Editor: On Jan. 25 the Rev Theatre Company’s co-directors, Rosey Hay and Rudy Caporaso, put on a memorable production of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” at the United Neighborhood Cabrini Center for the Arts in West Scranton.
On many fronts it was a transformative experience. Rosey, a surgically accurate editor, dared to pare the Bard’s opus down to a one-hour piece, without losing his inimitable spirit. The cast performed as a seasoned repertory troupe after three and a half weeks of rehearsal. While it was meant to be a teen production there were several players in the 6-to 12-year range. The house was full — standing room only — the age range of the audience was 1 to 85 years. The experience of the audience — enthralling.
The production had style and authenticity. No one flubbed a line or moved awkwardly — even in the several dueling scenes the actors lunged and fell dead with artful aplomb.
Shakespeare wrote for the people but in our time performances are largely accessible to elite audiences at high prices. Thanks to the vision of the UNC, the brilliance and commitment of Rev’s co-directors, the determination, discipline and talent of the cast — it was a transformative experience for all.
The evening was a wonderful reminder that the arts are not an elitist privilege but truly a human right and a human need. It is only the shortsightedness of our society that makes this West Side story a rarity. It should and could be “the new normal.”
Publication Date: February 1, 2014