April 11, 2014
Timeless tragic romance given a new twistShakespeare's classic play "Romeo and Juliet" made its debut on Thursday, April 10 at 8 p.m. in the Degenstein Theater to a successful opening night.
The story illustrating the conflict between the House Capulet and the House Montague has been in production for three and a half weeks and consisted of a large cast with students from various years. The play is one of Shakespeare's most famous tragedies and provided the necessary dramatic flair.
First-year Terry Lark, who was in attendance, was impressed by the performances. "They're all staying true to their roles. I think they're really capturing the essence of Shakespeare," she said. "I really like the little twist and turns they put into it."
Sophomore Christina Ungaro, who played Tybalt, said: "This isn't your average 'Romeo and Juliet.' There's a lot of purposeful spitting and non purposeful spitting, dancing, fire and guys in tight pants."
Ungaro's role is usually played by a man, which is why she was excited about her opportunity to play the role.
"Traditionally Tybalt is a male role played by men, but this time women will be playing the male roles," Ungaro said.
Not only were women playing men's roles, but there were men taking on some of the women's roles. Though there were many somber moments throughout the play, certain characters provided comic relief, such as sophomore Jake Young, who played Juliet's nurse.
Lark said: "[Jake] did such a great job. He definitely provided a lot of laughs."
Audience member first-year Rebecca Rentschler came to support junior Fred Bond, who played both Paris and Sampson. She said: "He's so enthusiastic and just has great stage presence. I'm really glad I got to see him perform."
The performers were not just limited to the stage; they had a large set designed by Associate Professor of theater Andrew Rich. There were also moments where the performers took advantage of the stairs running up and down the sides of the audience.
Rentschler said: "I like how they came into the audience at different times. I think that always makes the audience seem more involved."
Rentschler said that an action scene was the highlight of the play. "The fight scene was very entertaining and pretty tense. They did a good job with the swords."
Production Stage Manager and Publicity Assistant Tori Heikenfeld noted that they made sure that the performers got a lot of practice with the swords in order to prepare for the action scenes.
She said: "Probably two weeks into rehearsal we began working on the swords. They have to practice them before every rehearsal, so that we make sure that no one gets hurt. We had a professional fight choreographer come in and teach that to them."
Heikenfeld said: "I know that lines were a tough thing, they worked really hard on their lines to solidify them. Once they got done with that they were able to delve into their roles."
Romeo and Juliet will be showing at the Degenstein Theater on Friday, April 11th and Saturday, April 12th at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 13th at 2:30 p.m.. Tickets are free of charge for students, $7 for non-SU students and $10 for adults.
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