Theater group will begin summer run by staging 'Romeo and Juliet'
Newberg's Penguin Productions is slated to kick off its summer shows this year with "Romeo and Juliet" at the end of the month.
Stephanie Spencer, marketing director for the outdoor theater company, said the group always tries to take a classic text and make it relevant to modern day experiences. The Shakespeare play is timeless, she said, and has themes that can be brought forward into the modern world, such as "finding resolution in conflict we never thought we'd find resolution to."
Spencer said the director, Cambria Herreria, is taking a look at how the different genders find strength outside of the box in which they find themselves.
"It will definitely be the story everybody knows and loves, but instead we're asking the audience a question as opposed to telling them a story," Spencer said.
The group began rehearsals last week and will continue five days a week until the play begins on June 28. The play will run at the outdoor theater on June 28-29, July 5-6 and July 12-13. The group will also perform a play titled "The Good Doctor" for Aug. 2-3, Aug. 9-10 and Aug. 16-17.
Tickets for "Romeo and Juliet" are available online at www.penguinsonstage.org/.
"Romeo and Juliet" will feature Brandon Vilanova as Romeo, Olivia Anderson as Juliet and Spencer as Mercutio. The rest of the cast is made up of Caleb Russell, Catherine Olson, Alanna Archibald, Victoria Alvarez-Chacon, Thomas Stallone, Kayla Hanson, Garrett Gibbs, Amberly Orr, JeanneAnn Faris and Linnea Rusaw.
Perhaps Shakespeare's most well-known play, the famous tragedy features two young, star-crossed lovers and their feuding families.
"The Good Doctor" will feature performances by Garrett Gibbs, Stephanie Spencer, Catherine Olson, Ashur Gharavi and Brandon Vilanova.
All performers are paid professionals, receiving a $1,000 stipend, supported by local sponsors.
The group wrapped on their winter play of "John and Jen," a musical featuring a cast of two people set between 1950 and 1990, on Feb. 10. Whereas the summer shows are held outside, Penguin Productions put on "John and Jen" at the Chehalem Cultural Center.
Penguin Productions, whose outdoor theater is off Dopp Road on Terry's Lane, launched in the summer of 2017. The founders of the group – Linfield College graduates Chris Forrer and Daphne Dossett, as well as Newberg High School graduate Garret Gibbs – wanted to create a scenic, outdoor venue in Oregon after experiencing one in California.
For their outdoor shows, Penguin Productions has limited physical seating, so guests are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets to sit on. Guests are also encouraged to pack a picnic dinner to have during the show; wine is for sale on site.
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