By Nancy Linehan Charles. From William Shakespeare
Cast: 4m., 4w. (plus 21 either gender.) Teenagers. What are ya gonna do. They fall in love at the drop of a hat—always with the very person Mom and Dad can't stand. And in the case of Romeo Montague and Juliette Capulet, their families have hated one another for as long as anyone can remember. Except …no one actually remembers why. Grownups act that way sometimes, huh. This fast-paced adaptation of Shakespeare's play tracks the star-crossed lovers and their cross-purposed families through the tumbling courtship to its tragic conclusion—storytellers firing off comments about premature marriages and the folly of old men at war. A perfect landscape for boisterous swordfights and gender-bending casting. Girls play boys with pointed reminders to the audience of all-male casting in Elizabethan times. Payback, say the storytellers. The audience is prodded to stop the tragedy at several points, but alas, too late. The conclusion? Violence is a stupid choice so mend your fences before you hit the parking lot. Bare stage with ladders and props. Approximate Running Time: 45 minutes.