April 24, 2013

ROMEO & JULIET Production Gives Shakespeare a Modern Twist

by Barbara Jwanouskos (MFA '14), Photo by Louis Stein

Tuesday, April 23rd marked Shakespeare’s 449th birthday and the CMU School of Drama is gearing up for opening night of one of his most popular plays, ROMEO & JULIET. This new version of the timeless tragedy about two teenage lovers and their families has been re-imagined by Don Wadsworth, Professor of Voice and Speech, with a hipper twist, adding design elements such as music and video that illustrate a more modern context.

The cast draws from the talents of more than 30 acting students who bring to life the conflict that the star-crossed love brings to the town. What has been passed down through the ages is the angst these two teenagers feel as their views of the world clashes with the older family members and neighbors around them. The tension that their forbidden love creates ricochets from family to family ending in tragedy.

New audiences continue to take away new parallels to the modern world though the play is 400 years old. Whether it is the clashing of cultures, religions, philosophies, or political views, the enduring quality of the play is how it goes beyond a story of young love and shows us truths about society that we value and fear.

Romeo and Juliet runs from April 25th to May 4th at the Phillip Chosky Theatre. Call 412-268-2407 or click here for tickets.