Shakespeare's R&J by Joe Calarco

Shakespeare's R&J by Joe Calarco

Directed by Matt Wallace

Event Details

Dates: August 17-28, 2022

Location: Henry Clay Theatre, 604 S 3rd St, Louisville, KY 40202

Tickets: $25


Health and Safety Requirements: Following the example of many other performance venues nationwide, audience members will be required to wear a mask and provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Thank you for your cooperation as we work to create and provide the safest experience for the audience, actors, and crew.  Additional information in “Frequently Asked Questions” below. 

“I dreamt a dream tonight.”

Joe Calarco’s R&J re-imagines the classic story of history’s famous doomed lovers as a modern coming-of-age tale in this co-production between Kentucky Shakespeare and Pandora Productions, Louisville’s theatre dedicated to telling stories of LGBTQ+ communities. The play explores forbidden love, vulnerability, and burgeoning sexuality as students at a repressive all-male school discover a banned copy of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. They steal into the night to recite the prohibited tale of adolescent passion and find themselves immersed in the story that begins to blur with their own lives as truths emerge.

Student 1:  Brennen Amonett
Student 2:  Shaquille Towns
Student 3:  Zachary Burrell
Student 4:  Tyler Tate

“Hot-blooded…Wrenching…[It] pulsates with an adolescent abandon and electricity of which Romeo himself might approve.”The New York Times

“R&J is a gem, the most inventive reimagining of a classic in years.” — Wall Street Journal

“A revelatory adaptation. One will never view the Shakespeare war horse without this production in the mind’s eye.” — USA Today

“This is one of the most electrifying adaptations of Shakespeare I have ever seen. When it comes to originality, sexiness, and daring, it is right up there with West Side Story.” — The Telegraph (London)

“I’ve seldom seen teenage isolation, insecurity, vulnerability and pain so touchingly evoked.”The Times

“A superb version that will open your eyes and ears to the piece as if you were experiencing it with unjaded wonder for the first time.” The Independent (London)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are your COVID protocols?

    Following the example of many other indoor performance venues nationwide, we will require audience members to wear a mask and provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend this production.

    Thank you for your cooperation as we work to create and provide the safest experience for the audience, actors, and crew.

    When you arrive, the front of house staff will check you in and ask each person to present identification and an official COVID-19 vaccination record card, photo copy, or immunization certificate from a healthcare provider OR written proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance start time.

    Masks are mandatory while inside but may be removed temporarily while actively drinking a beverage.

    All of the creative and production team are fully vaccinated and follow recommended health and safety protocols.

    If you are not feeling well on the day of your visit or if you have been ill within fourteen days of your performance date, please stay home.

  • What is the age recommendation for this production?

    The production is recommended for ages 13 and up.

    The production includes some hand-to-hand stage violence - expressions of learned hate and bigotry. As in Romeo and Juliet, the characters kiss onstage.

    For more specific show content and questions, please contact the office at or 502.574.9900.

  • Is food and drink available?

    Drinks from the bar will be available for purchase, and bar proceeds support Pandora Productions. Food will not be available at the performance.

  • How do I get a Shakespeare's R&J t-shirt?

    At the performance you will have the opportunity to purchase a limited edit R&J t-shirt. T-shirt sales proceeds support Kentucky Shakespeare.