For years, it’s been the resident community theater group at a local landmark church nestled in a corner of Middletown. But if that description suggests a slate of shows no more challenging than the umpteenth revival of Arsenic and Old Lace, then let it be known that the Stone Church Players aren’t about to be intimidated by the likes of William Shakespeare.
Of course, the historic All Saints’ Memorial at the junction of Navesink and Monmouth Avenues is no ordinary house of worship, having predated much of the sprawling suburban township it sits within. And when the players present their staging of Romeo and Juliet for two weekends beginning June 9, the “Old Stone Church” promises to make for an appropriate fit with the Bard’s tragic romance of generational conflicts and star-crossed lovers.
Directed by Michael McClellan, who teamed with CJ Nolan to present the blood-drenched tragedy Macbeth at All Saints in 2014, this is an abridged version (approximately two-and-one-quarter hours) of the full-length text, as edited by Wichita Shakespeare Company’s Jane Tanner, and regarded as a thoughtfully prepared distillation of the play’s major themes and impactful dramatic moments.
Griffin Cole and Devlin Stark star as Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet, the young lovers whose bond is forbidden by a long-simmering battle between their respective bloodlines.
Performances of Romeo and Juliet are scheduled for 8 p.m. on June 9, 10, 16 and 17, with 2 p.m. Sunday matinees on June 11 and 18. Tickets ($20; purchase at the door by cash or personal check) can be reserved by calling (732) 226-6131.