For the first time in nearly 30 years of staging free Shakespearean productions every summer as part of its Free For All series, Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) has brought Romeo and Juliet to Sydney Harmon Hall. And if the word “FREE” hasn’t piqued your interest, consider that this is no ordinary production of the classic work.
A reprise of the Company’s 2016 staging, directed by STC Associate Artistic Director Alan Paul, the play unfolds not in Renaissance-era villas but in a decidedly modern (and red, very red—perhaps signaling the passion and intensity of the story) set, reminiscent of a night club. The feuding Capulets and Montagues bite their thumbs at one another wearing track suits and dance the night away to pulsing house music. If a bit jarring, at first, it’s easy to understand the artistic choices: just a few minutes of Mercutio’s sass and Romeo’s ennui and suddenly you remember that family drama and teenage angst transcend centuries.
Romeo and Juliet is playing now through September 2. Patrons can enter the online ticket lottery the day before a preferred performance date for a chance to win tickets. Two hundred tickets are also available to the public day-of at the box office.