Shakespeare in the Park Opens This Sunday in Hollister

Forte Theatre Productions and The Branson Regional Arts Council are partnering once again to present Shakespeare in the Park in Southwest Missouri.  This year’s production, “The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet” is set in the last days of the Civil War.
Performances will take place at Chad A. Fuqua Memorial Park in Downtown Hollister on Sunday July 29, Monday July 30 and August 5th and 6th at 8pm.  Tickets may be purchased at the gate line, however (no wait) advance tickets are available at

This is a “bring your own blanket or lawn chair” event.

The famous Shakespearean love tragedy takes on a new challenge, as not only are Romeo and Juliet from opposing families, they are on opposing sides of the war.  “Incorporating Missouri Civil War history in our version of Romeo and Juliet plays to the tension of the story,” says Forte Theatre producer Tina Cool-Anderson. “Here in Missouri, it was family versus family.  The state was extremely divided.”

Music and costumes from the era are utilized in the production.

The show features a 15 foot antebellum home set piece designed by Ian and Duane Lahlum. It is distressed to showcase the wages of war. Extensive fight sequences choreographed by Brian Huff include sword play and even a bull whip.  “These are not your traditional fights seen in Romeo and Juliet.  It is going to keep the audience on their toes,” says Cool-Anderson.

The cast of 15 includes Maceo Cortezz as Romeo and Brenna Kellem as Juliet.  Cortezz is a recent high school grad and will be studying acting in London in September at the prestigious Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.  Kellem will be a senior at Forsyth Public Schools.
Other cast members are Josh Boulden (Mercutio), John Paul Fox (Benvolio), Brian Huff (Tybalt), Michael Sager (Friar Lawrence), Randi Shetley (Lady Capulet), Mindy Law (Nurse),  Jeffrey Stringer (Capulet), Tommie Anderson (Montague), Joel Ashur (Paris), Daniel Bush (Prince), Charis Boulden (Featured Ensemble) Mary Huff (Featured Ensemble) and Brandon Farrar (Featured Ensemble).
The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is directed by Justin Ables with choreography by Cori Briggs.
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