Modern take on classic play dazzles audiences

Sara Schlueter

With the spotlight focused on the upper sets of the stage, senior Dez Brown began rapping the prologue of Shakespeare’s famous play, Romeo and Juliet.  This began the two hour saga of the classic play that included a modern theme, a live contemporary band, and intense fighting sequences, which steered away from the more traditional feel of Shakespeare.

Dressed in American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, and sporting cell phones and iPods, the cast of Romeo and Juliet added a modern spark to the play.  “We decided to go with the the modern theme because it makes it more accessible to everybody. Shakespeare is very relevant to today, and the modern theme helped to make it understandable,” said director Maura Brew.
The contemporary style of the play had sets that were car themed, with the Montagues of Verona (with a Mercedes sign) and the Capulet Body Shop.  “I think that the modern setting helped the audience to get engaged in the show and understand what was going on,” said senior  Michelle Brooks who played Lady Capulet.
The shows contemporary music, featuring BSM band Silent Agency––which includes students Evan Bakker and Andy Lesser––added to the unique modern element of the classic Romeo and Juliet. “I really liked the live band because you could get a feel for what was happening in the show,” said senior Amy Stockhaus, who played Juliet.

Mrs. Brew actually asked Silent Agency to play for the show back in the spring.  “We wanted the live band because we wanted to feature as much BSM talent as we could in the show,” said Mrs. Brew.

Evan Bakker, who sings and plays the electric guitar for the group, liked the ablity to play for the show.  “I think it added another element to the play besides just the acting.” said Bakker.

Mr. Effertz, who works on the sets, sound, and lighting for the show said of the band, “It was a little difficult to control the sound for the band because they are used to playing loudly.”

The live band added another element to the play, and the audience thoroughly enjoyed it.  “The band was really good, and they did a good job of catching the emotion of the play,” said junior Monica Shaffer.

The roles played by the cast members were not dominated by the upperclassmen, but rather included the freshmen and sophomores as well.  “This was a great show because we involved a lot of students from every grade, not only on stage, but backstage as well,” said Mrs. Brew.

Sophomore Jack Tift got to participate in Romeo and Juliet as his first show. Tift played Tybalt, who was one of the leading characters.  “I loved all of the performances that we did.  They were really fun,” said Tift.

Amy Stockhaus also enjoyed playing Juliet. “It was a good experience for me push myself to learn the long monologues and the style of English they were in.”

Senior Zach Mahler, who played Romeo, had a good experience in working on the show this year.  “It was a lot of fun doing the show, but it was also challenging to learn all the lines and the emotions that were in the play,” said Mahler.
The audience thoroughly enjoyed the show, and the hard work of the cast paid off.  “It was an awesome play, and I loved it.  The fight scenes were very well done, and I liked the subtle humor,” said Principal Sue Skinner.