MAILED: Oct. 7, 1997|
EAU CLAIRE -- The famous Shakespearean story of a tragic young love, "Romeo and Juliet," will be presented this month by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire music and theatre arts department.
Performances of "Romeo and Juliet" are slated for 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22-25 and Oct. 28-Nov.1, and 1:30 p.m. Oct. 26. All performances will be in Kjer Theatre.
"The play is coming together very well. The acting is strong and the students are focused and excited about it," said Bill Mellien, director of "Romeo and Juliet" and a theater professor. "Even students with small parts are working hard to create a great show. Other strong points of the play are the visuals. There are a lot of neat things to look at."
The fifth scene of the show features a party scene and a variety of decorative masks. During the time period of the play, wearing colorful masks during celebrations was tradition.
The university's version of "Romeo and Juliet" is similar to the original and very much traditional.
"We wanted to keep it traditional to give our students experience working with that time period's dialogue, movement and costume," Mellien said.
But the play brings up a number of issues that are relevant today.
"The cast is investigating how the play relates to current issues and what we can do to tie into those and make people better understand," he said.
Some of the issues found in the play include young love, purity, believability, guilt, suicide, deception/lying, afterlife, grief, fate, time and impatience.
On a less serious note, Mellien points out half the show is a comedy.
"The first half of script is very much a comedy and I don't think many people think of it that way," he said. "Our intent is to play with it, make it lively and fun until circumstances turn it around."
There are more than 30 cast members and about eight running crew members. Romeo will be played by Al Narciso, Eau Claire; Juliet by Sara Paar, Verona; Mercutio by Brad Calli, Marshfield; Benvolio by Russ Zook, Fall Creek; and the nurse by Kate Headworth, a foreign exchange student from England.
Tickets are $7 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and youths; or $4 for UW-Eau Claire students, faculty and staff. Tickets are available at the Service Center, (715) 836-3727.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Oct. 7, 1997