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November 17, 2014

SHAKESPEARE TRAVELS TO EGYPT - DARING NEW PRODUCTION (NCTC)












NEW CONSERVATORY THEATRE CENTER 
in Association with Dave Madsen & Rick Norris/Executive Producers 



JOE CALARCO'S AWARD-WINNING PLAY
IS STAGED BY NCTC ARTISTIC ASSOCIATE 
BEN RANDLE 


THIS ROUSING NEW PLAY IS ABOUT FOUR STUDENTS ENACTING SCENES  from "Romeo and Juliet" as a guilty pleasure. Why is reading Shakespeare a guilty pleasure? Maybe because the boys are living under a repressive regime which discourages creativity & persecutes the gay community. 

Acting out the female roles enables them to release their inner camp. Wrestling in the fight scenes gives them the homo erotic body contact that they crave. 

Taz Campbell is a revelation as Juliet. With his quiet masculinity and deep sincerity - he doesn't need to don a dress to win the heart of every Romeo in the audience. But homophobia runs deep. One of the students is so shocked by the wedding of two boys - that he tears a page out of the script. Naughty...but nothing can stop the power of true love and the play ends on a hopeful note. 

Shakespeare says a lot: Here are a few that you may remember "We know what we are, but know not what we may be" -
"It is not in the stars to hold destiny but in ourselves" - "God has given you one face, and you make yourself another!" - "The course of true love never did run smooth!" 

Teenagers from families feud a lot. Honor and destiny among them begin to crumble. There is constant pressure among the Montagues and Capulets as the clans bring on hotheadedness. As Shakespeare would know - "The wheel is come full circle!"
Remember - Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind. 

On this four-centuries-old play - masculinity takes over the story at the school locale. They push and shove at each other. As they read Shakespeare: - "A little more than kin, and less than kind." I didn't see much kindness. This was pure madness. Scary. Some want to run - some do run away, and others still have hatefulness on their minds. 

The young men on the stage are "Not stepping o'er the bonds of modesty." They are past their dancing days. The staging brings poison. If you are traitors - then you have a villain's mind. And then of course, we notice how nasty a guilty mind can be. 

WELL - WE CAN'T BUY CHARM

HERE ARE THE AMAZING ACTORS

Amad Odsess-Rubin - Taj K. Campbell - Mike Sagun and James Arthur M. 

CREATIVE TEAM: Stage Manager - Logan Hehn. Scenic Design - Yusuke Soi. Lighting Design - Christian V. Majia. Costume Design - Jorge R. Hernandez. Sound Design-Stephen Abts. Prob Design - Adeline Smith. Fight Director - Mark Gabriel Kenney. Technical Director - Devin Kasper. Asst Technical Dir Joan Howard and Casting Director - Lori Fowler.  

Original: Half thriller and half mystery

CITY NEWS SERVICE
RATINGS: Six Stars***** or Six Glasses of Champagne*****

SHAKESPEARE'S R&J
By Joe Calarco
directed by Ben Randle 

The School Boys 
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