We have two guests with us tonight to discuss the play both as production or performance and as text; the deed and the word. As Harold Goddard said, “Drama is a portrayal of human passions eventuating in acts. Poetry is a picture of life in its essence.” Shakespeare toils to mend the two.
In Act One, “The Play’s the Thing,” we’re joined by the director of the IU Theater Production of Romeo & Juliet, Nancy Lipschultz to talk about producing the play for the stage.
In Act Two, “The Prick of Noon,” we’re joined by Ellen MacKay, a scholar of early modern English drama and public culture whose approach to the Shakespearean stage is “driven by the epistemological problems that the theatre poses to a culture eager to draw a clear line between artifice and authenticity.” We discuss Shakespeare’s treatment of time.
We don’t need to withhold any plot points tonight as our subject is a play that was written sometime near the end of the 17th century and like all of Shakespeare’s plays is based on a prior text or two. It’s an ancient plot, warring tribes, political enmity in city-states, and even star-crossed lovers: all nothing new. We can even find Dante referencing historical Montagues and Capulets as feuding political parties in the Purgatory of his Divine Comedy.
And so you know, Romeo and Juliet are always dead before we even begin. It is the outcome that begs a reason why and the play begins with the Prologue giving up our ghosts.
Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Board Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Social Media: Carissa Barrett
Executive Producer: Joe Crawford