The Theater Department of Ohio University Eastern will present William Shakespeare's classic "Romeo and Juliet" March 1, 2, 3 and 8, 9 in the Shannon Hall Theater. Thursday evening performances begin at 7 p.m. and Friday and Saturday evening performances begin at 8 p.m.
"Romeo and Juliet" is Shakespeare's greatest expression of romantic love. The youthful and all-encompassing passion of the "star-crossed lovers" is unparalleled in his other works. Romeo and Juliet are immediately and completely overcome by their love to the point where nothing else exists for them. Their emotions consume them and lead them ultimately to their tragic fate.
The play is remarkably bright and joyful, however, in its depiction of youthful exuberance, particularly in the character of Mercutio. A theatrical myth suggests that Shakespeare had to kill the audience-engaging Mercutio early in the play, or risk eclipsing Romeo and Juliet. True or not, Mercutio remains a favorite with modern audiences.
OUE Theatre Director Dennis Fox has set this production somewhere in the American plains.
"I wanted a big location, one full of romance and adventure, so the American west seemed like a perfect fit," said Fox. "Shakespeare's plays are big and operatic, so to reinforce that image we are scoring "Romeo and Juliet" with Aaron Copland's "Billy the Kid" and "Rodeo."
The Ohio University Eastern cast features a mixture of veterans and first-time actors. In the role of the Prince is Nicole Lewis of Bridgeport; Mercutio is being played by Renno Barnes, of Quaker City; Andrew Miller of Morristown, and Zach Lucas of Belmont, will alternate in the role of Paris. The Montague family is led by Lady Montague played by Hillary Thorman of Martins Ferry; Cody A. Kramer, also of Martins Ferry, as Romeo; and Jacob Hughes of Belmont, as Benvolio. Leading the Capulet family is Lord Capulet played by Dennis Fox of Maynard; Connie Wendel of Glen Dale as Lady Capulet; in the role of Juliet is Patricia Lynn of Martins Ferry; and Ruth Carter of Bethesda as Tybalt. Also part of the Capulet family are the Nurse played by Sue Beth Warren of Wheeling; Emily Shaffer of Bellaire, as Peter; Lindsay Wayne of Moundsville as Cousin Capulet and in the role of Gregory is Paige Duffy of Jerusalem. Rounding out the cast is Friar Lawrence, played by Walt Warren of Wheeling, and Emily Crook of St. Clairsville as the Apothecary.
OUE Theatre will present "Romeo and Juliet" March 1, 2, 3, and 8 and 9. Thursday evening performances begin at 7 p.m. and Friday and Saturday evening performances begin at 8 p.m. All Thursday evening tickets are priced at $5. Friday and Saturday evenings General Admission tickets are $7 and Student and Senior tickets are $5. For more information and to make reservations call 740-699-2340.