ASC actors Josh Clark as Romeo and Zoe Speas as Juliet
ASC actors Josh Clark as Romeo and Zoe Speas as Juliet

The American Shakespeare Center (ASC) will present a free performance of The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare in Longwood University’s Jarman Auditorium on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m.

The performance by the internationally acclaimed theater company is being presented jointly by Longwood’s Department of English and Modern Languages and Hampden-Sydney College. It is open to the public as well as students.

Tickets are not required. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with a pre-show music and comedy performance before the curtain rises on Romeo and Juliet.

The role of Juliet will be played by ASC tour actor Zoe Speas, daughter of Bruce Speas, assistant professor of theatre at Longwood. Zoe also appeared in the company’s performance of The Importance of Being Earnest at Longwood in September 2015.

This is the fourth consecutive year the company has presented a free performance at Longwood, sponsored jointly with H-SC. Hamlet and The Merry Wives of Windsor also have been performed.

The Staunton-based company is known for a unique performance style that blends Shakespeare’s stagecraft with modern sensibility. Shakespeare-era staging conditions include universal lighting, minimal sets, doubling, cross-gender casting and music.

The ASC’s mission is to recover the joys and accessibility of Shakespeare’s theater, language and humanity by exploring the English Renaissance stage and its practices through performance and education. The company’s plays have been called "shamelessly entertaining" and "bursting with energy."

For more information, call Dr. Robin Smith at 434-395-2529.

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