Balance the World of Love and Family

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Angelina N. during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj21

Our school had the opportunity of allowing 8th graders to watch local performers perform a rendition of the Shakespearean play, Romeo and Juliet - or in this case, Romeo y Julieta. The actors themselves did wonderful, however, myself and many others found that the play was quite confusing and boring. Many of us had no idea what was going on, and the play seemed to drag on for hours (which it technically did).

The play Romeo y Julieta follows the tragic story of two star-crossed lovers in Verona, Italy as they balance the world of love and family. The two meet at a masquerade feast where they both meet for the first time and fall in love. Unfortunately for them, their families, the Montagues and the Capulets, have been enemies for many generations. Even knowing about the feud, the two decide to get married with assistance from Julieta’s nursemaid and Friar Lawrence. The day of their wedding, Julieta’s cousin Tybalt and Romeo’s cousin Mercutio participate in a duel where Tybalt ends up taking Mercutio’s life. Upon hearing about the death of his cousin, Romeo finds, duels, and kills Tybalt. When the Prince found out about the deaths, he sentenced Romeo to exile. Julieta, not wanting to be without Romeo, or marry Paris whom her father is forcing her, tries to kill herself. However, Friar Lawrence helps her hatch up a plan for her and Romeo to run away together. Julieta fakes her death and awaits Romeo in her family tomb. The Friar’s plan however did not work because Romeo misses the Friar’s message about Julieta and goes to see her himself. At her tomb, he meets and kills Paris before finally seeing Julieta’s alleged dead body. He kisses her and downs some poison and dies at the foot of her tomb. Julieta wakes up not too long after to find Romeo dead and kills herself to be with him.

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They Would Do Anything to Be Together

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Binta So during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj20

Have you ever seen the play Romeo y Julieta? Well if you have that's great but if you haven't Romeo y Julieta, it's about two lovers that are very much in love but due to their religions and their families not liking each other, their relationship was not supported so they were not allowed to see each other. At the end they both killed themselves thinking the other partner was dead, so basically they killed themselves because they both lost the love of their life.

In the play Romeo y Julieta I liked when they never gave up on each other but i didn't like the mango scene because in my opinion it was unnecessary.

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Smooth Transition Between English and Spanish

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Ron Nguyen during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj19

The play Romeo y Julieta is about two people that are in love with each other. But due to their family, they can not be together.

In the play Romeo y Julieta, I was fond of the smooth transition between English and Spanish. I think this makes the play a lot more interesting. Because without it the play would seem a bit inaccurate because the play is set in a Spanish speaking country. So, with this edition, it makes the play a lot more interesting and the transition from the two languages is also very smooth and consistent. This makes the play a lot more pleasing to watch.

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Well Performed and Well Put Together

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Zoe Hamaker during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj18

In the play Romeo y Julieta, a play about two people who fell in love, their parents do not like Romeo. Then both ended up killing themselves at the end of the play because of their love and they both thought they died. I felt like it could’ve been more entertaining and more interactive with the audience.

I think it could’ve been more entertaining during the play if they would ask the audience member questions during the play as a more entertaining way to pull the viewers in because most of those kids didn’t pay attention half the time. But instead they made 200+ middle school kids sit in a small gym and watch a theater play about romance, and if you didn't know, those four things don’t add up. So I think it would be important to take into consideration that no middle schooler except for theater kids would enjoy Romeo y Julieta live action.

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A Forbidden Love

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company
Written by Norah Bustanoby during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj17

The play Romeo y Julieta was a play where Romeo had a forbidden love with a princess named Julieta. They quickly had fallen in love and later both committed suicide due to a staged death from Julieta.

I liked when Romeo and Julieta died because the actors really put in effort to make it seem that they really were hurt. The character that played Romeo truly did show how he was in pain from his lost love Julieta. Not just Romeo but Julieta did to her character, expressing to us that she was in so much despair that she would go as far to kill herself just to be with him.

