Romeo & Juliet Feb. 29-March 10, 2024

Romeo & Juliet

Romeo & Juliet

February 29-March 10, 2024

Directed by Steve Dooner

Shakespeare’s eternal story of star-crossed lovers comes to life with all its poetry in the era of gangsters and hot jazz. Directed by Steve Dooner, Romeo & Juliet will run for four remaining shows Thursday through Sunday, March 7-10. Tickets are $33 for adults, $30 for seniors, and $25 for students. All Thursday shows are $25.

CAST

Romeo: Johnny Esposito

Juliet: Katie Ault

Prince Aeschylus: Jourdan Christopher

Lord Montague: Jack Sinnot

Lady Montague/Apothecary: Ingrid Larson

Lord Capulet: Marco Zanelli

Lady Capulet: Rosalie Fry

Nurse: Laura Gustafson

Mercutio: Christian Philippe Roulleau

Benvolio: Joshua True

Tybalt: Ethan Lazaro

Friar Laurence: Kevin Groppe

Friar John: Jack Sinnot

Abraham/Balthasar: Sam Groll

Peter/Gregory/Page: Laura Stevens

Paris: Chris Hartford

Sampson: TBA

Direction: Steven Dooner

Original Music: Bruce Webster

Costumes: Rosalie Fry

Cast Bios

Johnny Esposito
Johnny Esposito

Johnny Esposito (Romeo)
Johnny Esposito is thrilled to be making his Mass Arts Center debut. A Boston-based actor and storyteller, his recent credits include Jaxton in The Thanksgiving Play at Studio Theatre Worcester and Boy/Peter in Peter and the Starcatcher at Curtain Call Theatre. Other favorite roles include the narrator of the one-man show Every Brilliant Thing, Orsino in Twelfth Night, and Jerry in The Zoo Story. Johnny is a graduate of Bates College where he received a BA in Theater and Psychology. He is grateful to be taking this journey among such a talented ensemble of artists. johnnyesposito.com

Katie Ault
Katie Ault

Katie Ault (Juliet)
Katie is overjoyed to be returning to the Mass Arts Center stage after playing Juliet/Messenger in Measure For Measure last season. Other recent credits include: A Christmas Carol (Emerald City Theatrical) and Matilda The Musical (The Company Theatre). Katie also performed for Walt Disney Entertainment in Walt Disney World from 2018-2019. Gratitude to the cast and crew!

Jourdan Christopher
Jourdan Christopher

Jourdan Christopher (Prince Aeschylus) Jourdan Christopher is an African-American artist and photographer born in Detroit, Michigan. Jourdan settled with his family in Memphis in the early 2000s. He studied Rhetorical Studies and Philosophy at Bates College in 2014 and currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts. Inspired photographically by the likes of Andre Wagner, Roy DeCarava, Garry Winogrand, Gordon Parks, James Van Der Zee, and Carie Mae Weems, Jourdan turns moments into still and motion pictures of both fine art and social commentary. Focusing on race, class, gender & normality, involvement/community activism, and his own life experience, Jourdan creates visuals and narratives that place you before and within situations familiar and foreign. This is his first community theater role, and first with Mass Arts Theater.

Marco Zanelli
Marco Zanelli

Marco Zanelli (Lord Capulet)
Marco Zanelli has appeared in Twelfth Night (Malvolio), All’s Well That Ends Well (Parolles), The Tempest (Alonso), The Three Sisters (Solyony), A Christmas Carol (Scrooge, Marley) and Amadeus (Baron van Swieten). He is an Italian instructor, translator, actor, and director with affiliations to SAG-AFTRA, holds a BA in Television Production from Emerson College and an MA in Italian Language, Literature, and Cinema from Middlebury College, where he was awarded the Merlino-Mezzotero Award for Academic Achievement in Italian.

Rosalie Fry
Rosalie Fry

Rosalie Fry (Lady Capulet)
Rosalie Fry is an actor, improvisor, and costume designer from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where she lives with her partner, two dogs, and eight houseplants. She enjoys her work as a youth improv instructor at Mass Arts Academy. Recent behind-the-scenes work includes costume design credits for Amélie, Measure For Measure, and Forbidden Broadway at Mass Arts. On-stage appearances include Servant in The Government Inspector, Paige Walker in Belles, Jovie in Elf: The Musical, as well as ensemble roles in Godspell and All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten. She is thrilled to be working with such an incredible cast and crew on this production.

