Emily Dodi has been writing in the entertainment and publishing fields for more than 20 years. She has written extensively for Disney, FOX, ABCFamily, The Hub and other companies, large and small. She is also the author of Drive, a full-length play that premiered at Company of Angels in Los Angeles. Her blog, Pura Vida Loca, documented her family’s adventures while living in Costa Rica. She is currently a television and theater critique for the VCReporter, and loves that she can justify watching bad TV. She really needs to get a hobby, because when she’s not writing for work, she’s writing for love. When she’s not obsessing about words, she’s hanging out with her husband, twin daughters and dog, Dara. The only other things that verge on being hobbies are reading (there are those words, again!), hiking (walking, really), doing yoga, and pretending to meditate. She swears she’ll actually empty her thoughts one day. Hopefully, there will be a laptop nearby to write them all down.

Linda Secondari is an award-winning designer and creative director who has worked in academic publishing for more than 20 years. Linda was most recently Creative Director for Oxford University Press, where she managed the Design Strategy Group, a team of 40 designers and art directors split between OUP’s Oxford, New York, Toronto, and Delhi offices. Linda is now the Creative Director and Principal of Studiolo Secondari, a design consultancy in New York.

Linda has always loved books and storytelling. She lives in lower Manhattan with her husband and two kids where she tries to juggle work, family, and her Facebook presence.

Linda and Emily are childhood friends who first adapted a Shakespeare play in ninth grade for the talent show (“Macbeth, the musical!”) and although a few years have passed since ninth grade, their love for the Bard, for writing, and most importantly for each other has never wavered.

William Shakespeare renowned playwright and poet was born in England in 1564. He was a father of three as well as an actor, writer, and part owner of the theater company, “The Lord Chamberlain’s Men”, Queen Elizabeth I awarded the company a royal patent in 1603 and they changed their names to “the King’s Men”. Shakespeare and his company built a theatre in London on the River Thames called the Globe theater where his plays were performed. A recreation stands there to this day.

Shakespeare wrote comedies, histories, and tragedies–most famously ”Twelfth Night”, “Macbeth”, “Henry IV”, and “Hamlet”. He acted in some of his plays, although which roles is unclear. Later in his career he began to write tragi-comedies, of which “Romeo and Juliet” is the most successful. Shakespeare’s writing is considered some of the best in the history of the English language.

The impact of Shakespeare’s writing on the English is profound. He added over 1700 words to the English language by combining words that had never been combined, by making nouns into verbs, and visa versa. Shakespeare’s freedom and playful approach to language has had a lasting impact on English permitting it to grow and adapt to new technologies and communication needs.

Shakespeare died in his home in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1616. He was successful during his lifetime, although the impact of his work on continuing generations could not have been imagined.

Harriet Grant is an award-winning creative with extensive experience building innovative design solutions for the fashion, education, publishing, entertainment, and hospitality industries.

Harriet is currently the Senior Art Director at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) where she leads a team of designers, writers and developers in the creation of cross-channel campaigns targeted to college and high school aged audiences.

Linda and Harriet have been co-conspirators since they were roommates in college. Harriet was delighted to be asked to design the iconography and build the website for Before Romeo & Juliet. Harriet lives in Los Angeles with her talented husband and her adorable cat.