The third staging of Shakespeare's romance
The Guthrie presents its third-ever production of Shakespeare's enduring romantic tragedy, as part of its upcoming 2017/18 season. Helmed by Joseph Raj, this traditional staging of the tale of star-crossed lovers combines passion, bitter resentment and tragedy. Verona's two-star-crossed lovers must thwart their two respective warring families if they are to be married and reconcile their loved ones. However, the actions of one rash cousin on Juliet's side spurs Romeo into a hasty and deadly action, leading to his exile from Verona.
The enduring tragedy
In 16th-century Verona, there are heated tensions between sworn enemies, the Montagues and Capulet clans. Their vicious hatred of one another is infamous throughout the city, as is their often fatal duels. Romeo, the youngest of the Montague clan, is depressed after falling for a girl who spurned his advances. Persuaded by cousin Tybalt, he sneaks into a Capulet ball in the hopes of finding her, that is, until he sees Juliet, the beautiful daughter of the Capulet patriarch, and they fall deeply and immediately in love. Desperate to put aside their family differences, Juliet agrees to marry Romeo in secret.
Juliet's family, meanwhile,are unaware of her marriage and have arranged for her to marry the eligible and wealthy Paris; she must take drastic measures to escape this fate. The rash actions of a few key players, bad timing and harsh justice all reverberate throughout the rest of the play, until its ultimately tragic conclusion.