RSU Theatre Season Kicks Off With Romeo & Juliet

Girl dressed as bride and boy laying head in her lap.The Rogers State University Theatre Program kicks off the season during the first two weeks of November with a special adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”

“Romeo and Juliet” is the timeless story about the longstanding feud between the Montague and Capulet families that disturbs the city of V­­erona and causes tragedy for Romeo and Juliet. Vengeance and love force the young lovers to grow up quickly, and fate forces them to end it all in despair. “Romeo and Juliet” is one of Shakespeare’s most popular works.

Dr. David Blakely, Associate Professor of Communications and RSU Theatre Director, said the RSU production will tackle the show with two distinct approaches.

“The first half of the production will be very much a romantic comedy, while the second half will be very serious and tragic,” Blakely said.

The play will run November 5-7 and November 12-14. All performances will be held at 7:07 p.m. in the Will Rogers Auditorium on the Claremore campus.

Boy wearing hat and holding bouquet of flowers.The characters and cast members are:

The Royals

  • Escalus: Andrew Grimes, an RSU alumnus
  • Mercutio: Autumn Erickson, a communications freshman from Claremore
  • Paris: Eric Giddeon, a social sciences-psychology senior from Cushing
  • Page: Ranma Budlong, a communications senior from Claremore

The Montagues

  • Lord Montague: Zach Aven, a social sciences-psychology freshman from Broken Arrow
  • Lady Montague: Crystal Brawdy, a game development junior from Oklahoma City
  • Romeo: Jairus Bradley, a business administration freshman from Bixby
  • Benvolio: Abigail Peters, a public administration sophomore from Adair
  • Abram: Brittany Book, a sophomore from Claremore
  • Balthasar: Justin Merritt, a freshman from Broken Arrow

Two boys in suits on the theatre stage.The Capulets

  • Lord Capulet: Bubba Enlow, a community counseling sophomore from Jay
  • Lady Capulet: Kessiah Neff, a communications senior from Claremore
  • Juliet: Sharleen Branch, a visual arts senior from Bartlesville
  • Tybalt: Jaime Hazen, a freshman from Pryor
  • Sampson: Zach Bettinger, a visual arts junior from Broken Arrow
  • Gregory: Amber Holcomb, a visual arts freshman from Bartlesville
  • Nurse: Bonnie Paul, an RSU staff member
  • Servant: Bethany Henley, a community counseling senior from Claremore

The Townpeople

  • Friar Laurence: Coale Kirk, a communications junior from Owasso
  • Friar John: Brittany Book, a sophomore from Claremore
  • The Apothecary: Keirstine Weaver, an applied technology freshman from Claremore
  • Watchmen: Brylee Harbuck, a liberal arts junior from Disney, and Bethany Henley, a community counseling senior from Claremore

­Blakely, Associate Professor of Communications, directs the play. Renee Cox, Assistant Professor of English and Humanities, is serving as costume designer.

This spring, RSU Theatre will produce a show entitled “Tales from Tent City” by Brian James Polak. This play is about a photographer who delivers a presentation about runaway teenagers she photographs on the street. As the presentation morphs into a play, she becomes part of the narrative, forcing her to decide if advancing in her career is worth exploiting the lives she documents in the city.

Admission for all regular performances is $12 for adults, $7 for seniors and $3 for RSU students, faculty and staff who present university ID. All proceeds will benefit student participation in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival regional competition.

For more information, visit the RSU Department of Communications or call at (918) 343-6825.

Written by RSU PR Intern Houston Gaither