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Jackie Fishman, APR is a freelance writer and independent public relations professional with a specialty in medical and health care media relations. She also writes about charitable causes,food, and travel. She has a MA from American University and is an accredited public relations professional (APR) with the Public Relations Society of America. She explores the new and unique and loves to travel and discover out-of-way places and people with unusual vocations and interests.

Review Of The Signature Theatre’s Shakespeare’s R&J

R&J 1

(Photo Credit: The Signature Theatre)

Prohibition is the surest way to fan the flames of desire and rebellion. When four young men in a repressed Catholic school steal into the night to bring the prohibited tale of Romeo and Juliet to life through impassioned reading, the air is charged with subversion, youthful energy and discovery.

Joe Calarco’s direction and a sparse set with theater in the round engagement makes the Signature Theatre’s presentation of R&J an interpretation that is a must for all Shakespeare fans.

The dramatic reading of the Shakespeare classic is brought to life by four exceptional actors: Rex Daughtery, Jefferson Farber, Alex Mills and Joel David Santner. These men act out this drama within a drama and their performances transcend the boundaries between play and player. Though much of the play is pulled directly from Shakespearean text, we are watching an entirely different story unfold.

The Signature Theatre
(Photo Credit: The Village At Shirlington)

The production is visceral, wildly passionate and fresh. According to Calarco, ”the theme of education via theater is a subtext throughout the production. Through the dramatization of this play,  we watch four young men change and transform because of this play and its power to transform their world.”

The play delivers what it promises as sweat flies off the faces of the players and interactions are charged with passion, heat and repression. If you are a Shakespeare fan, and even if you’re not, this production will make you feel the raw and fresh energy and violence inherent in this work and is often glossed over or ignored in more “classic” interpretations.

R&J 2

(Photo Credit: Signature Theatre)

As unconventional a love story as its original,  R&J presents young men searching for  answers to their own lives and loves, using one of the most famous texts as a  tool for self-discovery and expression.

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