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O Romeo, Romeo: A Review

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Elena Trask

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Sage Creek Drama Department’s final show of the 2016-2017 season came to close with a fresh retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. With last years production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, now a thing of the past, the Theatre III class took a chance on a classic story of star-crossed lovers.

New to Sage Creek and Director of Connectivity at New Village Arts, Director AJ Knox along with SCHS theatre teacher and Assistant Director, Jillian Porter developed an aging story into something new. Working with Sage Creek’s American Sign Language teacher, Robin Newsome-Wuertz, Porter and Knox decided to incorporate ASL into their show. Senior Miranda Colvin and junior Jordyn Ecoff, student sign coaches, also assisted actors with their ASL. To add, junior Brenna Hughbanks, portrayed Benvolio as hearing-impaired. Her body language and bright gestures added to her character and made it seem as though Shakespeare wrote her character as such. She expressed emotion and friendship for Romeo (senior Skyler Beckett) and Mercutio (senior Torrey Chandran) just as the other actors would, without words, but with American Sign Language.

Beckett and sophomore Avalon Greenberg-Call* made up the titular roles and were followed by seniors Bailey Moncrief* and Gus Escobosa, playing Lady and Lord Capulet, respectively. Joining them was Natalie Goins* as the Nurse, who lent the necessary comedic relief in an otherwise somber play. These five actors, who all have been in past Sage Creek productions, truly demonstrated what it means to give a meaningful and raw performance.

The onstage chemistry between Beckett and Greenberg-Call was very engaging and natural. These two seasoned actors put their advanced knowledge of Shakespeare and theatre in general, to good use.

The entire class approached this show with their hearts wide open. I was repeatedly amazed at the caliber of their work after only about six weeks of rehearsal, including double casting for some. The lively Caplet party scene, which included most of the cast, included a song and dance number. This showcased the classes ability to not only act, but to dance and sing as well. Theatre III is a definite triple threat class.

Backstage, I was repeatedly impressed with the camaraderie and “family” aspect that was shown. All, including the cast, crew and production team, looked out for, congratulated and supported one another. Meaningful hugs and tears were exchanged after the curtain closed, as it was the last show for the Class of 2017. Near half of the cast were seniors who are set to graduate in less than two weeks. For some, this may be their last show ever, but for all seniors it is their last high school performance.

Sage Creek Drama has always had this group of talented individuals. Rising juniors and seniors of Theatre III have big shoes to fill, but the young talent in these actors is unmatched. Look out for announcements of future Sage Creek High School Drama Department productions on their website.

 

 

*Please note that these actresses were double cast in their roles, I attended the Saturday night show.

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1 Comment

One Response to “O Romeo, Romeo: A Review”

  1. Liza Wismer on June 11th, 2017 5:02 pm

    I’m so sorry I couldn’t make the show, but I just had to say that my students really enjoyed it (of course offering extra credit to see it and write a review didn’t hurt, I’m sure!) Seriously though, all of their reviews emphasized a wonderful performance that obviously was the result of a lot of hard work, dedication, and talent.

    Bravo!

    Liza Wismer
    Mission Hills High School
    9th and 12th grade ELA

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Sage Creek High School
O Romeo, Romeo: A Review