Shakespeare Festival St Louis - In the Park

Romeo & Juliet

06.01.18 – 06.24.18

Directed by Elena Araoz

Shakespeare Festival’s most anticipated event of the year is our Mainstage production in Forest Park.  Romeo & Juliet returns to Shakespeare Glen for the first time since our inaugural season.

Since 2001, our patrons have watched free, high-quality Shakespeare productions under the stars. With no tickets required or gates to walk through, we bring the power of Shakespeare and his legacy of storytelling to all.


Our 2018 production of Romeo & Juliet will be directed by Elena Araoz, a rising star in American Theatre. Visit Elena’s website.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to bring this great love story to life in such an incredibly iconic setting in St. Louis’ beloved Forest Park,” Araoz said. “Working outdoors in the park presents so many opportunities for creativity; it really is an honor to be able to immerse myself in this project.”

Araoz will be joined by a St. Louis-based creative team, including Dottie Marshall Englis (Costumes), Margery and Peter Spack (Scenic Designers), John Wylie (Lighting), Rusty Wandall (Sound), Paul Dennhardt (Fight Choreographer), and Joanna Battles (Voice & Text), all of whom worked on previous Festival productions.

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Patrick Blindauer (Chorus/Peter/Sampson/Apothecary) Blindauer makes his main stage debut with Romeo & Juliet, having previously appeared in the Old North production of Shakespeare in the Streets. He also produced Treasure for Treasure, a SHAKE38 play which added puzzles to Measure for Measure. Local projects include The Wizard of Oz (Lion) at Variety Theatre, 42nd Street at The Muny, and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner at Upstream Theater.

Harrison Farmer (Abram/Servant/Ensemble) Farmer was most recently seen in Hamlet (Marcellus) at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. He has also appeared in She Kills Monsters (Orcus), The Philadelphia Story (Sandy Lord), and Macbeth (Young Siward) at The Webster Conservatory of Theatre Arts. Harrison will earn his BFA in Acting from The Webster Conservatory of Theatre Arts in 2019. Love and thanks to his family and friends.

Patrice Foster (Lady Montague) Foster is thrilled to be making her Shakespeare Festival St. Louis debut in Romeo & Juliet. She was most recently seen in Kirkwood Theatre Guild’s production of Good People (Kate). Regional credits include Sin Titulo (St. Louis Actors Studio), For her as a Piano (Pegasus Theatre Chicago), Hanging Mary, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, A Thousand Cranes (Barter Theatre),

Esmeralda Garza (Ensemble) Garza is beyond excited to be working with Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. Originally from Alamo, Texas, Garza has just finished her second year as a musical theatre major at Webster University’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts. She was last seen in the ensemble of Hamlet at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. She would like to thank all of the friends, family, and mentors that continue to support her journey and especially Shakespeare Festival St. Louis for this amazing opportunity!

Gary Glasgow* (Friar) Glasgow is returning for his 14th season at Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. Favorite productions include: A Winter’s Tale (Autolycus), Henry IV (Lord Chamberlain), Henry V (Archbishop), Richard III (Hastings), and The Taming of the Shrew (Gremio). Recently, he appeared in the critically-acclaimed production of Dancing at Lughnasa at Mustard Seed Theatre.

Dakota Granados* (Tybalt) Professional credits include Hidden Hate/Hidden Love for Anna Deavere Smith and the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue, and Alligator (The Sol Project and New Georges). Granados is a founding member of the production company Trend Productions (instagram:@trendmotion). He is a graduate of the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Theatre Arts. Much love to Elena, my wonderful friends and my supportive mother.

