Theater students overcome obstacles to perform Shakespeare’s classic love story

photo or infographic by Jason Clark
LISTEN ROMEO. During a daytime showing of Romeo and Juliet, juniors Brody McNew and Kolby Sebastian play the Romeo and maid.

The stage is set. The lights are dimmed. A hush falls over the audience as the actors take the stage. The lights come up with a familiar line. “Two households…” 

The Theater III and IV classes performed “Romeo and Juliet” for the school and for the community on Jan. 7, 10  and 11. The production was a cooperation between multiple theater classes. For some students, it was their first time performing for an audience since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to some students getting sick and others simply dropping out of the production, some students were asked to step up and perform days before the first performance.

“At first, I was really scared,” junior Jacob Downs said. “I  had to memorize all my lines in a day, so it was really hard. I really enjoyed the show though.”

Though some students had struggles with the show, many saw it as an opportunity to grow as actors and get closer with their cast.

“Showing genuine emotions was really hard for me,” junior Kolby Sebastian said. “The pantomime scene was my hardest scene, and I didn’t even have any lines. At the end of the day I feel like I’m a better actress because of it.”

Some students regret not taking the show seriously and appreciating it until the day of the performance. 

“Most people in the cast didn’t appreciate the show for what it was and just wanted to get the show over with,” junior Brookelynn Alling said. “The last couple of days, everyone came to their senses and realized they should cherish the show because it was coming to an end.”

In the end, many of the students were just happy that they were able to perform again and were able to make new friends.

“The last time I performed in a show for school was our Christmas show two years ago,” senior Jacob Shanks said. “It was really fun. I didn’t realize how much I had missed performing in front of people.”