RANTOUL — Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” will be presented at 6 p.m. Oct. 17, 18 and 19 in the cafetorium at Rantoul Township High School.

Romeo, Juliet get together this week at RTHS

Tayon Swift as Romeo, Noeloni Franklin as Juliet and Victor Bradley as Friar Laurence act out a scene during practice for “Romeo and Juliet.” The play, directed by Mikel Matthews, will be presented Oct. 17, 18 and 19 in the Rantoul Township High School cafetorium. 

“We’re doing some non-traditional staging, and some of the struggles in Verona will be taking place in the audience as they get swept up in the conflict between these two great houses,” director Mikel Matthews said.  

He said the stage will be used only as the setting for the Capulets’ house, the party, the balcony and the tomb. Otherwise, all of the action will take place among audience members.

This won’t be the first time things will be a little switched up for a Shakespearean play at RTHS. A few years ago, during one play that Matthews declined to name because of problems resulting from a power surge, the audience members sat on the stage facing out, “and we had it timed to close the curtain to make it feel like you’re being trapped inside the Scottish king’s madness,” Matthews said.

A shortened version of the play — a little more than an hour — will be presented.

A number of new actors will take part.

The cast includes:

Tayon Swift — Romeo

Victor Bradley — Friar Laurence

Kennedy Carico — Apothecary, Capulet, Prince

Danielle Wheeler — Benvolio

Neah Franklin — Balthazar

Noeloni Franklin — Juliet

Java Sturkey — Lady Capulet

Bria Connelly — Nurse

Natre’ail Mahalick — Tybalt

AJ Garcia — Sampson

Callie Luna — Gregory

Emily Gawenda — Mercutio

Dahinte Thompson — Paris

Alysha Kesler — Page, Peter

Trinity Busboom — Friar John

Andrea Morales and Tressa Bufford — Capulet and Montagues