Sixth Year Of Shakespeare Coming To Concord University Campus

For Immediate Release: 
Jul 15 2015

CONTACT:  Sarah Dalton

Concord University

Office of Advancement

PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712

(304) 384-6312,         




ATHENS, W.Va. – The compelling tale of star-crossed lovers will take the stage as the Sixth Annual Appalachian Shakespeare Project at Concord University will perform “Romeo and Juliet” on the Concord University campus in front of the Alexander Fine Arts Center July 24 and 25 at 6 p.m. and July 26 at 4 p.m.

Admission is free to the family friendly performance, however donations to ASP will be gladly accepted. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and picnic lunches to the outdoor performance. Limited shelter and seating will also be provided. In case of rain, performances will be staged in the main auditorium of the Alexander Fine Arts Center.

In keeping with the ASP tradition of switching between themes, this year’s performance of the tragedy “Romeo and Juliet,” tells the story of young lovers Romeo, of the house Montague, played by Andrew Viskup; and Juliet, of house Capulet, played by Amber Convery; who try, yet fail, to join the two feuding houses of Verona through their love.

Unfortunately, what they could not heal in love is repaired by their deaths.  Filled with heart-breaking romance, passionate anger, and gripping swordplay, the Goth versus Steampunk theme will give the performance a somewhat modern feel; however, the structure of the Bard’s immortal words will delight all.

This classic tragedy of star-crossed lovers will be brought to life thanks to support of Athens, Princeton, and Bluefield community members who make up the ASP troupe and crew.  Many of the players and crew have returned to the ASP stage including: Brittney McPherson, James Blankenship, Brandon Venable, Laken McKenzie, Aaron Arnold, and many others.

In her directorial debut, founding member Ginger Boyles has brought a flamboyant style to the stage, with help from outstanding costume design by Athens costumer Chris Bone, as well as a healthy wit to the production.  The production has also benefited from the talent of fight choreographer and Bluefield College alumna Jennifer Bohannan, who has staged some of the most challenging and exciting sequences to ever grace the ASP stage. Also joining the production again this year, Bluefield College alumna Summer Wilding lends her talents to the role of stage manager.

“The story of Romeo and Juliet, I believe, tells more than just the story of young love. I think that there is a cautionary tale within its depths. Although in this day and age we are led to believe that love conquers all, this story will also speak to the futility of dying for love by highlighting the farcical nature of the play until it all goes horribly wrong,” said Boyles.

The Appalachian Shakespeare Project at Concord University is a summer theater organization dedicated to bringing quality Shakespeare productions to southern West Virginia. This is the sixth year of the Project that began with the idea from Concord University English professor Dr. Gabriel Rieger, ASP’s resident dramaturge and one of its primary players, and Erin Bone-Steele as a way to bring the Concord and Athens community closer together by reviving an old tradition of summer Shakespeare performances originally started by former Concord professor Jim Lyle.

According to Rieger, “The Appalachian Shakespeare Project provides families a fun evening out. They can pack a picnic lunch and some lawn chairs and let us entertain them. We are really excited to finally be presenting ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ This is the show we have been eager to do for many years, and we have a great young cast to bring it to life. In terms of pure excitement, this may be our best year yet.”

For more information about performances, the Project, or how you can assist, call 304-384-5251 or 304-573-3132.


Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679 extension 6086

if special assistance is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.