Romeo and Juliet

Despite portraying the same story of star-crossed lovers meeting their fate for hundreds of years, “Romeo and Juliet” still manages to captivate audiences. The theatre department plans to finish the fall season with one more.

Every two years the theatre department puts on a classical play, often Shakespeare, but it has been 19 years since “Romeo and Juliet” hit SFA’s stage. 

The lead roles are Nick Pinelli as Romeo and Andrea Nelson as Juliet. This will be their first time starring together since Pinelli is a senior and Nelson is a freshman. Pinelli has acted in multiple shows before, but this will be Nelson’s first. Leading the cast is director Scott Shuttack.

SFA’s production of “Romeo and Juliet” may not be the version remembered, but a little different. 

“It’s going to be a fast-paced, dramatically intense production, with a non-traditional setting (some historical elements mashed up with contemporary and futuristic looks),” Shuttack said. “I think we’re successfully getting away from clichés about the characters and the story, discovering who they are and what they do (and why) in a fresh and unsentimental way.  I think the story will feel fresh and exciting.”

“In some ways we start working on productions--thinking about how we will approach them--from the moment we choose the play, which was early last spring in this case,” Shuttack said. “We started talking in earnest about the direction we would take with the sets, costumes and music this past summer. 

The play was cast at the beginning of the semester. 

“We rehearse six times a week, about three hours each time, for five weeks, plus extra time to rehearse the sword fights and the technical/design elements,” Shuttack said.

Since people have listened to the story of “Romeo and Juliet” for centuries, Shuttack hopes to give the play a unique twist. 

“It’s one of the iconic stories in all of western culture, of course, so if you haven’t seen a version of it you’re missing out on a touchstone of our shared ideas about love and conflict,” Shuttack said. “If you give it a shot I guarantee you won›t find it boring, you›ll be able to understand it, you›ll laugh, you›ll be excited by either the love or the fighting or both and you›ll rock out to the music.”

The show will run 7:30 p.m. from Tuesday, Nov. 19, to Saturday, Nov. 23,in the W.M. Turner Auditorium. There will be additional shows at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21, and at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23.

Tickets can be bought in advance online at http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu/tickets or by phone at 888-240-ARTS. 

On campus, tickets are sold at the Box Office on the main level of Griffith Building in Room 211 B. Prices for single tickets run $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7.50 for students and youth.

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