Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, October 11, 2012
Opera House Arts unveils Romeo & Juliet & Zombies
Opera House Arts kicks off its 2012-13 educational programming with a year-long residency at the Deer Isle-Stonington High School beginning October 15-19 with actress, educator, and writer Melody Bates, according to a news release from Opera House Arts.
Bates, a professional actress and teacher based in New York City, was most recently seen as Cleopatra in Shakespeare in Stonington’s 2012 production of Antony and Cleopatra. She will work with island high school students on Romeo and Juliet, as well as developing, completing, and staging her original script, Romeo & Juliet & Zombies.
The new play in development begins with Act V and then continues where Shakespeare left off. Written in iambic pentameter, in the Shakespearean spirit of insurrection and mischief, it is informed by Bates’s own deep love for the Bard’s plays as well as by a gleeful affection for the scares and laughs of modern zombie fiction.
Bates will work with the Deer Isle-Stonington sophomore class, who are reading Romeo and Juliet this year. As part of the year-long residency, she will return in the spring and again in the summer, during which she will lead a workshop version of Romeo & Juliet & Zombies. Opera House Arts plans to produce both plays during its 2014 summer season. The production and workshop will involve professional actors as well as students.