Kara Smith– Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – On Wednesday, Asolo Repertory came to LRHS to perform a modernized rendition of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. The actors consisted of third-year Asolo students.
Several LRHS English, theatre, and Health Opportunities through Physical Education (HOPE) classes attended the 45-minute performance. The performers interacted with the audience by utilizing the stage and the seats.
Michael Judah, who played Romeo, sat next to a student and said his line to give the allusion that Juliet was on a balcony.
The performance was set in the 1990s, and everything was edited from the original piece with that inspiration in mind. The characters’ costumes included Boho, Rocker, Street, and Girly styles. The music they played includes songs such as “Living on a Prayer” and “Scrubs”.
“The show was awesome. I loved the modern touches,” said HOPE teacher Carol Lidey. “However, it struck me that unfortunately these same story lines are lived out in the lives of today’s students which saddens me.”
The actors combined the serious plot and added humor and dramatic attitudes to make the language and the show easier to understand.
After the show, the cast sat down to answer the audience questions on the creative process.
Brian Ritchie, who played the Friar, said, “I got to break the mold of the stereotype for what the Friar appeared to be on paper. Friars were traditionally fascinated with plants so we just took that concept and made it into a personality that you guys would understand.”
The show allowed students to be able to see classroom lessons in action. Students said they loved the performance, and the LRHS theatre department hopes to welcome more performances from the Asolo Reperatory Theater.