A Date with Fate: Romeo & Juliet
South drama has three remaining performances of Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet on March 16 at 7 p.m. and on March 17 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Opening performances were on March 8 and March 9, starring Alena Langford ‘19 as Juliet and Leo Elkington ‘21 as Romeo.
“I feel like there’s a lot of things to connect to with Juliet’s character,” Langford said. “Most of the time you think the female is just going to be the counterpart to the male, but Juliet is actually a pretty dynamic character, she has a lot of relatable things for a lot of teenagers. She struggles with her parents being overprotective and controlling, she struggles with this idea of who her parents expect her to be with, and that idea of meeting someone and just freaking out and not knowing how you feel. And of course, making those rash decisions in the moment.”
For South’s production, the traditional Elizabethan era setting was changed to an unspecified modern time. Costumes were chosen to fit the modern twist, with the two families dressed symbolically in black and white, and knives in replacement of swords. A simple set was chosen as well, with few furniture and set pieces moved on and off stage throughout the show.
Though the costumes and set are modern, the language is not and the cast sometimes warms-up with tongue-twisters to prepare for their lines. Knowing the difficulty audience members have understanding, Langford intentionally emphasizes her diction and slows down her words at times.
“For me personally I just have to sit down and decipher the lines,” Langford said. “That’s what I had to do before I tried to memorize anything because it’s very hard to take words that you don’t know what you’re saying and try to memorize it. It’s a very different feel to be speaking that language.”
Casting for Romeo and Juliet took place in December after South’s production of The Little Mermaid, and the cast and crew have been working since then. Langford has been involved in South drama since her freshman year while Romeo and Juliet is Elkington’s first production with South drama.
“In seventh grade I took a drama class and that’s the extent of my experience before South,” Elkington said.“I’ve always felt really connected with drama, honestly, it’s been a bit of a quiet passion up until now and it was really exciting for me to get this big role. I thought I was at best going to get Friar, maybe ensemble.”
After the final two performances of Romeo and Juliet, South drama will begin working on their production of the play Our Town by Thornton Wilder.