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Their Strong Suit were the Suits

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Kameron Thav during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj16

This play is about two families in Verona, Italy. One of them being Romeo's family and the other being Julieta's, who have conflict against each other. Unfortunately, Romeo ends up meeting Julieta and Romeo and Julieta ended up falling in love. However, the families found out about this love and did not like it.

I liked the costumes of the play. I also liked the action in the play because it was entertaining but I didn’t like the language switching in the play, it was too confusing.

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Realistic and Action Packed

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Peter Vinn during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj15

The play Romeo and Juliet is about two lovers who want to be with each other but can't because of their families. In the play Romeo y Julieta they do a lot of sword fighting. One of them pretended to kill herself, but when the other found out, they killed themselves. They want to be with each other but their families had a rivalry so they couldn't be together.

I didn’t like the play as much because it was pretty confusing. It was confusing because there was a lot of talking and I could barely hear them. Also, the story in general was confusing when I could hear them. I liked how they were still going even when it got loud because it shows how focused they were into the play.

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Diversity of Language vs. Clear Communication

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Felix Cass during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj14

In the play Romeo y Julieta, two people named Romeo y Julieta, living in Verona, Italy fall in love with each other. But, they cannot get married because their families are rivals and forbid them from seeing each other. I liked the costumes, but I did not like that the play was in Old English.

The costumes in the play were very cool. I was able to tell all of the characters apart because of their clothes/props. I saw this when the person who played Mercutio changed from being the prince, to playing Mercutio by dressing in fancier clothes. This is important because if we weren’t able to tell the difference between characters, we would think one character is doing something a different character was doing, and would have no idea what is happening.

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Troubles With Communication in Romeo y Julieta

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Vincent Vincent during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj13

In the play Romeo y Julieta two teenagers meet and they fall in love. There are some complications between both of the families. Romeo's is a Montague and Julieta's is a Capulet; two opposing families. Julieta appears dead and Romeo sees that and he kills himself. Julieta saw that he was actually dead and then she kills herself. This play takes place in Italy and it is very unique. I liked the way that the actors knew what they were supposed to say and did not mess up their words, but I didn't like that I couldn't fully understand what they were saying sometimes.

I liked the way that the actors knew what they were supposed to say and did not mess up their words. I heard this when the actors were all doing their parts and speaking fluently. I also noticed this when they were fighting; they all knew what to say when they were yelling despite it being an intense moment; they were not stopping and trying to remember what they were supposed to say. This is important to me because It was enjoyable to listen to the play even if it was hard to understand sometimes.

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Props and Costumes That Stand Out

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Avy Le during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj12

In the play Romeo y Julieta I liked the costumes, music, and the plot, but I didn't like the language. The play Romeo y Julieta is about how two people from rival families fall in love and that love ends in a tragedy. I liked the costumes and props because they were unique. In the play I saw that they had masquerade masks. There was one that stood out to me; it was the bunny one that Julieta was holding. It was so pretty.

I didn't like the set because I couldn't tell what and where the play happened because of the 4 posters which threw me off. In the play I noticed that each poster had a different place.

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Choosing Between Family and Love

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Bruce Franco during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randjf

The play I am reviewing is the play Romeo and Julieta; it is a story that takes place long ago. There was a lot of romance aspects to the play, leaning towards a forbidden romance type of play. Something that was interesting is that they would switch from English and Spanish-- throughout the play just putting in random Spanish words. The play takes place in Vermont, Italy which helps us understand why they include Spanish into their scripts. The characters in the play were Romeo ,Julieta, their parents, the maids, the person that Julieta was supposed to marry, the priest and Romeo and Julieta's friends. All in all I didn't like the play for many reasons.

The play is about two people that are in love but they belong to rival families; the Montagues and the Capulets which causes a huge obstacle between them. They have to choose between family and love, making sacrifices for each other throughout the story. Many people try to get in the way and split them up because of their bloodline and family stuff but they all fail in the end. They go through many more challenges together and in the end they end up together forever. Something that I didn't like about the play was when they would talk they would speak in a olden time way and also the random pieces of Spanish made it confusing as well even though I could understand the Spanish. For the time when they were speaking in old English (Like most of the play) I would be so confused about what they were saying and the meaning of their words. I would be watching the play wondering what they were saying, Also I just found it unnatural how they would use the Spanish because in real life people don't just throw Spanish in a sentence full of English as much as they did.