Karl Hawkins (Balthazar) Hawkins is thrilled to be returning to Shakespeare Festival St. Louis after just concluding the Education Tour. Hawkins is a St. Louis native and a graduate of the Conservatory of Theatre & Dance at Southeast Missouri State University. Credits include Cardenio: Shakespeare’s Lost Play (St. Louis Shakespeare); In The Heights (R-S Theatrics); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck); Marcus, or The Secret of Sweet (Marcus); and

David Heron* (Lord Montague) Award winning Playwright, Producer, Actor. This is Heron’s Shakespeare Festival St. Louis debut. Off Broadway/New York credits: The Emperor Jones (Irish Repertory Theater), The Winter’s Tale (New York Classical Theater) Moon on a Rainbow Shawl (New Federal Theater), Pecong, Medea (National Black Theater), Coriolanus, Antony and Cleopatra (Harlem Shakespeare Festival),

Jane Paradise* (Nurse) Paradise is delighted to join the amazing family of artists at Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. Shakespeare credits include Henry IV Part 1&2 (Williamstown Theater Festival, Williamstown, Mass.); Measure for Measure and Romeo and Juliet (Alley Theater, Houston); Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare’s Globe TSTP, London, England). Other regional credits include Marat/ Sade, Picnic, Inherit The Wind, The Rose Tattoo, and John Brown’s Body (Williamstown Theater Festival);

Reynaldo Piniella* (Romeo) Piniella was previously seen in The Death of the Last Black Man… (Signature Theatre Company); Venus (Signature Theatre Company); The Skin of Our Teeth (Theatre for A New Audience); Romeo & Juliet (Balthasar, Actors Theatre of Louisville); and I & You (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis). TV credits include “Sneaky Pete”, “Greenleaf”, “Law & Order: SVU”, “NYC 22”, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”, “Us & Them”, “Louie”, “Flesh & Bone”,

Michael James Reed* (Lord Capulet) Reed is a Shakespeare Festival St. Louis veteran, having appeared in The Winter’s Tale, Antony & Cleopatra, Henry IV & V, Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew (In the Park); Good in Everything (In the Streets); and Loves Labor (Pulitzer Arts Foundation); as well as two season as a teaching artist with the Education Tour (In the Schools). He’s performed locally at the MUNY, New Jewish Theatre, Hot City, Upstream,

Cherie Corinne Rice* (Lady Capulet) Rice is thrilled to be returning to Shakespeare Festival St. Louis for a third time. Her past roles include Hermione in The Winter’s Tale (2017) and Bianca in Othello (2012). She is most known for her work on the cable TV comedy series, “Nightcap” (PopTv, Hulu). Rice’s favorite past roles include Amanda in The Glass Menagerie (Light Fantastic Theater) and Viola/Sebastian in Twelfth Night (Trinity Repertory Company).

Antonio Rodriguez* (Benvolio) Rodriguez is jazzed to be back with the Festival, having previously appeared in Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ Education Tour, Shakespeare in the Streets and on the main stage in Shakespeare Glen. His favorite St. Louis credits include The Winter’s Tale (Shakespeare Festival St. Louis), The Violet Hour (Max & Louie Productions), Cafe Chanson (Upstream Theatre), All is Calm (Mustard Seed Theatre), The Who’s Tommy (Stray Dog Theatre),

Chris Ware (Friar John) Ware, a poet who works out of St. Louis, is a local and regional spoken word champion who has contributed writings to “Crossing the Divide,” an anthology of works from St. Louis poets assembled by Michael Castro. Ware’s recent credits include Bud, Not Buddy (Metro Theatre Company, St. Louis), Of Mice and Men (Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble, St. Louis), and Games Dad Didn’t Play (Metro Theatre Company, St. Louis).

Terrell Wheeler* (Mercutio) Wheeler is a New York-based actor and a Rutgers University graduate with classical training from the Globe Theatre in London. Regional theatre credits include: Fly (Pasadena Playhouse), Lombardi (Riverside Theatre), Carnaval (Luna Stage). Off Broadway: Fly (New Victory Theatre). Off-Off Broadway: O’Neill Unexpected (Metropolitan Playhouse); The Last Saint on Sugar Hill (National Black Theatre). TV credits: Blue Bloods (CBS). I am so thrilled to tell such a beloved story!

