Amidst pandemic restrictions, a Chicago-area acting troupe for those with Down syndrome has created Romeo and Juliet Remix, a movie based on Shakespeare’s classic and filmed entirely on Zoom. With over ten weeks of zoom rehearsals, the Artists Breaking Limits & Expectations (A.B.L.E.) acting troupe has put lots of time and effort into the production.
Rocking Virtual Rehearsals
Despite challenges like internet problems, zoom fatigue, and the limits of living spaces, program leaders found ways to energize their actors with games and activities including: scavenger hunts around their homes, making ruffs out of coffee filters, decorating masks for the Capulet’s Ball, and creating their own playlists with music that reminds them of the story.
A Unique Approach to Shakespeare’s Classic
Romeo and Juliet Remix features 38 actors with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities, with each actor interpreting their own moment from the play — including 9 different Romeos, 11 Juliets, and 3 Tybalts. Interwoven with the original script will be additional monologues, scenes, songs, and dances developed by the cast.
Those who want to view this creative work can join the ABLE cast and crew for the YouTube premiere of the finished movie on June 18 for a requested minimum donation of $5, or rent it on their Vimeo channel after the premiere.
A.B.L.E. provides a unique opportunity for those with Down syndrome to build their confidence and skills through acting experience, and has been especially valuable as a social and communicative outlet during the past year of coronavirus restrictions