5 Reasons to see "Ampersand: A Romeo and Juliet Story" at Fringe this year!

3:59 PM / Posted by Ashley /

Time to celebrate some of the amazing young artists in NYC (and there are many of them). Two in particular that are on my mind this week, Mariah MacCarthy, author of Ampersand: A Romeo and Juliet Story in the NY International Fringe Festival and Robert A. K. Gonyo, Artistic Director of Co-Op Theatre East and creator of Go See a Show, a new Off-Off Broadway podcast.

Top Five Reasons to see "Ampersand: A Romeo and Juliet Story" at the NY International Fringe Festival:

1. Strong female characters. With Mariah behind the script, it's expected and delivered. Playwrights and producers take note, this is a woman that needs to have work produced more often. She is writing strong, challenging roles for women in their 20s that are far more interesting than some of the more traditional parts that have been out there in the past.

2. Writing that is questioning traditional stereotypes and gender roles but isn't didactic.

3. Fantastic music and musicians (Emily Rupp from Project Girl Performance Collective is a stand out. Her short vocal performance is hauntingly beautiful.)

4. A talented young cast of "non union" actors. Eventually many of the cast members will be union and working nonstop in theatre, film and television, but until then, let's take a moment to acknowledge the new and/or underused talent thriving in this city. Fringe is traditionally the place to see "up and coming" performers. This ensemble is strong with many stand outs.

5. Lauren Hennessy. Her performance as Romeo is stunning. Since we're being honest here, I'd like to come out as an official (and once closeted) Lauren Hennessy fan. She was a standout in the Ampersand workshop in addition to Purple Rep's All American Genderfuck Cabaret. I look forward to seeing what's next for Lauren.

I've been following Ampersand since it's workshop days at Looking Glass Theatre, and it's come quite far. Part of the fun has been watching the actors (many who were part of the workshop cast at Looking Glass) grow with the script and completely embody their roles. I am looking forward to seeing where Ampersand will go next. I expect big things for this piece.

Info on how to see "Ampersand: A Romeo and Juliet Story":

Ampersand: A Romeo & Juliet Story
By Mariah MacCarthy
Music by Brian Kirchner
Directed by Amanda Thompson

Brigitte Choura, Julie Ek, Nic Grelli, Craig Hanson, Lauren Hennessy, Jeremy Michael Lagunas, Diana Oh, Anna Savant, Jordan Tierney, Lauren Weinberg, and Matthew Welsh, and Emily Rupp on guitar.

Elizabeth Weitzen - Costume Designer
Liz Elliot - Lighting Designer
Christopher Shepard - Choregrapher
Teddy Lytle - Fight Director
LeeAnn DiCicco - Graphic Design
Kacey Stamats - Photography
Eva Schelbaum - Assistant Director
Tom Meredith - Technical Director
Christopher Diercksen - Assistant Producer
Marina Steinberg - Stage Manager

Executive Producers:
Larry Kunofsky, Mariah MacCarthy, and Leta Tremblay

FOR TICKETS and FringeNYC listing: http://www.fringenyc.org/b​asic_page.php?ltr=A#Ampers

The Story:
A prissy Beauty Queen falls in love/hate with a guitar-wielding firebrand. Is there room for this bad romance in Verona, Iowa? Or will Juliet stay in her walk-in closet? An award-winning pop-folk musical, with drag queens.

Performance Dates:
Friday, August 12 @ 5pm
Sunday, August 14 @ 8:15pm
Thursday, August 18 @ 2pm
Saturday, August 20 @ NOON
Saturday, August 27 @ 7:45pm

Finally, check out Robby's new podcast, a much needed asset to the off off Broadway community, "Go See A Show". His first interview is with Mariah. Info below:

About “Go See a Show!”


The “Go See a Show!” podcast is (as far as I can tell) the only podcast dedicated to the off-off-Broadway scene in New York City. Every week, I interview an artist making theatre in New York City, discussing the ideas and process behind their work.

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