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est. 1930

The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

No ‘Fortune’s Fool,’ Drama Department Tradition Returns to PAC

The Wildcat takes a peek behind the curtain of the drama department’s upcoming performance of The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.
Jacob An
The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet performers Wyatt Jordan and Jimena Mejia Cervantes, freshmen, rehearse for their April 18 performance. The one-night production features performances by Drama 1, 2, and 3 students.

The star-crossed lovers of William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet once again grace the PAC stage in the drama department’s annual performance of the play on April 18.  

The play is performed each year as a culminating project for Drama 1, 2, and 3 students, and because “it’s important that people don’t forget the significance [of] Shakespeare’s plays,” Kaitlynn Ponton, senior, and Play Production member, said.

Since February, drama classes have been perfecting lines and fine-tuning choreography in preparation for the one-night show. 

For some members of Drama 1, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is their first opportunity to perform in front of family and friends on the PAC stage. 

First year drama student Valentina Gebhard, sophomore, and one of three Juliets in the show, said, “I’d never been in drama, and I was really nervous [about] joining, but I already have a lead role and I’m really excited. This is the big play of the year [for us], and a lot of hard work went into it.”

As the sole Romeo in the production, Wyatt Jordan, freshman, had the enormous task of memorizing hundreds of the protagonist’s lines. “I had to learn the lines very quickly,” Jordan said of his preparation for the role.

Because of the complexities of Shakespeare’s language, drama students had to work especially hard to understand the significance of each line they memorized. 

Drama students do a read-through of the Romeo and Juliet script on on April 11 in preparation for the April 18 show. (Issabella Garcia)

“I made them do line translations for anything their character says or anything another character says to them,”  Kim Ofcacek, drama teacher, said. 

Ofcacek allows the actors the freedom to bring their own personalities to the roles they play to better connect to the audience. 

“I’ve enjoyed adding quirks to my character; I wanted to add a cheerful attitude to Juliet, and a lot of excitement,” Colleen Lee, junior, said. 

Despite some minor changes, like a tweak to the dance scene in Act 1 and brand new costumes for the boys, the performance is “pretty true” to what Shakespeare intended, according to Ponton.

To assist in the staging of some of the more action-heavy scenes, such as the duel between Tybalt and Romeo in Act 3, Play Production alumnus Connor Vescelus (‘20) spent two days teaching drama members sword-fighting choreography. 

Ponton said, “Everyone had to learn different choreography. We’ve all been working outside of class to make sure we have [the fights] memorized.” 

While the cast performs, tech crew ensures that the performance runs smoothly from behind the scenes.

To bring the play’s Verona, Italy, setting to life, tech crew spent 10 hours repainting pieces from a previous production of Alice in Wonderland.

“We make any building structures, paint them, and work with our hands a lot,” sophomore Sienna Rodriguez, tech crew member, said. 

Tech crew also controls the show’s special effects and lighting; for example, blue and red lighting illuminates opposite ends of the stage to represent the Montague and Capulet rivalry. 

There are two showings of the play on April 18, at 6 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at the door for $10. 

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About the Contributors
Azilynn Fuerte
Azilynn Fuerte, Staff Writer
Azilynn Fuerte, freshman, is a cheerleader and a staff writer for the Wildcat. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends and cheerleading at sporting events, which she hopes to do this for the rest of her high school career. Post-high school, Azilynn wants to be a family lawyer and attend Hope College.
Issabella Garcia
Issabella Garcia, Photographer
Issabella Garcia, freshman, is involved in softball and cross country. Her goal this year is to get straight A’s and to be involved in school clubs and sports. She wants to major in journalism and go to Stanford University to major in journalism and digital media. During her free time she likes to listen to music, run, and play with her dog, Skye.
Jacob An
Jacob An, Photographer
Jacob got his first camera last December, and has been developing his photography skills by capturing the beauty of everyday things through landscape and portrait shots. His hobbies include flying airplanes, Muy Thai kickboxing, playing the bass guitar, and scripting games.
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