Director’s Notes on Romeo and Juliet the musical

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It never ceases to amaze me.  There you are in the auditorium, and here we are, getting ready to perform a play that’s been running for 400 years.  If you put yourself in a time capsule, I suspect you would emerge to find this show performing at a theater in 2415.  (I hope it’s the Lincoln).  And if you were to ask people why they came, the reasons will be familiar.  We love the romance and mystery of a bygone era.  We love to ponder the great recurring questions the Bard poses about human nature and the element of tragedy.  We secretly hope that the message will get through this time, or that she’ll wake up sooner, or that the fathers will relent. Most of all, we love this play. That’s why I chose to direct.  I’m a theater fan first and last, and I’ve just got to see Romeo and Juliet performed with music composed by Conrad Askland, a timeless story told with the help of the universal language.

Yes it’s been a daunting challenge, but I’ve had my mighty and beloved “crew” standing with me through it all.  Most of us experienced  Pan- The Musical, last year; some of us were together for Fiddler on the Roof in 2009; a few of us performed in and produced the King and I together, two of us go back to Paint Your Wagon, my first musical, and two more back to 1994 with the second play performed here after the Lincoln reopened.  What a wild and wonderful ride it’s been.   I can’t say enough about these people, so help me show my appreciation for their beuatiful and diverse talents when you see them later. I thank my wonderful cast, and I especially thank Conrad for the opportunity to direct another one of his beautifully composed shows.

You must be so curious to see if this will work, aren’t you?  I’m told Shakespeare himself had the same feeling the first time around, which is some comfort to me and Conrad.  That said, there’s nothing more to do but begin “the two hours traffic of our stage. . .” and find out.  Look for me in the lobby when we’re done and we’ll finish this conversation.

I dedicate my efforts here to my very own Juliet, who happens to be named Lindsey, and my daughters Adia and Alexandra.

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