Clarksville, TN Online: News, Opinion, Arts & Entertainment.

Topic: Cox/Lewis Theater

TSU summer stock ‘Romeo and Juliet’ sparkled with stage setting shift


The recent Tennessee State University’s Summer Stock Theatre staging of the Shakespeare classic further reinforces the timeless appeal of this classic love tragedy. The classic young love tragedy, given an urban setting, reflects strongly upon the reality of the modern day urban upheaval.

The tenderness and angst of a love forbidden is the central focus of William Shakespeare’s classic, Romeo and Juliet. The 2008 summer stock production staged at Tennessee State University was a brilliant jewel of a production. Directed by Barry Scott, a renowned stage performer in his own right, the staging gives the play a new flesh to fill. The young cast of newcomers and unknowns acquaints itself well in a production that keeps Shakespeare’s original language and feel alive and vibrant. The dynamics of the play flow evenly and smoothly through out the performance.

But this production did offer something different. This time, the locale was not the standard Elizabethan Italian village setting. Director Scott, in a daring move, chose to transpose the setting to one of Nashville’s older troubled public housing communities. Additionally, daggers and swords were replaced with stage versions of handguns and automatic rifles. Costuming reflected urban street fashion instead of flowing gowns and bustiers. Strumming minstrels were replaced with modern day music. These changes, however, do not distract from the central focus of the play. Quite to the contrary, they serve to enhance the performance. «Read the rest of this article»


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