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We Feel What They Feel

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Mackenzie during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj11

At Glacier Middle School, The eighth graders saw Romeo y Julieta. In it, Romeo is convinced by their friends to go to a party where they meet a girl named Julieta. He falls in love with her right as they sees her, but they both soon find out that they’re from opposing houses. When Tybalt hears of Romeo's appearance at the party he is filled with rage. He goes to challenge Romeo to a duel where he finds Mercutio and eventually provokes Mercutio to a duel. It ends with Mercutio dead and Romeo finds this. So they challenge Tybalt to a duel. Not keeping up his kill streak, Tybalt dies, and Romeo is banished because of it. Juliet hears of this and wishes to run away with Romeo so she drinks a sleeping potion to trick everyone into believing she's dead so she can sneak off with him. Her family finds her and believes she's dead, but Romeo also believes that. Stricken with grief, Romeo buys poison and drinks it right next to Juliet’s sleeping body. Right as he dies Juliet awakes and finds Romeo dead. She then kills herself because why have one dead teenager when you can have two!!

Shakespeare focuses a lot on showing emotion to the audience through character actions and feelings in Romeo and Juliet. In the play it shows the characters is going through many emotions, for example when Mercutio dies. As Romeo feels shock, so do we. And we feel the same anger at Tybalt that Romeo feels too. Not only do our emotions often line up with the characters, but the characters express those emotions very well. While Juliet talks to her nurse about Romeo she’s very giddy. Bouncing around. Having a big smile, and that really shows just how strong she feels about Romeo as she talks. It's a sudden shift from her originally sullen mood about getting married.

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Visually Appealing and Entertaining Action

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Richard Nguyen during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj10

The play I’m reviewing is Romeo y Julieta, performed at the Glacier Middle School gym by Seattle Shakespeare. The play takes place in Italy with Spanish and English dialogue, where the story of Romeo and Juliet’s forbidden love is shown. The play Romeo y Julieta has tough dialogue, but the actions of the play make it easier to understand.

Romeo & Julieta's families despise each other; therefore it is just a common fact that there should be no interaction between the two. But the more Romeo and Juliet secretly talked, the more they fell for each other, choosing love over family in the long run.

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A Play with a High Level of Professionalism

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Ona York during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj9

On May 25 of 2022 I saw the Shakespeare adaption, Romeo y Julieta at Glacier Middle School. They did amazing acting with minimal sets. I was truly impressed with how focused they stayed throughout the entire performance; especially since they were doing it in front of 200 middle schoolers.

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LGBTQ+ Excellence

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Caleb Luong during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj7

Can you imagine Characters in Romeo and Juliet having gender roles switched? Because in Romeo y Julieta, the male actors played female roles, and the women did some male roles. As a part of the Lgbtq+ community I was surprised and excited when they did that in the play; mainly due to the diversity. I highly recommend this play as it encourages that you do not have to be a different gender to play one specific role just because you are that gender.

In the play of Romeo y Julieta, I saw the role of Romeo being played by someone other than a man. And the mother of Julieta was a male and done wonderfully. All of this plus how they played inside of a school, meaning they had to use little resources to make sets/props/costumes/etc showed a great use of resource management, and diverse ways to play a role as it does not matter if you were a girl/boy because you got the role either way.

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An Intricate Mix of Shakespearean English and Spanish

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Phuc Nguyen during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj7

When I was watching the bilingual version of the Romeo y Julieta play in school, I noticed it was a unique play because could you imagine female actors playing male roles and males playing female roles? And they used their limited stage very well- If you could call it a stage- it was just a few banners with images of walls and that was about it. They ran between the banners (some had images of a large door) making it feel like they were really exiting the building they were in. But my one major complaint is that it was extremely hard to understand what they were saying. Since I was new to Shakespearean English and wasn’t exactly good at Spanish either, I don’t think you would really enjoy it if you were like me and couldn’t understand it pretty well.

