MONROE, CT — If you’ve ever found yourself wishing Shakespeare could have given Romeo and Juliet a happy ending, Mercutio could have outlived the feuding households, or Romeo had never ditched Rosaline for Juliet, Masuk High School is performing a special show for Shakespeare (and non-Shakespeare) fans.
You can choose your own ending to the famed Shakespearean tragedy when the production, “Romeo & Juliet: Choose Your Own Ending” is performed with showings from March 9 to 11.
“Romeo & Juliet: Choose Your Own Ending” transforms the tragedy into a comedy written by siblings Ann and Shawn Fraistat, with eight possible endings.
The show will be performed in the Masuk High School auditorium at 7 p.m. on March 9, 10 and 11. For tickets, click here.
Masuk’s production will be directed by Tom Simonetti, who had directed the show for his company Valley Shakespeare Festival.
Cast your vote
“Romeo & Juliet: Choose Your Own Ending” invites the audience to be an integral part of the show, voting for what they want to happen at key moments. There is only one way to get to the original ending and Simonetti said in the history of the show, it’s never happened before a live audience.
It’s a show designed to appeal to those who are not Shakespeare fans, still using Elizabethan language, mixing in some modern idioms and beating it all out in pentameter.
“These students are working extra hard to memorize and embody the story of all these different endings,” Simonetti said, adding it’s something Masuk has never done before.
“I love coming to Masuk and challenging these students,” he said. “Whether we are having to perform a comedy online, outside in frigid temperatures … or like we are doing now, with eight different endings – these students always rise to the challenge.”
There is also a lot of audience participation throughout the show, which is something high school students have not experienced before, making things extremely interesting, he said.
The cast includes: Romeo – Sana Sarr, Juliet – Sophia Kellogg, Rosalind – Jamie Grosso, The Friar – Vibhuti Jani, Mercutio – Maile Booth, Benvolio – Jonathan Fontana, Tybalt/Paris – Keegan Simons, The Prince/Prologue – Muriel Bailey, Friar John/The Lady – Marissa Eichler, The Nurse – Izzy Tiska, Lord Capulet – Aaron Persico, Lord Montague – Gray Haughney, and Prologue – Sinead O’Leary.
As well as Stage Manager Chris Tierney, Assistant Stage Manager Julia Kinahan, Producer Sharon Bartek, Technical Director Michael Panza, Lighting Director Robert Primorac, Sound Director Robert Bachman, and Director/Designer Tom Simonetti.
“This is a different kind of theatrical experience,” Simonetti said. “It’s different than going and having to be on your best behavior and just laugh when appropriate. People can come with an open mind ready to play and see where this takes them.”