Romeo and Juliet (2012)

Romeo and Juliet

  • February 17 - November 4, 2012
  • Directed by Laird Williamson | By William Shakespeare
Run Time:Three hours, including one 15-minute intermission

A love to die for

When you are passionately, purely in love, nothing else matters—not even life itself. Shakespeare’s consummate tragedy of young lovers swept into a catastrophic vortex of misunderstandings, secrets and fate is set in 1840s Alta California—a vibrant and conflicted time in our history. Romeo and Juliet, the son and daughter of two landed families locked in an old feud, are irresistibly drawn to each other. Defying the hatred and distrust surrounding them, they dare to believe they can, and must, be together.

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The city of Verona is once again torn by brawls between the feuding Montague and Capulet families. To restore the peace, General Prince decrees that any future offenders will be put to death. Amid this turbulent atmosphere, Don Capulet hosts a feast, inviting the noble Paris to attend and woo his only child, Juliet.

The Montague heir, Romeo, and a band of boisterous friends don disguises to crash the banquet. Quickly forgetting his pangs of unrequited love for the fair Rosaline, Romeo is captivated by Juliet’s beauty as she dances. The two fall in love at first sight, learning each others’ identity only after they have wooed and parted.

Evading his taunting friends, Romeo scales the walls of the Capulet orchard and overhears Juliet profess her love for him. Romeo reveals himself, and the lovers exchange vows of devotion. The next afternoon, Friar Laurence, who hopes their union will end the feuding between their two families, secretly marries them.

After the ceremony, Romeo joins his companions on the streets, where a quarrel erupts. Capulet’s nephew, Tybalt, recognizes Romeo from the previous night’s festivities and challenges him to a duel. When Romeo refuses, his friend Mercutio takes up the challenge and is mortally wounded as Romeo tries to part them. In an agony of grief, Romeo slays Tybalt and is then banished by General Prince. After a secretive wedding night with Juliet, Romeo is forced to flee Verona for nearby Mantua.

Knowing nothing of Juliet’s secret marriage and believing she weeps immoderately for her cousin’s death, Capulet insists that she marry Paris in a few days. Unwilling to betray her true love, she initially refuses, and her father threatens to throw her out onto the streets. Juliet runs to Friar Laurence for solace. He counsels her to feign acceptance and then take a potion that will make her temporarily appear dead. In the meantime, the Friar writes to Romeo of their plan, promising that the new husband may whisk his bride away to Mantua when she wakes two days later.

The Friar’s letter is delayed, and Romeo believes his love is truly dead when news arrives of her funeral. Armed with deadly poison, he makes his way to Juliet’s tomb. He is there confronted by the mourning Paris, whom Romeo kills after a brief duel. Lamenting his lost love, Romeo drinks the poison and dies just moments before the Friar arrives and Juliet awakens. Frightened by the sound of the watch, the Friar flees, while Juliet quickly stabs herself with Romeo’s dagger to follow her beloved into death.

As the citizens gather, the Friar confesses his role to General Prince, while a letter from Romeo to his father confirms the tragic events. Montague and Capulet vow to erect golden statues in their children’s memories as a “glooming peace” settles over Verona.

This production of Romeo and Juliet is part of Shakespeare for a New Generation, a national theatre initiative sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with Arts Midwest.

Artistic Team

Scenic Designer
Lighting Designer
Music /Sound
Voice and Text Director
Costume Designer

Cast List

Daniel José Molina*
Jason Rojas
Fajer Al-Kaisi*
Kevin Fugaro*
Captain Paris
Miles Fletcher*
Friar Laurence/Ensemble
Tony DeBruno*
Don Capulet
Elijah Alexander*
Don Montague/Ensemble
Barzin Akhavan*
Abram/Friar John/Ensemble
David Salsa**
Balthazar Ensemble
Mikkei Fritz
General Prince
Rex Young*
Heath Koerschgen
Joe Wegner**
Alejandra Escalante*
Isabell Monk O'Connor*
Dona Capulet
Vilma Silva*
Doña Montague/ Apothecary/ Ensemble
DeLanna Studi*
Brittany Brook
Shadee Vossoughi
Danielle Chaves
* Member of Actors' Equity Association (AEA)
**AEA Professional Theatre Intern
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  • Mail Tribune logo

    Mail Tribune

    “Just when you think you've seen every possible iteration of 'Romeo and Juliet,' along comes a fresh take. In the production that kicked off the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 2012 season Friday night in the Angus Bowmer Theatre, directed by Laird Williamson, the Capulets and Montagues love and brawl in a sun-drenched Verona plunked down in Alta California in the 1840s twilight of the Spanish colonial system.”

  • Tri-City Weekly logo

    Tri-City Weekly/Eureka Times-Standard

    “Something truly amazing is happening during Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 2012 season in Ashland. The title roles of the company's stunning production of 'Romeo and Juliet' are being played by a charming pair of actors who are actually young enough to portray this headstrong pair of instantly smitten, soon-wed and ultimately doomed sweethearts.”

  • OSF Logo

    Oregon Live

    “…a captivating rendition, courtly enough in its tone and design to allay traditionalist carping, yet energetic, full-blooded, and in no way hidebound. Williamson’s choice of setting is bolstered by an emotionally resonant scenic design full of contrasting earth tones and sky imagery and costumes that show hints of ranch-hand dust amid the finery of provincial gentry. But directorial concept never trumps narrative or emotional clarity.” -OregonLive