Countless actors have filled the classic leading role of Romeo. But for Evan Jonigkeit, the part has a handful of new twists and challenges. Jonigkeit will portray Romeo in Mauckingbird Theatre’s upcoming production of Shakespeare’s R&J at the Adrienne Theater, starting next Monday. The play centers around Jonigkeit and three other male students in a “repressive preparatory school” who are studying Romeo and Juliet and find their lives entangled inside the timeless story.
Jonigkeit is a Temple alum who also teaches acting in Philadelphia. He has some experience with Mauckingbird shows and their modern takes on classic stories””he played CÃƒÂ©limÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¨ne in the company’s presentation of The Misanthrope.
What was the hardest part of your role in R&J?
In addition to playing Romeo and the Shakespearian text, to have to layer an additional character whose needs and wants may differ from Shakespeare’s original intents”Ã‚Â¦
What are you looking forward to most in the show?
The spontaneous playfulness these characters have is really special and exciting. It is a pleasure to rediscover every day.
Have you ever done any traditional Shakespeare? How does this compare?
I have– in many ways it is similar in regards to the text work and striving for clarity but the world this is set in gives more freedom for modern interpretation.
What is your favorite theatre in Philadelphia? Favorite theatre company in Philadelphia?
My favorite theatre is always the one I am working at! My favorite company is Pig Iron. I began working with those guys and gals 6 years ago, as a student. They are excellent people and artists and showed me a specificity to strive for in my work.
What is the best play you saw in Philadelphia recently?
What’s your favorite “Philly” thing to do?
Phillies VS. Mets games!
August 1 – 23, Adults $20, Students/Seniors $15
Adrienne Theatre, Mainstage
2030 Samson St, Philadelphia, PA