KCOS, El Paso’s PBS station, and Shakespeare on the Rocks, El Paso’s premier classical theater company, are partnering this winter to present Romeo and Julieta, a bilingual adaptation of Shakespeare’s famous play.
Set in 19th century Mexico, in this version of Romeo and Julieta, the Montagues speak English, the Capulets speak Spanish, and together English is spoken. The aim is to contextualize Shakespeare into a more local and familiar setting.
Romeo and Julieta will be presented in four different venues throughout our border community between January 22nd and February 1st. Venues include UTEP, La Fe Cultural and Technology Center, the Philanthropy Theater and even a performance at UACJ in Juarez. (Full performance dates, locations and times attached.) All performances are free and open to the public.
These performances are part of a $15,000 outreach grant that KCOS has received from WNET and the National Endowment for the Humanities to encourage audience development and engagement for the PBS series, Shakespeare Uncovered.
In addition to the local performances, KCOS is working with three local Shakespeare scholars, Dr. David Ruiter ,UTEP; Dr. Ruben Espinosa, UTEP; and Grace Haddox, EPCC, to create a series of short videos called Shakespeare Today, educating audiences on Shakespeare’s relevance and treatment of modern themes such as immigration, sexuality, power, culture clash, religion, power and more. These short videos will air in between KCOS programming throughout January and February and also be available online at www.kcostv.org/shakespeare.
Shakespeare Uncovered continues with a second season on PBS, beginning Friday, January 30 at 8 p.m. on KCOS and continuing the following two successive Fridays. Like the first series, the second installment of Shakespeare Uncovered combines history, biography, iconic performances, new analysis, and the personal passions of its celebrated hosts – Hugh Bonneville, Kim Cattrall, Joseph Fiennes, Morgan Freeman, David Harewood, and Christopher Plummer – to tell the stories behind the stories of Shakespeare’s greatest plays.
The first season of this ambitious project explored Macbeth, the comedies Twelfth Night and As You Like It, Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V, Hamlet and The Tempest, and was met with wide acclaim in both the U.K. and U.S. The Wall Street Journal declared that “(if) the marvelous ‘Shakespeare Uncovered’ had been around when all of us were first introduced to the Bard, the world might be a better place, or at least a happier one.”
The new season investigates A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, and The Taming of the Shrew. As before, the broadcasts will be accompanied by a rich Web site and community outreach.
Richard Denton and Nicola Stockley are series producers for Shakespeare Uncovered, with Fiona Stourton as executive producer for Blakeway Productions; for THIRTEEN, Bill O’Donnell is series producer, with Stephen Segaller and David Horn as executive producers.
Shakespeare Uncovered is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Major funding is also provided by Dana and Virginia Randt, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, the Lillian Goldman Programming Endowment, The Polonsky Foundation, Rosalind P. Walter, Jody and John Arnhold, and PBS. The Juarez performance is solely funded by KCOS.
Photos and other material can be accessed at the THIRTEEN Online Pressroom.
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KCOS, El Paso’s PBS station, provides inspiring, educational, and informative non-commercial programming to the El Paso region. As a community owned and operated nonprofit organization it is funded and maintained by the generous support of its members, donors, corporate supporters, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. For more information visit www.kcostv.org or call 915.590.1313.
Shakespeare on the Rocks is a community-based organization theater company. Since its inception in 1981, it has been resolute in its commitment to providing quality live classical theatre and educational outreach to the Paso Del Norte region and its people.
In its 26 seasons (including an 8 year hiatus from 1985 -1992), it has produced thirteen plays by Shakespeare and one by his contemporary Christopher Marlowe. It has presented over 200 performances, attended by over 30,000 people.