By Jillian Haguisan
On Friday, October 27th, students at Oyster Bay High School put on an award-worthy performance of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at the Vernon gymnasium. The play was directed by Dr. Ryan O’Hara and assisted by Dr. Deirdre Faughey.
The play roughly follows the same plot of the classic Romeo and Juliet, but in a more contemporary setting—Oyster Bay to be exact. Romeo, played by Eliot Fumante, is an average high-schooler who falls asleep during school and proceeds to envision all of his classmates as if they were the characters from Shakespeare’s play. The prologue is even executed a little differently, with high school students pausing to recite the lines in unison.
The actors were dedicated to performing in Shakespearean English. Aside from the clothing and props, the production also stayed true to the essence of the play through both the acting and dialogue.
As for the play itself, Romeo falls in love with Juliet, played by Bella Rosenthal. Juliet reciprocates her feelings towards him, only for both teens to discover they are from enemy families—The Capulets and the Monatagues.
The cast executed the dramatic plot flawlessly. Romeo is eventually banished from town for killing another character, and Juliet is to be married to a man whom she does not love. Refusing to give in to her fate, she drinks a potion that will cause her to temporarily appear dead. Romeo, heartbroken and unaware of
Juliet’s actual state, decides to kill himself as well. Once Juliet wakes up, she discovers her late lover. She proceeds to stab herself with a knife in order to finally be with her true love.
Overall, the play was an interesting and entertaining experience. There were plenty of comedic and dramatic occasions that brought the play to life.
Brother John, played by Kevin Hart, offered many humorous moments, even when the characters and audience were in the middle of grieving over Juliet’s tragic “death” in the story. “It was really fun being in the play in general,” Hart commented. “The cast members were great, and we all got along and worked really well with each other. The first months of the play were pretty stressful because of the short amount of time, but we got around it and tried to make the play as best as possible with our resources.”
Peter Rufa, the Fine and Performing Arts Supervisor, adds, “We hope this show planted the seed for a new tradition at Oyster Bay High School, an annual fall drama.”
Congratulations to the cast, the stage crew, and the directors, all of whom helped to produce this timeless production!