Romeo and Juliet opens tonight

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Tyler Dela Cruz as Juliet cries with Catherine Williams as the Nurse while rehearsing a scene for Romeo and Juliet on stage outside Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo on Tuesday.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Sarah Elliott as Mercutio performs an emotional monologue while Kyllor Strasser as Romeo reacts during rehearsal for Romeo and Juliet on stage outside Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo on Tuesday.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Tyler Dela Cruz as Juliet and Kyllor Strasser as Romeo rehearse a scene during dress rehearsal for Romeo and Juliet on stage outside Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo on Tuesday.

Hilo Community Players will be performing “Romeo and Juliet” for the 44th annual Shakespeare in the Park event beginning tonight in the parking lot outside Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium.

For the second year, “Romeo and Juliet” will be presented in compliance with pandemic guidelines as the Players will appear on a raised stage before an audience watching from their cars. Viewers will be able to tune into the show’s sound with a short-range radio transmission.

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The beloved play is being directed by veteran HCP Shakespeare actor Theon Weber. Players will also be joined onstage by a troupe of dancers choreographed by Paradise Performing Arts Center director Nadia Schlosser.

The classic version of the play will start at 7:30 p.m. each night on weekends beginning with Friday, July 9 to Sunday, July 11; Thursday, July 15, to Sunday, July 18; and Thursday, July 22, to Sunday, July 25.

On the same stage, children will perform a kids’ version of the play called “The Seussification of Romeo &Juliet” by Peter Bloedel.

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Directed by James Henry Kuliaikapono O’Connor, the children’s show will begin at 4 p.m. every afternoon on Saturdays and Sundays from July 10 to July 25.

All shows will have free admission, with the parking lot opening an hour before each performance.