Pete Winfrey* (Paris/Prince) Winfrey makes his sixth appearance in a Shakespeare Festival St. Louis mainstage production and is thrilled to be back in Forest Park. Previously, he performed in The Winter’s Tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the 2015 Education Tour, Twelfth Night, Othello, and The Taming of the Shrew. Favorite credits include Sweet Revenge (Upstream Theater), The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (Metro Theater Company),

Sigrid Wise (Juliet) Wise is thrilled to be back with Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, having played Emilia/Dorcas in last summer’s production of The Winter’s Tale. Other favorite credits include Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates (Gretel Brinker) at Metro Theatre Company in St. Louis, The Sonnets (Ensemble) at Bridge Production Group in New York, The Tempest (Miranda/Shakespeare Festival St. Louis) in partnership with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

Creative Team

William Shakespeare (Playwright) rose from obscurity to become the most read, adapted and translated writer of all time, but also the subject of great speculation. We know he was baptized at Stratford-upon-Avon on April 26, 1564, and was buried at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford on April 25, 1616. Tradition holds that he was born three days earlier, and that he died on his birthday—April 23—but this is perhaps more romantic myth than fact.

Elena Araoz (Director) Araoz comes to the Festival with international and Off-Broadway experience in directing new plays, classics and opera. As a director, she works internationally, Off-Broadway and throughout the country. She most recently director Maria Irene Fornes’ Mud (Boundless Theatre Company), Bystanders, a series on the subject of witnessing, resisting and persisting, for Anna Deavere Smith and the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue, Briandaniel’s Oglesby’s Small Steps (Portland Center Stage’s JAW Festival), and Monet Hurst-Mendoza’s Torera (The Public Theatre’s Emerging Writers Group Spotlight Series).

Joanna Battles (Text Coach) Battles currently serves as Associate Professor of Voice & Speech at The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University. This season, she was dialect coach for Born Yesterday, Miss Bennett, and Heisenberg (The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis). As a voice, dialect & text coach, Battles’ favorite credits include Bonnie & Clyde: Night and Day (A&E productions); The Haunting in Connecticut II (Lionsgate Films); August: Osage County,

Paul Dennhardt** (Fight Choreographer) Dennhardt’s fight direction was most recently seen in The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis’s production of Hamlet. Past credits at Shakespeare Festival St. Louis include: Richard III, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, Othello, Twelfth Night, Henry IV, Henry V, Antony and Cleopatra, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Favorite credits include: The Critic, The Real Inspector Hound,

Dottie EnglisDottie Marshall Englis (Costume Designer) Dorothy Marshall Englis designed costumes for previous Festival productions including the inaugural performance of Romeo & Juliet, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, The Henry Project, Antony and Cleopatra, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Winter’s Tale.” 


Kristin Rion (Assistant Director)



John WylieJohn Wylie (Lighting Design) John Wylie is the Head of Production Programs at Webster University where he teaches Technical Direction and Lighting. He is a graduate of Augustana College and the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Wylie has designed for The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, the Missouri Rep, the St. Louis Black Rep, 


Laura Skroska (Props Master)



Margery & Peter Spack / Studio Spack (Scenic Design)

Rusty WandallRusty Wandall (Sound Design) Rusty Wandall is excited to be returning to the festival for his seventh year. Wandall was honored with the 2016 St. Louis Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Sound Design for his work on the Festival’s production of Antony and Cleopatra. He is currently the head of sound design at Webster University 


Flashback to 2001

Photos from the Festival’s inaugural production in 2001 of Romeo and Juliet

Jennifer Ikeda* as Juliet in our 2001 production of Romeo and Juliet.              *Member, Actors’ Equity Association. Photo © Jerry Naunheim

Set for our 2001 production of Romeo and Juliet. Photo © Jerry Naunheim