Playwright Lorenzo Sandoval's reimagined "Romeo and Juliet" has won high praise and will be presented free at Terrace Hill this Friday and Saturday.
Playwright Lorenzo Sandoval’s reimagined “Romeo and Juliet” has won high praise and will be presented free at Terrace Hill this Friday and Saturday.

It’s been 400 years since Juliet wherefore’d for her young Romeo. It’s about time for an update, with a little music and dancing.

Local playwright Lorenzo Sandoval’s award-winning revision, “Romeo and Juliet: Thrice Told Tales,” will be produced on the grounds of Terrace Hill Friday and Saturday, July 29 and 30, by the theater company Iowa Shakespeare Experience. The 7:30 p.m. performances are free (gates open at 6 p.m., to claim the best spots), and you’re encouraged to bring a picnic, blankets and lawn chairs.

Sandoval is artistic director and playwright-in-residence of the company, whose annual Shakesperience Festival produces free outdoor performances, currently at the governor’s mansion, where first lady Chris Branstad predicts that either of this weekend’s shows “will be a night to remember.”

Submitted to a Cambridge University competition called “Channel the Bard,” Sandoval’s script is one of seven (out of some 300 international entries) cited for special mention by the Cambridge organizer, playwright Diana Risetto.

“This play asks the dramatic question, what would have happened if Romeo and Juliet had not died so very young and had gotten married like the rest of us?” Sandoval says.

The answer amused Risetto: “I laughed out loud several times during this charming and thoughtful play.”

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