The Worcester County Arts Council and the St. Martin’s Foundation join in presenting Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet on Saturday, September 8th at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The performance is free to the public thanks to the Foundation’s supporters and to the sponsors of Brown Box Productions. To reserve a seat in advance, go to the St. Martin’s Facebook (Historic St. Martin’s) page, select Events and then Shakespeare.
Watching a performance of Shakespeare in the historic church will be like stepping back into several centuries of history. You will be within the walls of the 18th century while enjoying a play written approximately a century and a half earlier. It is estimated that Romeo & Juliet was written sometime in the 1590s, while the 256-year-old church building was begun twenty years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence and during the same year as the birth of Mozart.
As you sit under the barrel-vaulted ceiling, listening to Shakespearian English, remember that some of the colonists brought Shakespeare’s plays with them from England. The earliest performances of Shakespeare in America were known to be staged about the time of the building of St. Martins, but most likely these performances were in New England. It is possible, however, that some of those in the area at the time would have had some familiarity with the bard’s writing.
Historic St. Martin’s is located just off Route 113 in Showell. When coming from the north on Rt. 113, take the Ocean Pines exit. The church will be on your right. If coming from the south on Rt. 113, take the Ocean Pines exit, turn left on Old Rt. 113, and left on Rt. 589, Race Track Road. At the stop sign where Race Track Road ends, turn right. The church will be on your left.