By Caleen Sinnette Jennings.
Cast: 3m., 3w. Playing Juliet. In this play-within-a-play, the New Vistas Theatre Company sets out to put on Romeo and Juliet with its multiracial cast. Wendy, the determined white director, has cast her long-time black friend, Georgia, in the role of Juliet. Georgia plays opposite Chris, the white son of a New Vistas board member. The nurse is played by Lorraine, a feisty black friend of Georgia's who has a secret yen for Chris. Dave, the stage manager, is the company's founding member and a seasoned Shakespearean actor who has serious concerns about the production. Tempers flair and friendships are strained when Jimmy, Georgia's maintenance-man boyfriend, tries to prevent her from playing Juliet. Issues of race, class, gender and nontraditional casting emerge as the Bard brings out surprising fears, animosities, love and laughter in this company of players. Casting Othello. Fresh from a hit production of Romeo and Juliet, New Vistas Theatre Company tackles Othello. Chris is directing. Dave is cast as Iago, Wendy as Desdemona, George as Emilia, and Lorraine as Bianca. But who will be cast as Othello? Jimmy, now married to the pregnant Georgia, has grown accustomed to working set crew and being a blocking stand-in for the lead. Despite his lack of training, Wendy thinks Jimmy could do Othello in performance. The atmosphere is charged as Georgia and Dave vigorously oppose this casting. Shakespeare's controversial tragedy is deconstructed as the actors' politics, loves and friendships are put on the line. May be done as a full length or each short play may be done independently as a one act. Approximate running time: 50 minutes each. One int. set.