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The Blue & Gray Press | October 19, 2017

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Klein Theatre Reopens With ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Next Week

Next week marks the return of the UMW Theatre department to Klein Auditorium. The department will be christening the renovated theatre with a large performance of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” The play will run for three weeks, with a total of 11 performances between April 1 and April 18. See the Bullet Points for performance details.
The play, directed by theatre department head Greg Stull, is the first play at Klein Theatre of the 2009/2010 season. After close to a year of renovation, the theatre has been equipped with brand new light and sound systems as well as a refurbished seating area. With fewer performances this year due to the renovation, the “Romeo and Juliet” budget was substantially higher than most productions at Klein Theatre.
Most recently remembered in films such as “Romeo + Juliet” and Academy Award winner for best picture “Shakespeare in Love,” the well-known story of star-crossed lovers has been read and enjoyed by thousands of 9th-graders across the country.
The “Romeo and Juliet” cast has been rehearsing since September of last year. The UMW production will star freshman Bess Ten Eyck and junior Faqir Qarghah as Romeo and Juliet, with a supporting cast of junior Cameron Doucette as Tybalt, senior Landon Randolph as Benvolio, senior Paul Morris as Mercutio, junior Cassendra Lewis as Lady Capulet and junior Bethany Farrell as Lady Montague.
The set has been under construction since early this semester. Due to the renovations in Klein Auditorium, the department scene shop was moved to the university physical plant behind the Battleground Athletic Complex. Instead of building and assembling the set just feet from the Klein stage, the entire set was built, assembled, disassembled and trucked over a mile to DuPont Hall.
The set, designed by Associate Professor Julie Hodge, is based on English and Italian design. “We combined renaissance Italy with the fact that it’s an English play. Inspiration from the [Shakespeare’s] Globe Theater combined with Italianate architecture,” said Hodge, as she frantically sewed together pieces of the backdrop curtain.
Tickets are $14 for general admission and $12 for students and senior citizens. For further information, call the Klein Theatre Box Office at (540) 654-1111.