Mike Rago, resident of Downers Grove, interviewed in a previous article called Follow your heart, has written a play, Romeo and Juliet, 10 Years Later, and it will be presented at Center Stage Theater next week in Naperville from March 22nd through Sunday, March 24th. After writing the production a year ago and passionately pursuing a home for his show, he, in turn, began the creative process of becoming its director for the first time.
It's an amazing journey. Since we have such a great group of actors and crew; many things have happened organically that have added life to the production. My wife, Debbie, my children and several good friends have truly supported me from day one and this has really become a family endeavor to build a successful show.
And besides working his day job and parenthood, Mike wears a variety of hats from directing evening rehearsals with the help of Cassie Fenwick, actress in the play but also assistant director, shopping for props, building and painting set pieces assisted by Mark Jacobson who plays Romeo, picking out costumes to be rented or sewn by Shanna Cardea who is the costume designer and Lady Capulet. Hugh Kelley, who plays Maxus Taxus, promotes marketing and contributes to the stage managing team.
As a result of launching Romeo and Juliet, 10 Years Later, the Bravo Theater Company has also been established by Mike as a running start to building a theater team so that Romeo and Juliet can live on for many years to come. And all of this began with his first words on paper, What light through yonder window breaks? True to his verbiage, light and love has illuminated his creativity.
Who knows what the future may hold for Mike Rago and Bravo Theater Company. We may see Romeo and Juliet, 50 years later as he continues to remain passionate about his direction. If nothing else, following his heart has truly stirred others. By looking deeply into our talents, finding what captures our attention and not searching for barriers, we, too, have the same opportunity.
Performances will be held Friday, March 22nd, at 7:30 pm, Saturday, March 23rd, at 7:30 pm and Sunday, March 24th, at 3 pm at Center Stage Theater in Naperville. To order tickets, call the Center Stage Theater box office at 630-355-9212