juliet” is the first Mainstage production of a Shakespearian work that CTL has undertaken in its impressive four decades’ history.

With its Open Auditions and non-discriminatory policies, CTL welcomes several cast members who are making their Main Stage debut, including: Derek Matthews, Connor Smith, Maggie Able, Connor Hill, Ellen McCormick, Liam Gscheidle, Kurt Edkin and Demon-d Jackson.

Ed Ploy is fight coordinator of “Romeo and Juliet,” which although written in five acts, is played in two parts, with one intermission.

The audience is alerted that “Romeo and Juliet” contains “bawdy humor, profound language and deep sentiment.”

This production also faithfully recreates all of the highlights of Shakespeare’s time-honored tragedy: the young lovers’ longings, the heated confrontations between the Capulets and the Montagues, the climatic sword fights — and yes, the balcony scene.

For more information, call 570-327-1777.