Juliet and Her Romeo – Director’s Note

Marie Warner and Scott Gaines perform the final scene in Juliet and Her Romeo

Marie Warner and Scott Gaines perform the final scene in Juliet and Her Romeo

I’m not usually one who likes to write director’s notes, but given the nature of our production’s experiment, it was necessary to give the audience a bit of a glimpse into our reason’s for the style of our presentation…

Romeo and Juliet is quite simply one of the most popular plays of the English language.  It has been a crowd-pleaser since its initial presentation by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men in the late 1590s, and has been performed countless times all over the globe.  The story, drawn from elements of the Pyramus and Thisbe story in Ovid’s Metamorphosis and the feud between the Montechi and Cappaletti families mentioned in Dante’s Divine Comedy, has inspired innumerous artworks, musical pieces, ballets, operas, plays, films, anime, and even a recent version of the tale created via Twitter feed.  The tragedy of the star-crossed lovers has become so ingrained in the global culture that the image of the balcony scene and even the names of the characters are synonymous with young romantic love.

We have called our production of the play Juliet and Her Romeo for several reasons; to separate this production from a traditional staging of the play, because those are the last four words of the text, and the re-arrangement of the original title provided an opportunity to re-examine the relationship of the title characters.  It is in the spirit of this third reason that we formulated the ‘experiment’ of this production.

The experiment was to take a play as iconic as Romeo and Juliet, and discover a way to break it down into its individual parts, to allow an audience the opportunity of examining those parts (the scenes) in a unique way, by attempting to treat each scene individually.  This led to the decision to cast each of the scenes of the play individually, to have our eight actors constantly switching roles from scene to scene – someone playing Juliet may be the Nurse next, followed by Lord Capulet.  Since each scene was to be treated individually, through rehearsal, we discovered that there were some scenes where a sense of pluralism, through having multiple actors play a single part at once, provided another layer to the scene.  Creating a unique experience and view for each scene also led to our decision to alter the seating arrangement several times during the show, to physically change the point of view during the course of the performance.

This production would not be possible but through the brave and gracious efforts of the cast, crew, designers, technicians, artists and servants listed in the program.  It is our sincere hope that our hard work will be a blessing to you, and bring glory to our God.

Joseph Frost

Chair of Theatre

Director, Juliet and Her Romeo

Juliet & Her Romeo

What do you get if you have Aerial Silks, Steam Punk, a Cast of 8, moving banks of Audience seating, a Black Box theatre and a Director willing to approach this classic tale in a new way …….

Why our next production of course!

Directed by Joseph Frost our experimental presentation of Shakespeare classic tragedy of young love is sure to intrigue, entertain, and keep you guessing as to what is going to happen next.  You will not want to miss this production.

Juliet & her Romeo

Juliet & her Romeo

Also a big thank you to the Belhaven Theatre Graphic Design Department for this great poster design.

The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

Last semester, I was involved in the faculty tenure process here at Belhaven and one of the requirements was to write a paper discussing my worldview in regards to my discipline of theatre & design.  I am happy to say that I was honoured with tenure, and I thought I might share my paper in order to give you some insight into some of the views that shape our department and teaching of this interactive, immersive, & collaborative art form.

I entitled the paper:

The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

There are easter egg links hidden within the text to serve as my references and citations to some of the people and I quote & examples I give, so feel free to click on them and follow those through as well.

Welcome, Rebekah Bert – Specialty Instructor in Technical Direction

We are pleased and blessed that this fall we will be welcoming a new Specialty Instructor in Technical Direction, Mrs. Rebekah R. Bert.Rebekah Bert

Rebekah has just completed her Master’s work at Binghamton University, SUNY, and will be managing our scene shop and technical support for productions, as well as teaching our Stagecraft and Technical Resources courses.

Rebekah has worked for several theater companies, including Tri-Cities Opera, Endicott Performing Arts Center, The Cider Mill, and a few other local theaters in the Binghamton area. She has had the opportunity to work as a scenic and lighting designer, stage manager, and even director for shows throughout undergraduate school at Grove City College. Her most recent work was done at SUNY Binghamton where she designed the main stage production for Shakespear’s Henry V. She is currently working on the scenic design for a show during 2011 spring semester at SUNY Binghamton of Noises Off by Michael Frayn. Rebekah has a passion for theatre and looks forward to the new opportunities she will have at Belhaven.

Rebekah, her husband Luke (and their two cats) will be moving from New York to Mississippi at the end of June/ early July.