The Andy Griffith Playhouse stage has been temporarily transformed into the Globe Theatre for the Surry Arts Council’s production of “Romeo and Juliet.”
“This play is one of Shakespeare’s most popular and most loved,” said director Mark Donnell, “When you see it staged, it’s easy to see why. Most people associate it with English class and reading it from your desk.”
But that’s worlds away from how Shakespeare intended it, Donnell said.
“Plays are written to be staged. There is a lot of fun in this show – a lot of humor – but you can’t see it if you’re only reading words on page. You have to put it on its feet. Everyone knows it as this tragic love story – and it is – but it’s also full of action. We have sword fights, dances, musicians, plates being tossed around. I guarantee you, you would never recognize this play from your high school English class.”
Many area students will get the opportunity to see the production, though, since school performances are part of the show’s run. On Monday, Oct. 30, there are two shows during the school day and students from Mount Airy Middle School, Meadowview Middle School, Millennium Charter Academy, North Surry High School, and Surry Early College High School of Design will attend. Many will see classmates in the production.
“We have several young adults in the show, and their performances are amazing,” Donnell said. “They also add an authenticity to the story because Romeo and Juliet are teenagers.”
Romeo is played by Robert Parks, who attends North Surry and has been active with the Surry Arts Players for several years. Juliet is played by Peyton Martel, a homeschooler who has also done several shows with the Surry Arts Players.
Other students in the production include Regan Amos (Meadowview Middle School), Daphne Dotson (East Surry), Olivia Dotson (Pilot Mountain Middle School), Kirsten DeJesus and Melanie Irizarry (Surry Early College High School of Design), Matthew Jarrell and Michael Senter (North Surry), Brooksie Lawson, Grant Perry, and Jessica Smith (Mount Airy High School).
Additional cast members are Amanda Barnard, Darrell Beck (who also serves as music director), Lily Ruth Beck, Autumn Blakemore, Diane Blakemore (also assistant stage manager), Abby Brady, Erik Chelgren, Paul Denny (also assistant fight captain), Linda Donnell (also choreographer), Annette Easter, Heather Elliott, Vince Hancock, Joey Marion (also fight captain), Greg Matthews, Melanie Shur, and Jessica Smith. George Ray, Judy Taylor, and Rebekah Taylor are musicians.
The production team also includes Susan Lawrence (stage manager), Heidi McIver (fight choreographer), Ken White and Susan Michael (set), Mary Emily Cooke (costumer) and Dee Hancock (assistant costumer).
“Romeo and Juliet” shows on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 29 at 3 p.m.; and Monday, Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 or $6 for students and can be purchased online at www.surryarts.org, or by phone at 336-786-7998. For additional information, contact Antonia Cawley at 336-786-7998 or firstname.lastname@example.org.