- William Shakespeare's violent and bawdy tale of ancient
feuds and star-crossed lovers will close the 2002-03 theater
season at The University of Southern Mississippi April 10-12
and 23-27 in the Martha R. Tatum Theatre.
Monica Hayes plans to present "The Tragedy of Romeo and
Juliet" by using a contemporary flair with a Renaissance
flavor. She advises that it is a common misconception to think
of this classic Shakespearean play as a sweet teenage love
is a very violent, very bawdy, very funny and very tragic
play all at once," Hayes said. "In our staging of
it, we emphasize the sheer passion and verve of the characters.
Our actors hit the floor running and never stop. In love and
in war, Shakespeare is a full-body contact sport."
Hayes insists that the text rules all, along with a very capable
student and faculty cast who "handle the lines with a
dexterity and an urgency that will keep audiences fully engaged."
Aleshea Harris of Biloxi portrays Juliet. She is the first
to recognize the enormous task of taking on such a prolific
role, one she considers "a tremendous challenge."
Devine, who portrays Lady Capulet, agrees. "This show
is a particular challenge because everyone knows the story,
so there is a preconceived idea of how it should be performed,"
said Devine, a senior from Natchez. "But it's not just
about Romeo and Juliet -- it's about community. People are
killed within this community, so it affects everyone. It's
members who execute the larger fight sequences, staged by
faculty member Drew Sutherland, include John Croke as Romeo,
Keith Launey as Mercutio, Daniel Dauphin as Tybalt and Adam
Myrick as Paris. Sutherland also plays Friar Lawrence.
and Juliet" will run April 10-12 and 23-26 at 7:30 p.m.
each evening and at 2 p.m. on April 27. Tickets are $10 general
admission, $8 for Southern Miss faculty and staff and senior citizens,
and $6 for students. For tickets, call the Southern Miss Ticket
Office at (601) 266-5418 or 800-844-8425. Order online at
production contains violence and bawdy humor and may not be
suitable for all audience members. Children five years of
age and under will not be allowed into the theatre but may
watch from the lobby monitor if accompanied by an adult.