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McLean High School Romeo and Juliet

By • Nov 23rd, 2008 • Category: Cappies

There is not a more classic tale of forbidden love than that of Romeo and Juliet. McLean High School paid tribute to these love-struck teenagers in their production of the timeless piece. It would be hard to find a better known piece of literature in the world, but McLean used this to their advantage and added their ideas to it to make it new again.

The play was written in the mid 1590’s by William Shakespeare. Although the play was originally set in Northern Italy, the theatre department at McLean boldly went in a new direction and set their version in France. The plot, of course, remained the same. Fifteen-year-old Romeo Montague (Michael Robinson) falls in love with thirteen-year-old Juliet Capulet (Vanessa Bretas), who is set to wed Paris (Stephen Lastova). Not only that, but the two families are also mortal enemies. Will the couple be able to live together in peace or will the story be one of woe and tragedy?

McLean’s performance of Romeo and Juliet was anchored by the use of exceptional, yet minimalist, set design. The different levels of platforms covered with white sheets created a plain backdrop that allowed the story to shine through with little distraction. Lighting underneath these platforms made for emotional ambience throughout the production.

Romeo (played by Michael Robinson) used the whole stage and made strong physical choices, leading to a very pleasing visual performance. It was clear that the whole cast knew what their lines meant and they did not seem uncomfortable with the heavy Shakespearean language.

Mercutio (played by Charlie Cook) enthralled the audience with his wide spectrum of emotion and actions. He flew through his lines flawlessly and was obviously comfortable throughout his time on the stage. The nurse (played by Kate Marlette) also stayed in character throughout and evoked the appropriate emotions from the audience.

The set featured a backdrop of various Impressionistic paintings. This was a point of interest and gave the production originality, along with color. Knives and canes took the place of swords, an effective substitution.

McLean’s production of Romeo and Juliet kept the audience interested. It brought new life to a play that has been done millions of times. The story remains the same, but McLean managed to breathe new life into this tale of woe.

by Maddy Miller of Robert E. Lee High School

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