Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Griffith Park Shakespeare Festival, Now Safe at Home

Nikhil Pai and Bukola Ogunmola as Romeo and Juliet in the latest staging of the classic by the Independent Shakespeare Company

Los Angeles-based Independent Shakespeare Co. (ISC) has adapted Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet into a hybrid stage production blending recorded, live and interactive scenes, as well as social media. Romeo & Juliet will livestream eight performances September 17-27 from a stage in Atwater Village.

Audience members will be able to choose their level of interaction with this 90-minute production. For a traditional viewing, simply tune in to the performance at the ISC website or ISC’s Facebook page (where you can join in a live conversation between viewers).

To level up the experience, viewers are invited to wander the digital landscape at leisure. Peruse the Apothecary’s musings on his Facebook storefront (Culling The Simple @apothecaryofmantua) and have a gallery experience (and even purchase artwork) at Benvolio’s art portfolio.

Reach peak digital immersiveness with a real-time social media experience. Follow and interact with characters’ social media accounts by accompanying Mercutio on Twitter (@mercutioloyal). Follow Paris as he climbs to influencer status on Instagram (@paristhenoble). During the play, keep your eye on Twitter because Mercutio might turn directly to you when he needs help finding Romeo. Surprise interactions make each performance a unique event.

A talkback is scheduled for Sept. 26 at 6:00 pm. Bukola Ogunmola (Juliet), Nikhil Pai (Romeo, Director of Photography) and Melissa Chalsma (director), give insight into their artistic collaboration and how this digitally immersive hybrid stage production evolved for a contemporary audience.

The theater company’s Artistic Director Melissa Chalsma adapted and directs the production, which is free to attend. She notes the plays timeliness: “Romeo & Juliet is a play about young people who must navigate a world damaged by irrational decisions made by all-powerful adults. Even though their end is tragic, the love that Romeo and Juliet share, and their optimism for a better world, ultimately re-makes their community. Literally, the characters take control of their narrative and shape a new ending. It is a play that deals in emotional extremes. Expanding this play into a digital landscape allows us to let the audience into the characters’ secret lives.”

Romeo and Juliet runs Thursday–Sunday, September 17–September 20 and September 24–September 27. All performances are at 7:00 pm and all events are free and online. Access the show and all added experiences by registering here. In addition to the viewing link, you’ll receive detailed information before the production on how to engage with the play digitally.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Laura Foti Cohen
Laura Foti Cohen
Laura Foti Cohen has lived in the Brookside neighborhood since 1993. She works as a freelance writer, editor and consultant. She's also a playwright affiliated with Theatre West.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Latest Articles

.printfriendly { padding: 0 0 60px 50px; }