This Friday Dec. 6 the newly formed University of Redlands Shakespeare Co. will unveil their performance of Romeo and Juliet—but it is not the traditional play, nor is it being directed in the traditional manner. This 90s grunge take on the traditional love story is ensemble directed, meaning that there is no distinct director, and everyone in the cast has an equal part in contributing and making suggestions.
Anna Klein, the senior behind the creation of the play and the show’s Juliet, says:
“We don’t have a director, we don’t have a stage manager, we don’t have designers … Everybody gives everybody notes, we don’t have anybody who’s properly shaping the show, it’s all our ideas, everything’s very democratic.”
Klein admits this setup can be somewhat chaotic but also says it’s been incredibly fun.
“It’s so unlike any process because we just are doing it, we don’t have … scheduled rehearsal time,” Klein said. “We’re just flying by the seat of our pants, so whatever product comes on Friday is … entirely experimental, but I think it’s going to be good.”
The Bulldog interviewed a few other cast members to inquire about their experience acting in the show. Aya Serikova, who is playing the role of the Prince, says:
“I’ve been in several plays, but this is the first one that’s been ensemble directed … there’s definitely a lot more chaotic energy, but it’s not a bad thing, I’m enjoying working with everybody and being able to actually give out ideas and having them heard and be implemented versus just having one director and being given direct orders and directions.”
Katie Murphy, who has the role of Lady Montegue adds, “This has been a wacky fun time and it definitely keeps me on my toes, because I never know what’s going to happen at rehearsal.”
The play will be running Friday, Dec. 6 through Sunday, Dec. 8. Friday’s show begins at 5pm, Saturday’s at 1pm and 10:30pm, and Sunday’s at 1pm in the Frederick Loewe Theater. All shows cost $8 fot adults, and $5 for students, except for special late-night show at 10:30pm, which will feature some unconventional improv, and offers a special discounted rate.
Photograph by Kyle Eaton.