Tuesday, November 10, 2015

TENAFLY H.S. PERFORMING ARTS DEPARTMENT PRESENTS UPDATED “ROMEO & JULIET”

R&J Photo ShootRomeo and Juliet

WHEN: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 19, 20 and 21, 7:30 PM
WHERE:
Collins-Tall Auditorium, Tenafly High School, 19 Columbus Drive, Tenafly
TICKETS: $10 students; $12 senior citizens adults.
To purchase tickets visit www.tenaflytheatre.com or buy at the door.

The Tenafly High School is proud to present Romeo and Juliet as its fall theater production. It has been cast and directed as a contemporary, urban, hip-hop take on the famous Shakespeare tragedy about “star-crossed” young lovers from feuding families, who choose to die for their love. Set in the late 90’s, this never-before-seen and newly abridged version of this timeless tale is directed by Tenafly High School Theater/Speech Director Samuel Ahn-Cooper, who was inspired by Lin-Manuel Miranda’s visionary musical and Hamilton and Baz Luhrmann’s movie of the same title. (Above: Natalia Rodriguez, Patrick McCann)

R&J Photo ShootThis fresh, in-your-face production plays out in a stark, industrial, urban city designed and created by Steve Moger, the show’s technical director, where 90’s hip hop music flows seamlessly throughout many of the scenes. Some of the monologues are rapped and the party scene breaks out into a group hip-hop dance. Juliet performs two beautiful ballet pieces and it is her stunning solo that catches Romeo’s eye. The Montagues and Capulets wear modern costumes with a twist; daggers replace swords, bracelets, wristbands, sneakers and ball caps replace traditional costumes and Mercutio and Tybalt, historically cast as men, are played by girls. Mercutio’s death scene beautifully unveils the character’s true identity and the fact that Romeo believed Mercutio to be a boy the entire time starts him on a path towards self-destruction. After both Mercutio and Tybalt’s death the story unfolds in a moving, violent and romantic tragedy. (Above: Back Row: Brad Moyer, Maya Amitai,, Patrick McCann, Nick Evereat, Reilly Wilmit. Front Row: Lizzy Palo Johnathan Tamir)

“To direct a show of this magnitude is a challenge and an inspiration,” says Samuel Ahn-Cooper. “Though many people recognize Shakespeare as one of the greatest voices in theater, many people find him unapproachable or intimidating or are afraid they won’t understand or connect with the ‘Old English’ the characters speak. That is what makes our take on this famous play so exciting. I see it as an opportunity to make Shakespeare fun and edgy with present-day relevance. In a world of real-life gang warfare, the fate of Romeo and Juliet takes on new meaning. And that’s the magic of theater. It can be a powerful tool for educating others, and when the curtain goes down, I believe our production of Romeo and Juliet will spark a new appreciation of Shakespeare and the timeless messages he still manages to communicate across nearly 500 years of time.

The show has been cast, directed and choreographed by the following Tenafly High School professional staff: Theater/Speech Director Samuel Ahn-Cooper, Technical Director Steve Moger and Production Coordinator Jim Millar. The cast features: Sampson – Ariel Fromm, Gregory – Alika Saxena, Tybalt – Maya Golan, Mercutio – Lizzy Palo; Lady Capulet – Demi Yona; Lady Montague – Reilly Wilmit; Nurse – Sam Camizzi, Juliet – Natalia Rodriguez, Benvolio – Jonathan Tamir, Abraham – Maya Amiti, Balthazar – Nick Everaert, Capulet – Nate Lee, Montague – Bradley Moyer, Friar – Colin Colchamiro, Romeo – Patrick Mccann, Prince – Mr. Stanley Flood, Paris / Friar John – James Park, Servant – Haruyo Koeda.

Tickets are  For more information or to request an interview, email: sahncooper@tenafly.k12.nj.us