Del Shakes is heading into its fourth year as a year-round company with a free community tour of “Romeo and Juliet” — but first, it will bring some of Delaware’s biggest theater names and supporters, including U.S. Sen. Chris Coons and former governor and first lady Jack and Carla Markell, together for a cocktail party pop-up event that will explore different takes on the famous Shakespeare tragedy.
The fundraising event, inspired by the company’s 2019 theme, “Delaware in Love,” will be held on Sept. 20 at OperaDelaware in Wilmington.
“We wanted to support Delaware in Love because of the tremendous work Del Shakes, David Stradley and all of them do to connect the underserved and general population to Shakespearean storytelling,” said Honorary Chair Carla Markell in a press release. “So many of the plays share a common theme to social challenges we face today and the language is simply beautiful when spoken by the caliber of professional actors Del Shakes employs. The underserved often feel forgotten and Del Shakes offers connection, solace, and life learning.”
The Markells have been actively involved with theater in Delaware, even performing “Love Letters” together at the Delaware Theatre Company for one night in 2013 while Jack Markell was serving as governor.
In addition to the Markells and Coons (plus his daughter Maggie Coons), participating “DELebrities” will include:
- Sharin Apostolou and Ryan MacPherson
- Drewry Fennell and Lisa Goodman
- Marisa de los Santos and David Teague
- Lynne Howard and Don Brown
- Mihaela and David Plaza
- Michelle and David Stradley
- Katrina M. Watson
The fall community tour, featuring statewide performances of “Romeo and Juliet,” is directed by Philadelphia’s Lindsay Smiling and stars Freddy Amill as Romeo and newcomer Sol Madariaga as Juliet, with live original music composed and performed by Emily Schuman. The tour will run Oct. 23 to Nov. 17, with 18 free, full-length performances, including non-public performances at the Ferris School, Baylor Women’s Correctional, Sussex Correctional and Howard R. Young Correctional.
The public performances will be:
- October 23, 5:30 p.m. — Groves Adult High School (Red Clay), Stanton
- October 24, 6 p.m. — Christina Cultural Arts Center, Wilmington
- October 25, 12:30 p.m. — Milton CHEER Activity Center, Milton
- October 26, 6:30 p.m. — Sankofa Cultural Arts Center, Dover
- October 28, 10 a.m. — Easter Seals, New Castle
- October 29, 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. — Delaware State University, Dover
- November 1, 2 p.m. — Milford Public Library, Milford
- November 7, 5 p.m. — First State Community Action Agency, Georgetown
- November 8, 6 p.m. — Latin American Community Center, Wilmington
- November 9, 2 p.m. — Route 9 Library & Innovation Center, New Castle
- November 13, 6 p.m. — Ezion-Mt Carmel United Methodist Church/Delaware Center for Homeless Veterans, Wilmington
- November 14, 4 p.m. — Kingswood Community Center, Wilmington
- November 15, 5:30 p.m. — Central YMCA, Wilmington
Tickets to the “Delaware in Love” fundraiser start at $90 and can be purchased here.-30-