The Fall Play: Romeo and Juliet


Ben Graham, Campus News Reporter

Ushering in the end of our fall term, our Performing Arts Department’s incredible performance of Romeo and Juliet last weekend captivated audiences and excited them for our school’s next production.  Directed by Mr. Stewart, Mr. Foote, and Ms. Robbins, the fall play was the result of hours and hours of work from students, attending rehearsals, auditions, and practicing their lines, and a huge amount of behind-the-scenes work to pull it all together. 

 Kent Theatre arranges a performance of a Shakespeare play “once every four or five years,” according to Mr. Stewart.  “It’s important for kids to do one, and we hope that everyone will get the chance while they are here.”  Additionally, Romeo and Juliet is one of the most popular and successful (if not the most popular and successful) of Shakespeare’s works, being widely taught in schools today, and having been adapted into many movies and parody productions.  Romeo and Juliet’s beloved status made it an anticipated and well-received production here at Kent.

One often overlooked yet significant part of a production is the set design.  The unique and contemporary (yet compact) set was one of the highlights of this production of Romeo and Juliet.  Ms. Stephanie Jackson, the new Tech Director, was the head designer of both the set and the lighting for the play.  The brightly colored, spray-painted names of the two households (both alike in dignity) served as an excellent backdrop for the modern interpretation of the classic play.  Featuring multiple fight sequences and costumes made of athletic and casual pieces, meeting the demands of this unconventional adaptation was a difficult task, but Ms. Jackson certainly rose to the occasion.

Romeo and Juliet saw more audience engagement than past productions.  Mr. Stewart said that the department was happy to see such a “lively, active audience, sitting at close range.”  “The rapport between the cast and the audience was just as Shakespeare intended,” he shared.  Whether this was a result of excellent crowd work from our talented actors, or just the audience’s anticipation of such a pivotal production boiling over into sheer excitement, Romeo and Juliet showed off both the actors’ and the production team’s capabilities, and left the audience on the edge of their seats.