Our student theatre society has another successful production under their belt, as this year’s run of After Juliet has been met with much acclaim. Students, staff and faculty have been blown away by the play, which sees the Shakespearean-era youth of Verona haunted by the deaths of Romeo and Juliet and struggling to maintain a truce between their feuding families.
The young Capulets and Montagues are discontent, as they wait for the figures involved in the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet to be sentenced and the return of their swords, confiscated by the prince for the sake of peace. The story picks up with the rough and passionate Roseline, played fiercely by Kaeleigh Fletcher, who is mourning both her cousin Juliet and Romeo, whom she secretly loved. On the Montague side, Mercutio’s twin brother Valentine is anxious to resume fighting while a pining Benvolio finds himself conflicted. Richard Boness plays the stoic Valentine and Brian Christensen endears as his romantic opposite. Eric Protzer and Will Jevne are fantastic as unusual thugs Lorenzo and Gianni, bringing a complicated comedy to a largely dark production.
The cast is full of strong performers, and even those on-stage for a few minutes impress. Linda Yu plays Bianca, whose psychic abilities keep her much closer to the world of the now-dead lovers and make her fear for the future. As Helena, Robyn Hope is subtly sympathetic and uses her vocal talents beautifully. Sophia Bryant-Scott shines as the fiery Livia, Maddy Goodman is more than memorable as the haughty Alice, Chris Colquhoun makes his mark as Petruchio, Lyn Li Che plays a sound Rhona, and Nicki Varma is Juliet’s motherly nurse. Sam Symons and Genna Purcell give silent but spirited performances, as does the Jacob Boness as the ominous drummer.
After Juliet was performed for a packed house each evening this week and met with waves of applause. Student directors Jake McClosky and Jasmine Yan, assisted by Jillian Neckar, should be proud of their work, as should the entire crew for a truly professional production that makes excellent use of lighting, song and sound.
The last two performances will be tonight at 7:00 pm and Saturday at 2:00 pm in the Copeland Lecture Theatre.