Romeo y Julieta is a play about two characters, Romeo and Julieta, wanting to be together. But their families, the Montagues and the Capulets, have a strong hatred for each other so it wouldn’t work out too well if the families found out Romeo and Julieta were together. But they still loved each other so they would try to keep their relationship a secret. However, an incident happened causing Romeo to be evicted, so Julieta made a plan with someone. But it went horribly and both families ended up accepting each other because of what happened to their children.

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Above Fancy Equipment

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Sharonica Joe Johnson during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj6

Can you imagine my shock when I learned that the play I was watching had male characters that were dressed (or played) female characters? I was so happy and surprised; especially since it was Lgbtq+. As a member of the community I was so happy and excited that they did that in a Shakespeare play. If anyone was to want to start getting into Shakespeare I would tell them to watch Romeo y Julieta as their first play or read the book of it. It's really easy to understand the play once you know the plot of it and what it's about. Even though sometimes it was hard to understand what they were saying because people were talking, it was a very nice, enjoyable play and I hope to see it again one day.

Everything was really well put together; especially since they had little to no proper equipment for the play, so seeing that made me so happy because it approved that you don't need to have everything or all the right equipment to perform a play. The actors were able to change behind a black background fast and get ready for the next scene. They had very good transition music, props, and backgrounds which were very nice and fit the theme of the play and time era.

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Romeo y Julieta: A Taste of Shakespeare

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by An Quynh Mai during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj5

In Romeo y Julieta Shakespeare explores the lives and deaths of two lovers who were so passionate about each other that they could not escape their fate. Despite their love, both of them eventually failed to get their happy endings. One of Shakespeare's most popular works is Romeo and Juliet. This tragic love story is about two lovers who were so passionate about each other that they could not escape their fate. The idea of tragedy is that people are doomed to fail due to their own errors, their shortcomings, and even through the nature of their destiny. Romeo and Juliet is a tragic tale based on two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. I recommend this play for anyone who loves the art of Shakespeare, and is currently studying/interested in directing, or acting in plays themselves. They could learn a lot from watching Shakespeare. Although it would be very difficult for young audiences to understand the concept of love, they can still learn a lot from watching Romeo y Julieta. The actors use various language features and text structures to create a replica of the audience's attitudes and beliefs.One of the most tragic and popular love stories of all time is the story of Romeo and Juliet. The two characters came from very different backgrounds, with the Montagues and the Capulets being very well-off. However, their families had been feuding for a long time, and it was forbidden for them to be together. The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is that both the actions of others and the fortune of the characters make their deaths inevitable. In the play, Shakespeare explores the idea that people have no control over what happens to them. The actors did an amazing job of portraying the story and using the language of Shakespeare to convey the message. The actors also did a fantastic job with making the play relatable for people who may experience a love like that someday. This is a very difficult task for the actors since the play Romeo y Julieta is very unrealistic and not very relatable for the audience. They have had many chances to get what they want, but they have been unable to take advantage of them. In one of the scenes, Romeo talks about a mysterious danger that's hanging in the stars. This concept of fate explains how life works. In one of Shakespeare's most famous scenes, Friar Lawrence warns Romeo about the consequences of his actions. This warning serves as a reminder that his actions will have negative consequences. The central theme of the play is that we have no control over what happens.Another thing the play directors did an amazing job with is including LGBTQ+ representation. A lot of plays tend to not include LGBTQ+ representation and as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, it's very comforting to see such chemistry between two actors of the same gender! Especially since Shakespeare created Romeo and Juliet near the 1600´s, which was when it was unheard of for a couple to be of the same gender. In recent years, the number of LGBTQ+ characters being featured in television and film has been increasing this is due to the increasing acceptance of sexual orientation in society. However, while it is important to note that this representation is still very limited, it does not represent all people. Being able to include a wide variety of LGBTQ+ people in media, such as television and movies, can have a powerful impact on the marginalized community. It may take a long time to see how this will affect people. This play shows how the LGBTO community is portrayed in a positive light. Personally, I was very pleased to see that the actors didn´t mock the community, and they didn't try to make it seem like they are being overbearing, or that their entire personality is being gay. It's very rare in modern media to see this kind of representation. Being able to show the LGBTQ+ community in a positive light can help the audience feel like they are being represented in a proper manner. Being able to see positive role models in media can also help an individual feel like they are being represented in a good light. It can also help the viewers of such shows feel less negative about the people who are in the LGBTQ+ community. However, being able to show the LGBTQ community in a negative light can also lead to the development of stereotypes that are harmful to the community.This leads me to my next idea: language, text, and body language. This can be seen in this passage by the way that the actors use words such as Thee, Thou, and etc.. The lovers do this in scenes that they are in together as well as those that they are not, so it is not a form of speaking that they only use with one another, but how they were raised to articulate their thoughts. Although the writing was done in a way that was supposed to control the way that the actors portrayed the role, many performers say the lines in a way that could change the entire meaning of a single word, which is not something I feel like the actors did. A lot of people also couldn´t understand the Shakespearean language which made it very confusing to those who have never watched a play from Shakespeare.From the audience's perspective, the seating was very unusual and made it so that people didn't have enough leg room, since people started laying on each other during the entire show. I was one of the people who had people lay on them and I didn’t feel comfortable during the entire play. The seating also made it so that it was hard to hear any of the actors while they were performing. An alternative to sitting on the bleachers is sitting/laying on the floor, or getting chairs/seats that we could sit in. That way, we can move more freely and we'd be closer to the actors so we could hear them and see them better. Another complaint I heard quite frequently was that it was hard to understand them when they were switching languages (English to Spanish). I agree with this statement because I believe that switching so often from Spanish to English had good intentions, and were well suited for people who were Dual-Language speakers, but, it lost track of where the story is taking place. It was hard to understand in Spanish because I don't know the language very well and it was unexpected when they switched languages. Since it was hard to understand the Spanish, It was also easy to lose track of what they were saying because they switched languages all the sudden.All of the reasons above conclude that the play was excellent, but isn´t recommended for those who wouldn´t relate to it personally.

