For one night only, Romeo and Juliet at BYU-I

Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet

“I defy you, stars,” said Romeo in response to the news of Juliet’s death. This line captures the tragedy, tension and love that has made Shakespeare’s play stand the test of time, reenacted again and again.

On Friday the BYU-Idaho Shakespeare Troupe presents the story of these star-crossed lovers once again. Starting at 4 p.m., the one-hour adaptation will be shown in the Eliza R. Snow Building’s Actor’s Studio.

“I think that our take on this show is different than most,” said Andrew Sparks, who plays Romeo. “Everyone is familiar with Romeo and Juliet, but I don’t think it gets the credit it deserves. They think of it as some sappy depressing romance, but in reality, the characters are very relatable and very truthful. And we try to make our version more realistic and more charming because that’s how it was meant to be performed, I believe.”

Shakespeare was performed at BYU-Idaho last semester, in the full-length production of Much Ado About Nothing. This production will be unique in that it is shortened, so there will be no intermission.

“I love performing Shakespeare because the words just flow so beautifully,” said Liberty Gonzalez, who plays Balthazar and Mercutio. “It’s like honey on your lips.”

Directed by August Schmid, students have come together to tell this story in shorter time and with simpler costumes and sets.

“My favorite part of performing in this show has probably been the small scale and the cast that I act with,” Sparks said. “This show is going to be a really good one. I am excited to play such a well-known character and someone with such emotional depth.”

All are invited to come to see this production for free.

“Through this presentation, audiences will come to realize that Romeo and Juliet is not simply a tragic love story, but a story of family relationships, of the need for charity, understanding and forgiveness of our fellow men,” said Anne Maire Larson, who plays Juliet. “And if you’ve never understood Shakespeare before, this is the show to come to. I strongly believe you will gain a greater understanding and appreciation for this story and Shakespeare’s works by attending this performance.”

The cast shared that they’ve learned much from being in this specific production of Romeo and Juliet. They invite everyone to come and learn something about themselves from it too.

“The biggest reason someone should come see this show is to learn more about ourselves,” Schmid said. “I hope all can see this story and learn about their own grudges or past, and learn to love and forgive.”