Romeo and Juliet set to debut at Black Box Theater

Arnav Damodhar | Staff Writer

Watch a sneak peek of the play. Video by Staff Writer Juliana Discher.
Wherefore art thou, Romeo?

In the Black Box Theater at Mason High School.

Drama Club’s performance of Romeo and Juliet debuts today and will also be performed Friday, February 5 and Saturday, February 6.

Advisor Allen Young said one of the reasons that Romeo and Juliet was chosen to be this season’s production is because it has great educational value.

“We try to tie it into the curriculum,” Young said. “With Romeo and Juliet, our ninth graders read that, so it’s kind of double your educational money. It helps not only the actors, because it gives them a Shakespeare Classical experience, but it encourages our students who are reading it or have read it to reinforce their concepts of the play.”

They play has faced many challenges while coming together, Young said. The schedule has been difficult to work with and Shakespeare and the movement have been difficult things to master.

“We had a shortened schedule,” Young said. “We had snow days, winter break, so it has been a little bit crazy getting all of the technical elements and getting the actors ready to go.There is challenges with the Shakespearean language.  You have to make it sound like it’s your own. With this play, there has been a lot of combat and we have had a professional fight choreographer come in and they have been learning how to sword fight.”

From a technical perspective, the production is a huge endevor, Young said.

“The set is huge,” Young said. “It is the biggest set we have built in the Black Box theater. There is a balcony and the kids have gotten to design technically. Lighting has been a challenge because the audience is really close, so making sure the audience can see but they are not blinded by the lights has been a challenge for the lighting kids.”

Sophomore Anna Kosiarek said performing Shakespeare’s work is much different than performing other plays.

“I just did the show Theophilus North, and I played a fourteen year old girl,” Kosiarek said. “And now I am playing this nun who is 65, so it is very different. It is really hard with memorizing lines and delivering them satisfactorily. We have sword fighting and stage chemistry. There is a lot of different aspects of it. I have never really worked with a Shakespeare script before so that is really interesting too.”

This production of Romeo and Juliet is a bit different because it aligns with the time period and setting Shakespeare intended, Kosiarek said.

“We are doing it in the time that Shakespeare wanted,” Kosiarek said. “We are not trying to adapt it to anything. Like Midsummer’s Night Dream, they adapted to normal times. That is new that we are just keeping it straightforward. I think that makes it easier to understand. You are not trying to connect the modern elements to the old script.”

Junior Katherine Geiger said she is excited for the outcome of the play.

“There has been tons of work with the set and they have rehearsal almost everyday,” Geiger said. “There’s a lot of work but it is going to be really good. I think that is going to be wonderful. I am very excited for it.”

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Photos by Juliana Discher