Photos courtesy Kate Klotzbach

 

Junior Sarah Blubaugh as Juliet and sophomore Eric Wloszek as Romeo act out the final scene of “Romeo and Juliet,” which was performed March 2-12 by students of the Cleveland State University Department of Theatre and Dance.

 

 

March 28, 2017

'Romeo and Juliet' showcases student talent

Cleveland State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance showcased its talents March 2 through the 12 in the play “Romeo & Juliet,” directed by Cleveland State Associate Professor Michael Mauldin
The story of the star-crossed lovers, originally written by William Shakespeare, shows how tricky fate can be. Juliet is coming upon the age that she should be married when she meets Romeo, a young man who fascinates her before she finds out that he is a member of the Montague family, with whom her family, the Capulets, are feuding. Realizing that her family would never let her marry a Montague, Juliet and Romeo get married without the knowledge of their families and the real tragedies of the play begin to come forward.
This play was a great choice to showcase how talented Cleveland State student actors really are. Have you ever gone on a five-minute soliloquy all in Shakespearean dialogue with no paper to read off of while staying in character? No? Me either. And I don’t see it happening any time soon.
The acting was exquisite. The perfect amount of emotion, comedy and interaction with the audience made for an enjoyable play. The direction that the play was taken, however, caused some problems for me.
My favorite part of the original “Romeo and Juliet” is the innocence of their relationship and innocence was pretty much left out of this interpretation. There was a lot of sexual dialogue and sexual actions on stage that didn’t impress me.
Romeo, to me, is a hopeless romantic who longs for the day he can be with Juliet, not a sex-crazed teenager who only worries about sleeping with her.
This interpretation did not take away from me enjoying the play, however. I still loved the talent that shone through with the acting and the costumes.
Knowing that Cleveland State students make all of their own costumes, I was amazed when Juliet walked out in a beautiful red and gold dress that honestly looked like it was professionally made.
The male members of the cast also did a great job at growing their hair out and making it feel very accurate to that time.
Finally, the fight scenes were choreographed perfectly. It was one thing to hear them going off on long, Shakespearean speeches without hesitation, but they also never missed a step in the many sword fights.
This was one of my favorite Cleveland State theatre productions and I applaud the cast, crew and director for showcasing these wonderful talents so well. 



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