Before the curtain rose on this season’s incredible IMS Performing Arts production of Romeo and Juliet, Director Danny Tieger spoke to the audience:

“It has been a joy to witness the discovery unfold on this stage as Shakespeare’s language prompted countless questions and then, as it so often does, provided most of the answers.

I want to draw your attention to a theme of this play—a recurring idea that you are meant to think of as the play unfolds. There are many themes in this show, such as night and day, flowers, ancient customs, and grown-ups having little to no idea what’s happening in the universe-sized experience of young people. However, the one I’d like you to think about as you watch our show is time.

The poem that Shakespeare based his story on is called The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet, written in 1562 by the English poet Arthur Brooke. In his poem, the star-crossed lovers meet and have a tumultuous 9-month relationship, which is a long time to be secretly in love with your enemy and not start to see trouble coming your way. 

Shakespeare, on the other hand, takes the story of wooing, loving, fighting, and losing and condenses it to five days. Why? Because, as Friar Lawrence tries to warn Romeo, “They stumble that run fast.” Once this show starts, everyone is moving too fast to see the mistakes they are making; they are running toward the tragedy that we all know is coming. These two young people are going to make choices and, with the help of those adults I mentioned, trap themselves into a feeling of inescapable consequences and take their lives.

Yet, the brilliance of these young actors and the words they’ll speak tonight is that even though we know what ultimately happens, you’ll still find yourself hoping that tonight, maybe, it will end differently. This time, Lord Capulet will be moved by his daughter, Romeo will listen to friends, letters will arrive where they’re supposed to, and Juliet will reach her fourteenth birthday.”

Students rose to this challenge beautifully, performing their incredible show for two packed houses on Thursday and Friday nights. A huge congratulations and thanks to the cast and crew on their exquisite work.  

– Danny Tieger