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.
“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