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'Romeo and Juliet' With 1930s Spin Comes To Port Chester

Emily Murray, of Harrison, and Sean Michael Chin rehearse a fight scene with choreographer Channing Porter of Rye. Photo Credit: Contributed
Monty Renfrow, of New York City, plays Romeo, and Claire Hilton, of Darien, Conn., portrays Juliet. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. --Shakespeare’s favorite star-crossed lovers, "Romeo and Juliet," are appearing this summer at several neighborhood Westchester parks Aug. 7-9 and Aug. 13-15.

This is the ninth year that the Port Chester Council for the Arts and LawnChair Theatre bring Shakespeare to Westchester County parks.

Set in the 1934 in New Orleans, this production of Shakespeare’s tragedy begins just before Mardi Gras and ends just after Ash Wednesday. The Montagues are a crime family who made their money as bootleggers, while the Capulets are part of the political and legal establishment.

The production boasts period costumes and scenery and a rich collection of jazz and blues music. "Romeo and Juliet" is directed by Los-Angeles based Emma Zakes Green and produced by Peter Green and Carin Zakes, co-founders of Port Chester’s LawnChair Theatre.

Stage manager for the production is Claudia Marino, a rising senior at Harrison High School.

While four of six performances are in Rye town, two are in Bedford and Mount Kisco.

On Aug. 13, LawnChair Theatre sets up and performs at 6 p.m. at the Westmoreland Nature Sanctuary in Mount Kisco in a benefit performance for the sanctuary.

On Aug. 14, the company is performing at 6 p.m. at Bedford Village Memorial Park.

The performers are from all different Westchester communities, as well as Fairfield County, Conn., and New York City.

There are two families involved in the production. The Spitzer family of New Rochelle has three members in the cast and one on running crew. Port Chester is represented by the producers and director, as well as Julie Thaxter-Gourlay, who plays the Nurse, and Kyle Thomas, who plays Balthasar.

A complete list of performance dates and times follows:

  • Friday, Aug. 7 – Crawford Mansion, Rye Brook, 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 8 – Lyon Park, Port Chester, 6 p.m.
  • Sunday Aug. 9 – Rye Town Park, Rye, 6 p.m.
  • Thursday Aug. 13 – Westmoreland Nature Sanctuary, Mount Kisco 6 p.m. (special benefit performance).
  • Friday Aug. 14 – Bedford Memorial Park, Bedford Village, 6 p.m.
  • Saturday Aug. 15 – Pine Ridge Park, Rye Ridge, 6 p.m.
  • Rain date for Rye Town Park and Pine Ridge Park: Sunday, Aug. 16, noon.

There is a suggested donation of $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. Spectaors should bring their own lawn chairs or blankets. There is no reserved seating. Light refreshments will be on sale. For further information, visit .

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