Pure and hot, passionate and truethe feverish intensity of youth explodes on CST's stage in the most celebrated love story of all time. Passion stirs the blood of young lovers and feuding families, hurling their fates to destinyand captivating an audience left breathless. World-renowned Australian director Gale Edwards, whose work has been seen at the Royal Shakespeare Company and across America, makes her CST debut with a startling landmark productionpromising to ignite the Bard's poetry on Chicago Shakespeare's stage.
Approximate Running Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes (includes intermission)
Team Shakespeare arts-in-education activities for Romeo and Juliet are supported, in part, by Baxter International, with additional support from Sheila Penrose and Ernie Mahaffey.
The acting company in Romeo and Juliet has been underwritten by Carl and Marilynn Thoma.
Romeo and Juliet is presented in the Jentes Family Auditorium.
In Verona, the Montague and Capulet families are enemies, and have been for longer than anyone can remember. The Prince decrees that the violence between these two proud households must end—under penalty of death.
Life in Verona goes on and, for sport, the young Montague men decide to drop in at Lord Capulet's party—in disguise. Romeo, Montague's only son, sees Capulet's daughter Juliet there, and the two fall in love. The next morning, Friar Laurence agrees to wed the young couple, hoping that this marriage will put an end at last to their families' discord. Returning from the Friar's where he has taken his secret vows, Romeo is confronted in the street by Tybalt, Juliet's cousin, who is enraged by the Montague's intrusion the night before. Romeo refuses to engage in a fight, but Mercutio takes up Tybalt's challenge. As Romeo tries to break the two apart, Tybalt stabs Mercutio, killing him. In blind rage, Romeo turns on his new kinsman, murdering him.
The Capulets demand Romeo's death, but instead the Prince banishes the young Montague from Verona. The next morning, Romeo takes his leave from Juliet after a single night spent secretly together. Moments later, Lady Capulet enters her daughter's room to bring news: Juliet's marriage to Count Paris is all arranged. Juliet begs her parents to reconsider, but her pleas are met with rage and an ultimatum. When her Nurse advises Juliet to forget Romeo, the young bride seeks out the Friar's counsel. His plan is desperate: instructing Juliet to take an herbal potion that will induce a deathlike state and thereby prevent her marriage to Paris, the Friar will send word to Romeo, who will rescue his bride from the Capulet tomb and return with her to Mantua until the two families can be reconciled.
The Friar's letter never reaches Romeo, who hears instead report of Juliet's death. Armed with poison, he approaches the Capulet tomb, where he must fend off another night visitor's violent assault. He kills his assailant before recognizing him as Paris. Finding Juliet's lifeless body among the corpses, he swallows poison to be reunited with his love. Moments later as Juliet awakens from the potion's trance, she looks upon her husband and refuses to leave with the Friar; with Romeo's dagger, she takes her life. Too late to save their children, the Montagues and Capulets vow to end their hatred.
– Contributed by the CST Education Department