Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare’s timeless tale of love and tragedy, comes to life at Northeastern on Tuesday night when the production opens its two-week run at the Curry Student Center’s Studio Theatre.
Months of rehearsals will culminate in the production’s first show, which begins at 8 p.m. Romeo and Juliet is the Theatre Department’s final production of the 2013–14 season.
“I have directed this play before, and absolutely love it,” director Andrea Southwick said. “It has everything: sex, love, hate, violence, passion, comedy, tragedy, beautiful language, and a universal story. It’s much funnier than people expect it to be and is raunchy and action packed.”
Romeo and Juliet, first published in 1597, tells the story of two young, star-crossed lovers whose deaths end a longstanding feud between their two families.
Audiences will definitely recognize the famous lines from Shakespeare’s work, but the cast’s costumes may come as a surprise. As part of the production’s interpretation of the play, cast members will wear modern clothing.
“Even though this is a timeless story, it can be applied to any time period,” said Jacqueline Lasry, CAMD ’14, who is portraying Juliet. “So I think when people come to see this play, they will find elements from different times. There will be no way to figure out in what time it’s taking place.”
Southwick noted that setting the play during an ambiguous time period allows the cast and crew to focus on the story. “This is a story for all time, and of all times, and we hope to present it as such,” said Southwick, who teaches theater acting at Northeastern and the Boston Conservatory.
Grant Terzakis, who is portraying Romeo, liked his costume so much he purchased part of it for his personal wardrobe. “The costumes are really phenomenal,” said Terzakis, CAMD ’16. “The costume really informs your character; how you move and how you hold yourself. I feel like my portrayal of Romeo would be different if I were wearing tights.”
Romeo and Juliet represent the first Shakespearean roles for Terzakis and Lasry, who practiced their scenes as the young couple during private rehearsal periods. “We worked on discovering what our relationship was as people first so we could then bring it to the stage,” Lasry explained.
To help promote the play’s opening night, Terzakis and Lasry performed Romeo and Juliet’s famous balcony scene in the Curry Student Center mezzanine at 1:25 p.m. on Tuesday, as volunteers donning costumes handed out flyers and tasty snacks.
Romeo and Juliet will run through Sunday, March 23, with shows at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays and at 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Tickets are available at the Ell Hall box office.