The Curtain Opens on a Unique Take on Romeo And Juliet

Students Bring Shakespeare’s Work to Life February 2-5


Elkins High School Theatre opens its first winter season since the pandemic with the world-renowned “Romeo and Juliet”, February 2-5, 2023. Thursday and Friday performances will be at 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday performances will be 3 p.m. Tickets are $7.

Directed by Andrew Carroll, the production stars senior Jon Bennett as Romeo and senior Jazmyn Taylor as Juliet.

Romeo and Juliet is a 1400s drama written by William Shakespeare. The play follows Romeo and Juliet, two children from warring families who fall in love against all odds. With betrothals, fights, and the deaths of their friends, will their love prevail? Or will it crumble under their parent’s hatred?

“Our take on Romeo and Juliet is to illustrate the other important relationships in the play,” said Carroll. “We want the relationship between Romeo and Benvolio and Mercutio to be at forefront, along with Juliet and her nurse. Ultimately, what we’re inserting into the conversation is that the relationship between Romeo and Juliet might not be the most important one.”

Hannah Payne, who plays Benvolio, says that, “While this play is about Romeo and Juliet, it’s the side characters that bring it to life.” She told us she was most excited about the sword fights and the opportunity to try dramatic acting.

“It’s been a great way to get out of my comfort zone,” says Bennett. He says he looks forward “to [entertaining] the town of Elkins.”

Jazmyn said she feels like her “specific take on Juliet is very headstrong.” “She’s going to do what she wants when she wants,” she told us. “She’s very confident.”

Madison Smith, the actor of Paris, is excited about the production, as it will be her first play ever. “I think it’s going good so far and it’s been pretty fun, especially with everyone being able to work as a group!”

Other than the stars, the cast consists of junior Aaron Marbry (Mercutio, Capulet); junior Hannah Payne (Benvolio); senior Emilia Diaz (Nurse, Montague, Sampson); sophomore Zahra Loutfi (Prince, Servingman, Chorus); senior Madison Smith (Paris, Lady Montague); and senior Marissa Mallow (Friar Lawrence, Lady Capulet, Gregory). The production will be stage managed by Emma Parlock.