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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Power Dynamics Flipped in 'Juliet and Romeo'

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Modern productions of Shakespeare sometimes switch things up with respect to gender. The late Milwaukee Shakespeare created a memorable production of The Taming of the Shrew in which men played all of the roles. This summer, Bad Example Productions flips gender roles for its production of Juliet and Romeo. In an adaptation by Theresa Stefaniak and David Kaye, the traditional power structures are flipped into a matriarchal culture.

Christopher Elst plays Romeo Capulet, a son and servant. Juliet Montague is a young woman of Verona who falls in love with him in what is a forbidden relationship between rival families.

It's an interesting exercise. The battles between the two families are fought between women, complete with fight choreography, while the men are less influential. The cast features emerging talents such as Marcee Doherty and Shannon Tyburski, who have shown promise in other productions.

Of course, uniqueness of the casting aside, the big challenge for any production of this story is to overcome the audience's familiarity with the script and get people to connect with the show. With a full cast of actresses driving the heart of the story, this show should do just that.

Bad Example Productions' Juliet and Romeo runs July 12-28 at the Alchemist Theatre. For ticket reservations, visit www.alchemisttheatre.com.

Theater Happenings


  • Katherine Duffy and Samantha Paige star as dancers in the Neil Simon, Dorothy Fields and Cy Coleman musical Sweet Charity. The show runs atElm Grove's Sunset Playhouse July 12-Aug. 5. For ticket reservations, call 262-782-4430.
  • Also next week, Acacia Theatre opens its production of the musical adaptation of Anne of Green Gables. L.M. Montgomery's beloved character, the hot-tempered, red-haired orphan Anne, has captivated readers for more than a century. Anne comes to life in this big production at Concordia University July 13-22. For ticket reservations, call 414-744-5995.