Jack Sinnott
Jack Sinnott

Jack Sinnott (Montague, Friar John) has appeared in numerous productions over 50 years including three stagings of Pride & Prejudice (Mr. Bennet), two stagings of Peter & the Starcatcher (Lord Aster), Peter Pan (John), A Wrinkle in Time (Mrs. Which), Don Juan in Hell  (Don Juan), Inherit the Wind (E. K. Hornbeck), Plaza Suite (Sam Nash), Music Man (Mayor Shinn), The Life and Times of Walter Mitty (Walter Mitty), In The Next Room, or the vibrator play (Mr. Daldry), Gross Indecencies: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde (Marquess of Queensbury), I Hate Hamlet (John Barrymore), The Audience (Anthony Eden), The Tragedy of Julius Caesar (Marc Antony), Lizzie of Fall River co-written by Steve Dooner (Judge Blaisdell), and in Measure for Measure (Escalus) here at the Mass Arts Center among many, many othersWhen Jack isn’t on stage, he is a dad who cooks Italian feasts, forgets to do the dishes, plays viola (badly) & dulcimer (also badly), and sings opera (terribadly), much to his children’s chagrin.

Ingrid Larson
Ingrid Larson

Ingrid Larson (Lady Montague / Apothecary)
Ingrid Larson is delighted to be making her debut in her first production at the Mass Arts Center, where she is also the House Manager/Volunteer Coordinator. Ingrid has been a student with the Mass Arts Academy enrolled in private acting lessons since 2022. Her inspiration to pursue acting not only comes from her own passion for literature, writing, theater, movies, and music; it also comes from her grandmother’s love for theater, movies, and music that her grandmother shared with her growing up. One of her most treasured items is her grandmother’s scrapbook of actors and actresses from the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s she adored. Over the years, as an act of preservation, Ingrid has turned these photographs into art which now decorate her walls and provide inspiration. Ingrid dedicates her performances to her grandmother and to her mother. All my love!

Kevin Groppe
Kevin Groppe

Kevin Groppe (Friar Laurence)
Kevin C. Groppe, a local actor, director, and playwright, recently played Dufayel/Collignon in Amelie and “Old Man” Strong in Urinetown (Mass Arts); Duke of Bedford in Born to Do This, Shylock in Something Rotten and Hertz in Rock of Ages (Company Theatre); Ike Skidmore in Oklahoma (Reagle). Other favorite roles: psychotic murderers (Cape Cod Radio Mystery Theatre); Grandpa Gellman in Caroline or Change (Moonbox); Claude Upson in Mame (Reagle); Doc in The Laramie Project (AlpaNYC); the Judges in To Kill a Mockingbird and in Parade and Dr. Bennet/Mayor in Big Fish (Umbrella); Hummel in The Ghost Sonata (Fort Point); Judge Thatcher in Big River (Lyric Stage); and Steve Ford in the movie This Killing Business. He was the long-time Head of Performing Arts at Dana Hall.

Laura Gustafson
Laura Gustafson

Laura Gustafson (Nurse)
Laura Gustafson is so happy to return to Verona as the Nurse, having played the role under Steve’s direction 19 years ago. Recent Mass Arts Center credits include A Broadway Christmas, PhyroGiants (Alex), and Assassins (Squeaky Fromme). Many thanks to Steve for taking me back on this journey. All my love to my moon and my stars.

Christian Philippe Roulleau
Christian Philippe Roulleau

Christian Roulleau (Mercutio)
Christian Roulleau is having the time of his life returning to this role 18 years after understudying it in grad school at the American Repertory Theater. This Mercutio is older, but not necessarily wiser. Christian’s first project at Mass Arts Center was 2018’s The Tempest, and he has since worked with Steve Dooner in last season’s Measure for Measure (Angelo). He has also been seen on Mass Arts Center stages in Assassins (Charles Guiteau), Noises Off (Lloyd Dallas), How the Other Half Loves (Frank Foster), Our Town (Doc Gibbs), and in the title role of last season’s Sweeney Todd. Catch him again in April playing a panoply of character bits in Gypsy! Other favorite roles include Max in Bent, Kilroy in Camino Real, Bosie in Gross Indecency, Lorenzo in Melancholy Play, Dionsysos in The Bacchae, Shatov in Dostoevsky’s Demons, and John Jasper in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. As always, Christian offers neverending thanks to his family for their love and support.

Joshua True
Joshua True

Joshua True (Benvolio)
Joshua True is excited to join the Mass Arts Center as Benvolio in their production of Romeo and Juliet! A fresh graduate of Dean College, he is eager to flex his acting muscles outside of an educational setting and bring life to the beauty of Shakespeare’s writing! He’d like to thank Steve for a chance to bring life to this timeless production, and give his appreciation to the amazing cast he was able to work with.

