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Kane Players tackle tragic Shakespeare tale

Vertullo | Daily News - Louise Popko of Elizabeth Township enjoys quality time with her mother Doris Amatuzzi during John J. Kane Regional Center of McKeesport's production of 'Romeo and Juliet' on Thursday afternoon. Popko took on the role of Friar Laurence and Amatuzzi played the Lady Montague. Jennifer R.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Vertullo | Daily News</em></div>Louise Popko of Elizabeth Township enjoys quality time with her mother Doris Amatuzzi during John J. Kane Regional Center of McKeesport's production of 'Romeo and Juliet' on Thursday afternoon. Popko took on the role of Friar Laurence and Amatuzzi played the Lady Montague. Jennifer R.
Vertullo | Daily News - John J. Kane Regional Center of McKeesport residents Sam Massaro and Elaine Dugan took on the lead roles of 'Romeo and Juliet' in a Thursday afternoon production. Jennifer R.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Vertullo | Daily News</em></div>John J. Kane Regional Center of McKeesport residents Sam Massaro and Elaine Dugan took on the lead roles of 'Romeo and Juliet' in a Thursday afternoon production. Jennifer R.

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By Jennifer R. Vertullo
Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, 4:06 a.m.
 

The Kane Players brought a tale of tragic romance to life for fellow residents of McKeesport's John J. Kane Regional Center.

Under the direction of Suzanne Bishop and Areatha Griffin, residents performed William Shakespeare's “Romeo and Juliet” on Thursday afternoon.

“I'm so proud of the residents,” Griffin said. “They worked so hard to get to this point. This show is all they've talked about. They were very excited.”

In December, performers chose “Romeo and Juliet,” which tells the story of two star-crossed lovers whose deaths resolve a feud between two Verona families. Working with one of Shakespeare's most popular plays, residents knew the work and used cue cards to keep up with the poetry.

“The residents seemed to enjoy themselves — those who participated as well as the audience,” Bishop said.

And performers confirmed Bishop's review.

“I loved it,” said Elaine Dugan, who played the role of Juliet. “This is the first I've been in since high school.”

Dugan says she has fond memories of good times with friends on the Homestead High School stage.

The show also brought youthful memories for Louise Popko of Elizabeth Township. Popko, whose mother Doris Amatuzzi is a Kane resident, viewed the play as an opportunity to spend quality time as mother and daughter. Popko took on the role of Friar Laurence, and Amatuzzi was the Lady Montague.

“I enjoyed it, and I feel good,” Popko said. “For weeks, I came here as often as I could to practice lines with my mom.”

Bishop said “Romeo and Juliet” inspired the formation of the Kane Players.

“They plan on having productions, and Areatha and I will serve as advisors,” Bishop explained.

Performing arts opportunities is one more facet of recreational programming at the McKeesport facility, she said. Residents also are active in fine arts, crafts, fitness and games.

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or jvertullo@tribweb.com.

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