Lead photo credit: Romeo y Julieta by Seattle Shakespeare Company. Photo by Christian Zumbado.

The TeenTix Press Corps promotes critical thinking, communication, and information literacy through criticism and journalism practice for teens. For more information about the Press Corps program see HERE.

This review was written as part of an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School in Mrs. Fishman’s Language Arts classes, taught by Press Corps teaching artist Jordi Montes.

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Love and Hate

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by William Edwardsar during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj4

Everyone should see Romeo y Julieta because it is a play about love and hate. The play Romeo y Julieta is about two families who dislike each other—but within those two families are Romeo and Julieta who meet at a party and fall in love with each other.

One element that made the play about love and hate was the props. During the play, when Juliet woke up to see that Romeo had drunk the poison, she was trying to find a knife to kill herself because she couldn’t live in a world without Romeo.

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A Play That Makes You Go "Wow!"

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Justin Arevalo Segovia during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj3

Honestly, I was impressed with the play. They did a really good job because when the male dressed as a female I was like, "Wow!" Because since they did not have more actors, they had to get in different outfits which I think is a lot of work because you need to be acting, and then you need to be acting like a female knowing that you're a male but still trying to show how much you've been training for that moment, which was impressive to see. Another thing I think is that there were really pretty dresses in that play. When they came out with the masks and everything, I thought it was lit because I had never seen pretty masks like that at a play.

Another thing that surprised me was that there were interesting fights. Every time they fought, they put a song in the background, which I think was cool because that made it more interesting. Also, every time they fought, there was this girl in the play who, when they started to fight in the first fight, took out the middle finger. I think that made the play more interesting and not boring because every time they fought it was a cool part because sometimes it was funny and sometimes it was angry. However, one thing that made it more confusing was when they talked in another language. I did not understand anything that they were saying and I think that's why I'd say that the play is in the middle of good and bad. Also, another thing that I think was a problem was because of the family; the reason why the girl stabbed herself.

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