A family feud. Star-crossed lovers. A tragic romance. Teenage angst and overreactions. You're surely familiar with Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet. It's the sort of story that likely impacted you differently at different stages in your life. When Kevin Wade '06, Upper School Theater teacher and Co-Director of the Creative Arts Academy, decided to stage the Shakespeare classic for this year's winter show, he knew that he wanted to take a different approach with an eye toward making the play more relevant and more approachable to today's teens. To that end, he adapted the play in interesting ways. About the project he says, "When working with young actors on Shakespeare, I have found that they engage with the material more holistically when they feel as though the characters, the circumstances, and the story are not so different from where they find themselves. To this end, we have removed the adult presence from the show. We encounter the Capulets and the Montagues as two warring tribes of orphaned, transient children. These tribes function as families, but they have no blood relationships. The purpose of this concept is to bring the heightened text, which can feel distant and intimidating, closer to who these young actors are."
About tackling the task of adapting this Shakespeare play, Kevin says, "I was inspired by The Lost Boys, which was adapted from Peter Pan and mixed with (unfortunately) a hint of Lord of the Flies. We have also added a good deal of contemporary music to our adaptation, which will be arranged and performed by members of our cast."
The play will run from February 21-23. Tickets go on sale February 13. Click here to reserve your tickets.