Casting Announcement: Shakespeare in the Ruff’s Romeo and Juliet

Vivien Endicott-Douglas (Romeo) and Kaitlyn Riordan (Juliet)

“Romeo and Juliet is a story about two really unlikely young people who aren’t drawn to each other because they should be, but because they can’t help it,” says Andrea Donaldson, who’s directing Shakespeare in the Ruff’s upcoming production of one of the English language’s most famous tragedies.

This year, Shakespeare in the Ruff is taking a new approach to the star-crossed lovers: Romeo and Juliet will both be played by women.

Vivien Endicott-Douglas, who was in Coal Mine’s production of Killer Joe this spring, plays Romeo. She stars opposite Kaitlyn Riordan, a founding member of the company who’s played Sylvia in Two Gents and Imogen in Cymbeline’s Reign.

Rounding out the largely female cast is Andrea Davis as the Prince, Wayne Burns as Benvolio/Balthasar, Philippa Domville as Capulet, Richard Lee as Tybalt/Friar, Brendan McMurtry-Howlett as Mercutio/Paris, and Ellora Patnaik as Montague/Nurse.

Set and costume design is by Jenna McCutchen, with lighting designed by Andre du Toit. Rose Napoli is the assistant director.

Donaldson is looking forward to bringing the characters to life in a new and vital way. “There’s an inexplicable force that’s connecting the two of them that doesn’t make sense in their world,” she says. “I think that that’s truly what love is, the force of love, the power of love, and the power of healing that love can have.”

The show will be on Sunday through Tuesday at Withrow Park in Toronto’s East End, from August 16 to September 4. For more information, click here.

Fun facts! Here is the cast’s favourite Shakespeare in the park experience.

One response to “Casting Announcement: Shakespeare in the Ruff’s Romeo and Juliet

  1. Congrats to Shakespeare in the Ruff. I’m really looking forward to seeing the production. However, in an effort to keep the record straight (sorry!), The Headstrong Collective produced Romeo and (her) Juliet in 2014, in the Sanctuary at Bloor Street United Church.

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