Romance and Shakespeare, star-crossed lovers in the middle of the summer, an air-conditioned theater and, well, your English teacher would be proud of you.

Threshold Repertory Theatre's third annual Summer Shakespeare Workshop brings together new and veteran actors to explore Shakespeare's most popular works.

Besides seeing classics reinvented for our time, there's a chance to study Shakespeare's writing style, iambic pentameter and underlying meanings within the text. Shakespeare is full of veiled references if you listen closely enough, but that means getting into the rhythm of Elizabethan speech.

The cast and crew take you to Verona, Italy, for "Romeo and Juliet." This bittersweet love story will be performed in Threshold's intimate 99-seat black box theater. This is one that you need to get your tickets early because it can sell out. The performances are July 31 through Aug. 17 at 841/2 Society St. and general admission is $15.

For tickets go to www.charlestontheater.com.

Teeny, tiny dogs

If you are in the mood for some furry friends, how about checking out the new exhibit at Dog & Horse Fine Art and Portraiture. Its newest exhibit is dog miniatures - the paintings, not the pups.

Working in miniature requires not only great skill, but the patience of Job since one wrong stroke of a carefully manicured brush can ruin an entire painting.

Painting in this tiny form goes back to the 15th century, when the small paintings of a beloved were treasured, and often the only visual record of a person.

These miniatures are by Nancy Van Meter, Beth de Loiselle, Paul Eaton and there are also some small watercolors by Nancy Pellatt.

"The paintings draw the viewer's eye deeper into the work and amaze with the gem-like details of the tiny treasure," according to the exhibit's information.

The gallery is at 102 Church St., but you can also view the paintings on the gallery's website at www.dogandhorse fineart.com.

Choir auditions

The Charleston Symphony Orchestra Gospel Choir and CSO Spiritual Ensemble are holding auditions for volunteer members.

The Gospel Choir is an 80-voice gospel group that carries the gospel tradition beyond the churches, giving the hymns and call-and-response performances to a larger audience.

The CSO Spiritual Ensemble is a 35-member vocal group focusing on African-American Spirituals. Both groups are all-volunteer and racially diverse.

The two groups will hold a voice assessment at 6 p.m. July 29 and Aug. 5 at Second Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 342 Meeting St.

Volunteers are asked to prepare a solo of their choosing and vocalize in a choral setting.

For more information go to their respective websites for contacts.

Footlight Players

While many performing arts companies take the summer off, now it's much more likely that you will find their seasons start early. Such is the case with The Footlight Players, which opens its 83rd season on Aug. 1 with the hilarious play "Don't Dress for Dinner."

The play is one of those light-hearted romps, perfect for a summer evening: "Bernard's plans for a romantic rendezvous with his chic Parisian mistress are complete with a gourmet caterer and an alibi courtesy of his friend, Robert.

But when Bernard's wife learns that Robert will be visiting for the weekend, she decides to stay in town for a surprise tryst of her own, setting the stage for a collision course of mistaken identities and outrageous infidelities, with more twists than a corkscrew."

Performances are 8 p.m. Aug. 1, 2, 7-9 and 14-16 and 3 p.m. Aug. 10 and 17 at the Footlight Players Theatre, 20 Queen St. Tickets are $20 to $30.

They can be purchased online at www.FootlightPlayers.net or by calling 722-4487.

Reach Stephanie Harvin at 937-5557 or sharvin@post andcourier.com.