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New director Dennis Turney brings ‘Romeo & Juliet’ to ESU Theatre April 24-27

April 18, 2019

The final show of the 2018-2019 theatre season at Emporia State University is William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” Dennis Turney, who joined the ESU Theatre faculty last August, is making his directorial debut on the Bruder Theatre stage with this production that uses Shakespeare’s First Folio text. First published in 1623 — a few years after Shakespeare’s death, most consider the First Folio to be the most authentic version of the script as it was first performed by Shakespeare’s company.

Turney is excited to bring one of Shakespeare’s most popular tragedies to the stage for his ESU Theatre debut.

“This is an epic love story,” he says. “And I think that no matter how society changes or the world changes or where it goes, at the center of the heart, there is love. I think everyone relates to that.”

“Romeo and Juliet” features Ryan Wollum (De Soto) and Mollie McClanahan (Topeka) in the title roles. The cast includes Gabe Hernandez (Wichita), Hewleek McKoy (Olathe), Cameron Webb (Shawnee), Jack Greenwood (Valley Center), Elizabeth Tate (Sand Springs, Oklahoma), Rachel Muirhead (Hays), Haley Wells (Wichita), Torin Horvik (Fargo, North Dakota), Joseph Benchama (Wichita), Weiqi Meng (Beijing, China), Evan Grantham (Girard), Mariah Trible (Valley Center), Isabelle Nelson (Olathe), Lucas Coble (Olpe) and Isabella Harvey (McPherson).

The scenic and lighting designs for “Romeo and Juliet” are by Nancy J. Pontius, and Susie Williams is the costume designer, assisted by Olivia Nunnelley (Goddard). Amanda Dura is the costume shop manager. Chris Lohkamp is the technical director and sound designer. Senior Trevor Molz (Shawnee) is the dramaturg, David Miller (Kansas City) is the guest fight director and Elizabeth Higbee (Tonganoxie) serves as fight captain. Theresa Mitchell will provide choreography and movement for the show. Dustin Bittel (Ellis) and Ben Johnson (Wichita) are the stage managers.

The technical crew for the show includes Mason Nicks (Leavenworth), Jacob Schaefer (Pratt), Jonny Oliver (Overland Park), Drew Keller (Ellis), Erin McNeley-Phelps (Lenexa), Claire Robertson (Overland Park), Kyle Whitney (Burlington), Tim Hardman (Wichita), Greyson Waltmire (Topeka), Maddie Simmons (Emporia), Andrew Ralston (Topeka), Stephen Holbert (Olathe), Dayne Sabatos (Burlington), Skylar Corkins (Wathena), Jaeyun Im (Pohang, South Korea), Alma Santibanez (Wichita), McKenzi Crossman (Liberal), Mackinzie Mitchell (Ottawa), Yerim Noh (Pohang, South Korea), Kara McCormick (Gardner) and Tad Gilbert (Andover). Brian Perival (Olathe) is the house manager.

Tickets purchased in advance for “Romeo and Juliet” cost $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for students. Tickets purchased at the door on the day of a performance will increase to $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $8 for students. Tickets for all ESU Theatre productions can be purchased online at tickets.emporia.edu. Tickets are also available in person from the University Ticket Office in the Memorial Union or by calling 620-341-6378.

“Romeo and Juliet” will be performed in the Karl C. Bruder Theatre in King Hall at Emporia State University. The show runs April 24-27 with performances starting at 7:30 p.m. each night.

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