Ethan Lazaro
Ethan Lazaro

Ethan Lazaro (Tybalt)
Ethan Lazaro is making his Mass Arts Center debut. He graduated from Dean College in 2023 with a bachelor’s in theatre and is now pursuing a career as a performer and director. He most recently portrayed Wayne in Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic and is directing Disney’s Moana Jr. Along with performing and directing, he also plays professionally as a guitarist and vocalist. Ethan is very grateful for the welcoming community of the Mass Arts Center and giving him the opportunity to perform in his first Shakespearean play.

Chris Hartford
Chris Hartford

Christopher Hartford (Paris)
Chris Hartford is delighted to be making his acting debut with the Mass Arts Center. This marks the second time Chris has performed as Paris in William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, the first time being in 2004 at Seekonk High School. Favorite credits from SHS include Bye Bye Birdie (Harry McAfee), Thornton Wilder’s The Skin of Our Teeth (George Antrobus), Pippin (King Charlemagne), West Side Story (Riff), and Anything Goes (Elijah J. Whitney). Chris has also received theatrical training from the Trinity Repertory Company’s Student Ambassador program from 2005-2007. Chris has a B.A. in English/Writing from Bridgewater State University (2011), is a graduate of the Behavioral Health Service Corp at William James College, and is currently pursuing his M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Chris has worked in the field of mental health services for 7 years and is currently employed as a young adult peer mentor on the Mobile Crisis Intervention team with Riverside Community Care. In his free time, Chris is a website manager and independent writer for Indigo Wave Records, and one of his articles was published in The May Magazine in 2022, a music publication based in New Zealand. Chris proudly returns to the stage with the support of his wife Emily and daughter Lily.

Laura Stevens
Laura Stevens

Laura Stevens (Gregory/Page)
Laura is thrilled to be returning to the Mass Arts Center for the third time, previously she performed here in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Measure for Measure. She has also performed with Marion Art Center as Audrey Hart in Belles, Nemasket River Productions as Queen Alonsa in The Tempest and What Cheer Shakespeare as Pantina in The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Laura started acting in 2018 with the theater group We Did it For You, a musical about the history of women’s rights.

Sam Groll
Sam Groll

Sam Groll (Abraham/Balthasar)
Sam is making his Mass Arts debut after 5 years of community theater on the South Shore, broadening his horizons. Sam first met director Steve Dooner at The Company Theater in Norwell and worked with him on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the rest is history.

Robbie Seeley
Robbie Seeley

Robbie Seeley (Stage Manager / Fight Choreographer)
Robbie is happy to return to the Mass Arts Center booth for the third time this season! Last fall, he stage-managed the world premiere musical Reality Romance and designed the lights for Amelie! Last May, Robbie graduated from Dean College (I Hate Hamlet, Clybourne Park, Pippin) earning his B.A. in Technical Theatre with a minor in Arts & Entertainment Management. Robbie is a founding member of the Homebrewed Theatre Company, where he is always happy to stage manage new works such as The Daughters with Daggers Trilogy and Fairies of the Bone & Other Strange Shorts. Robbie would like to thank his family for their unending support, and his best friends Ethan and Josh for joining him on this Shakespearean journey.

Bruce Webster
Bruce Webster

Bruce Webster (Sound Design) is incredibly happy to be celebrating his 90th Mass Arts Center production by working with Steve on another Shakespeare classic. And this cast, I mean seriously!  And our incredible design/production team. Thanks for trusting me with the musical score.  A few MAC favorites along the way include: The 39 StepsNext To NormalAvenue Q, Our Town, Godspell, Puffs and Measure for Measure. Bruce has received DASH design awards for his work on CabaretBecoming Dr. RuthBarefoot in the ParkThe Tempest and Dead Man’s Cell Phone. A huge heartfelt thanks to his wife Paula for her encouragement and endless patience. Welcome to the Jazz Age… and two households, alike in dignity.

Steve Dooner
Steve Dooner

Steve Dooner (Sampson/Director) has directed many Shakespeare plays, dramas, and musicals in our local area. Last October, he directed Mass Art’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and he is now very excited to offer Shakespeare’s famous problem play, Measure for Measure. In 2013, he directed Euripides’ The Bacchae at the Oberon A.R.T. Stage in Cambridge, a production chosen as the A.R.T.’s official selection for the Boston’s first Fringe Festival on the Boston Common. He has also directed productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet at the Bay Colony Orpheum Theater in Foxboro; productions of Doubt and A Raisin in the Sun at Massasoit Community College’s Theater; To Kill a Mockingbird, Doubt, Dracula, Blithe Spirit and his own play, Lizzie of Fall River at the Company Theatre in Norwell; and finally, The Tempest, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), Ghosts Of Appomattox, and Picasso at Lapin Agile, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Measure for Measure here at The Mansfield Arts Center. When not performing or directing, Steve teaches English and theater at Quincy College.