PAAC bringing in Shakespeare this Friday


PORTSMOUTH-The Portsmouth Area Arts Council (PAAC) is ready to welcome the community into the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts once again to greet the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company for a performance of the classic tale, “Romeo and Juliet.”

According to, “An age-old vendetta between two powerful families erupts into bloodshed. A group of masked Montagues risk further conflict by gatecrashing a Capulet party. A young lovesick Romeo Montague falls instantly in love with Juliet Capulet, who is due to marry her father’s choice, the County Paris. With the help of Juliet’s nurse, the women arrange for the couple to marry the next day, but Romeo’s attempt to halt a street fight leads to the death of Juliet’s own cousin, Tybalt, for which Romeo is banished. In a desperate attempt to be reunited with Romeo, Juliet follows the Friar’s plot and fakes her own death. The message fails to reach Romeo, believing Juliet dead.”

The play continues to a climactic ending, where the conflict of the families reach the denouement of the story.

Portsmouth Area Arts Council Executive Director Bailey Hartlage says that the story is a timeless classic and is excited to welcome guests to see it.

“All theatre is important, but classic theatre is what most theatre is built upon,” Hartlage said. “Anytime we can bring in a company to showcase these works, it is a win, because it broadens experiences and horizons, especially when you look at how many stories are rooted in Shakespearean plots.”

PAAC has worked with The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company for eight years and have featured classics like “Macbeth” and the current production of “Romeo and Juliet.”

Hartlage explained that the productions are entertaining and valuable to audiences, as they are retellings of the original adaptations and pack a powerful punch.

“It is a retelling, condensed version only two hours long, but it has all of the important stuff in there that you know and expect,” Hartlage said.

These performances have been inside and outside, but this one is on the Vern Riffe Center’s main stage, thanks to the Ohio Arts Council and Scioto Foundation.

“Romeo and Juliet” will open curtain Friday, February 10 at 7 p.m. $5 student and $10 general admission. The Vern Riffe Center for the arts is at 940 Second Street. Parking it west of the entrance and north of the building.

The Portsmouth Area Arts Council is a 501©3 nonprofit organization dedicated to highlighting the arts in the community through performative theatre and musical performances, either by touring companies for adults and students or by the Portsmouth Area Children’s Theatre division of the organization that puts local students on the stage in musical productions.

Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

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