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


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.

But in the 8th grade performance they portray this play very quickly with their quick actions and words, making it so that you miss a lot of it. It can be really annoying since Romeo y Julieta is reliant on us hearing everything they do.

Audience noise can also be a problem with clapping and gasps. They don’t wait for clapping to be over so you also miss a lot of words that way too. It is reasonable that they don’t stop for clapping, but it is still a big distraction. When you could hear them however, the acting was wonderful.

In summary, I’d say it was a great play. There were a few things that could be changed here and there but nothing too bad. The actors did a wonderful job portraying the characters. And even when you couldn’t hear them you could tell what was going on because of their body language. I’d give this 4 out of 5 stars.

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 Mr. Carlyle's Language Arts classes, taught by Press Corps teaching artist Marquicia Dominguez.

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