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


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.

Another thing that I didn't like was the stage background and items that they had. When I walked into the gym I was already disappointed because of how small the stage and background was. Also they never changed the background so there was never a change of scenery; we just had to look at the same thing the whole time. Moving on to the props such as the knife and potion and all that stuff weren't great and it made me think of kids playing pretend fighting with their friends. So yeah that stuff really just disappointed me when I think about it.

All in all I think it was bad they had a small budget but it just didn't do it for me. They attempted old English to give that vibe but I just didn't like it and couldn't understand it that well. Along with the Spanish which was just to random for me starting a sentence in English and ending in Spanish; it didn't go well. And yeah that is what I think of the play perhaps if I went to watch this at a place where they have real plays it might have been better.

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 Ms. Havran’s Language Arts classes, taught by Press Corps teaching artist Marquicia Dominguez and Jordi Montes.

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