Flatwater Shakespeare's Blog News

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Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Truly Youthful R+J

The Flatwater Shakespeare Youth Ensemble production of Romeo and Juliet concluded a very successful run tonight. Under the direction of Tom Crew, our increasingly experienced actors offered lively and involving entertainment. The show was especially enriched by . . .
--the intensity of our leads, Kellie Bate and Josh Duncan
--the authority of our Capulet and Montague matriarchs, Alli Derr and Shelby Krause
--the charisma of our Mercutio, Andrew DeCamp
--the care and concern of our Friar Laurence, Jackson Fisher, and our Benvolio, Rishi Ragsdale
--the compassionate good-humor of our Nurse, Sydney Timmons, and our Valentina, Alison Foley
Who's Valentina? She's a new character, Mercutio's cousin, some of whose lines are based on those of Balthasar in Shakespeare's play. This adaptation achieved a measure of "gender balance," giving more of our female actors a chance to work with Shakespearean material -- and giving some of Shakespeare's roles a chance to affect the plot (and audiences) in new ways.
Thanks go to our Stage Manager, Brooke Erks ; our scholar-observer, Kristy Maydwell; our Fight Choreographer, Dave Owens; and our Dance Choreographer, Karen Freimund Wills. Our 2006 Youth Productions were made possible by grants from the Nebraska Humanities Council and other sponsors.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Fathers, Mothers, A Ghostly Sire, and A Good Sweet Nurse

The Flatwater Romeo and Juliet is also graced with six powerful performances depicting the actual and "substitute" parents of the title characters.

As Lady Montague, Romeo's mother, Linda Nettland is fiercely protective: we can sense beforehand that her grief at Romeo's exile will be fatal.

As Lord Montague, Romeo's father, Dick Nielsen is compassionate and concerned: our sense of the tragedy at play's end is intensified by his sorrow.

As Lady Capulet, Juliet's mother, Mary Douglass is committed to kin and especially to family honor: she and Tybalt, her brother's son, are equally "fiery" in seeking respect.

As Lord Capulet, Juliet's father, Fred Stuart is both jovial and Jove-like: generous, amiable, but ready to hurt thunderbolts if crossed. The performance is moving and disturbing.

As the Nurse, Margy Ryan is bawdy, emotional, funny, sympathetic, and intent on trying to do what she thinks is best for Juliet -- who has taken the place of Susan, her late daughter, in her heart.

As Friar Laurence, Brad Boesen is understandably Romeo's teacher, mentor, and confidant, as well as confessor -- a true student of nature and human nature.

The production continues tonight, October 1, and next weekend, October 5-8. Space is limited, so reserve your tickets at 484-7640 or our website -- www.flatwatershakespeare.org.