WESTFIELD, NJ — The Westfield High School Theater Department will present its fall production, “Romeo and Juliet,” this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The play, a timeless story of young love caught between two feuding families, is one of Shakespeare’s best-known tragedies. Director Daniel Devlin, the cast and the crew are putting on a show that reflects the present era with a contemporary set and costume design.
The modern setting allowed for “non-traditional casting opportunities” to give more girls in the award-winning Westfield High School Theatre Department a chance to be part of the production, according to Devlin.
"Especially at this time, a modern adaptation of 'Romeo and Juliet' could not be better,” Meghan Johnson, assistant stage manager, said. “There are so many connections to be made from this play to the present, offering a metaphor that enables us to see into the flaws of our own society. While the love story itself is timeless, the message that Shakespeare intended for us fits perfectly in modern day.”
Remmy Shendell, a student working in the play, is excited for this production.
“It changes the play for the better because the modern take makes it possible for people to be engaged in the plot,” Shendell explained.
Lead actress Charlotte Fountain-Jardim, playing Juliet, said their production “holds very true to the original but definitely brings out the most important points of what Shakespeare wrote.”
Performing Shakespeare, though a challenge, allows the cast “to continue to grow as actors,” according to Julian Mazzola, who plays Benvolio.
Tickets for “Romeo and Juliet” are $12 each and are on sale at http://www.whstd.booktix.com. Advance purchases are recommended. Any tickets not sold in advance will be available at the door. Tickets are reserved seating.
Performances are on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 4 p.m., Friday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday Nov. 19, at 7:30 p.m. All performances will be held in the auditorium of Westfield High School, located at 550 Dorian Road.
Cast members include: Charlotte Fountain-Jardim as Juliet, Tony Peer as Romeo, Julian Mazzola as Benvolio, Catie Barry as Mercutio, Abbie Painter as Balthasar, Nicolas Guerriero as Tybalt, Jonathan Saminski as Lord Capulet, Abby Connolly as the nurse, Max Wasilewski as Friar Lawrence, Kimmi Zimmerman as Princess Escalus, Noah Plotkin as Sampson, Connor Abrams as Gregory, Javier Ortiz-Wood as Abram, Amanda DePinto as Lady Capulet, Gianna Tyahla as Lady Montague, Alex Cestero as Lord Montague, David Lindros as the County Paris, Emma Herber as Cousin Capulet, Abby Rothenberg as Peter Julia Salvato as the Apothecary and Elisa Saint-Denis as Sister Joan.
Members of the show's ensemble play servants, pages and citizens, including Christina Arida, Terry DiFalco, Emma Hamilton, Jessie Karlin, Liz Rosenberg, Remi Shendell, Lauren Singer, Sydney Stewart, Emma Shakal, Lily Paone, Katie Ceraso, Vincent Mora, Anthony Butera and Gianni Pizzi.
In addition to the onstage talent, Westfield High School students play a large role behind the scenes, working on the show's costumes, makeup, props, lighting and sound and building the set.
Nadia Matin is a student at Westfield High School participating in a journalism program with TAPinto Westfield.