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Student production disrupts time in new Romeo and Juliet

Posted by:
December 8, 2016

“This is not your grandmother’s Romeo and Juliet ” 

December 7, 8, 9, 10 at 7:30pm and December 11 – 2pm

Studio Theater, Karen Hille Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Director's Note

Romeo and Juliet. Four hundred and nineteen years ago, William Shakespeare penned what would go on to be one of the most produced love stories ever written. So then why pick this show? There are no secrets anymore about the plot. Nearly every audience member walks in knowing that Romeo and Juliet are going to meet a tragic end, and if they didn’t, the opening lines of the show reveal this fact almost immediately. I don’t think I can remember a time in my life where I didn’t know the fate of these star-crossed lovers.

However, this play is not about death. It’s about love, youth and the journey we all go on to figure out what is right. Many of us have had the experience of meeting a person that changes the way we look at the world. And if you haven’t, don’t go looking for it, because you won’t find it. It happens one day on the train, at Starbucks, or in the ballroom of your father’s mortal enemy. It takes us by surprise, and is often quite scary. It’s one of the most powerful experiences a person can have. That is what this show is about. And the fact that I can talk about how meeting a person at Starbucks is connected to a play written in the 16th century is exactly why it is still produced, even though there aren’t any secrets anymore. Well, at least there weren’t before Jacob Viramontes and I got our hands on this script.

This is not your grandmother’s Romeo and Juliet. We’ve messed with the notions of time and sequence to get a fresh spin to this show and really highlight the idea of fate and the cyclical nature of this story. In this way, we hope to have re-introduced a few more nuances that this show would not have had otherwise, due to its age and popularity. So I hope you weren’t anticipating a classic that feels like a classic, because I unfortunately do not have one to give you. But if you are ready to open your minds, eyes, ears and most importantly, your hearts to the story we have to tell, then you are in the right place. I am so very proud of the students who worked on this show, and I can’t wait for you to see what they have to share.

Jacob McCallister ’17, Director



About the show:

When the children of two rival families fall in love, they must keep their new and budding romance a secret. In this reimagining of Shakespeare’s most well-known work, the conventions of time and sequence have been manipulated to reposition the original plotlines and dialogue in order to highlight new connections and themes for a modern audience.