Jimmy Bert, white shirt, and Ethan Myers, blue jacket, engage in a fencing match during a Tuesday evening rehearsal of the production “Romeo and Juliet.” Bert will be playing the role of Romeo and Myers will be portraying Paris. Daily Leader photo/Jessica Crawford
By JESSICA CRAWFORD
• Daily Leader
William Shakespeare’s age-old story of star crossed lovers, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet, will be performed tonight and Thursday by the Seward County Community College/Area Technical School drama department. However, this production will not take place at the college’s Showcase Theater, it will be performed under the stars – at the amphitheater.
When asked how often in the past the amphitheater has been used for a play, Drama Director Alison Bridget Chambers said this is the first time that she is aware of.
“Never, as far as I know,” she said. “I want to take advantage of it.”
As far as the production, “Romeo and Juliet,” the performance will stay true to Shakespeare’s intended message. However, Chambers has put a new spin on the costume situation.
“We are doing a pretty classic version,” she said. “It’s in a timeless setting so it’s not tied to any certain year or place. The costumes are meant to span from Italian Renaissance to now. It could have fit in any time period. It is supposed to be like you would see them today walking around or walking around in Verona in 1596.”
Chambers herself envisioned the costumes, she said. Everything, she said, was on hand in the college’s costume collection or brought from home by actors.
“Mostly we had everything already,” she said. “A few pieces were brought by the actors from their own closets, but most of it was in our costume closet.”
Chambers gave a brief synopsis of the timeless tragedy, “Romeo and Juliet.” Although, the end result of the relationship of Romeo and Juliet is known worldwide, as a director, Chambers still hated to give away the ending in her description of the production.
“Boy meets girl, boy and girl’s parents hate each other for reasons that are never disclosed in the play – they never tell you,” she said. “They fall in love, their love is forbidden. They decide to run away together and through a tragic course of events, because of a communication gap, they both end up dead. Every innocent character ends up dead.”
The cast is comprised of not only actors, Chambers said, but community members as well.
“We have 20 actors plus maybe seven cosmetology women and men and a tech crew,” she said. “We have 11 college members and the rest is community.
“We are a small school, so I can’t have big casts out of the student population,” she explained. “So, if I want to do a large cast I have to involve the community. And we are a community college, it’s part of our purpose.”
As always, Chambers is very pleased with the work the cast has put into the production.
“They are doing great, they are wonderful,” she said. “I am so proud of them.”
The community will be able to enjoy the production at 7:30 p.m. tonight and Thursday at the amphitheater on the SCCC/ATS campus. Ticket prices are $6 and can be obtained by calling (620) 417-1451 or purchased at the door.
When asked if she believed the weather would cooperate for the next two evenings, Chamber gave a positive and definite answer.
“It will,” she insisted. “It just will.”