Romeo & Juliet Courtyard Production, Directed by Johnna Dias-Watson (March 25-27th, 2021)

Courtyard Productions, Courtyard Productions '20-'21, Season

Romeo & Juliet Courtyard Production, Directed by Johnna Dias-Watson (March 25-27th, 2021)

CAST

ROMEO – Bennett Curran

MERCUTIO – George Nassar

FRIAR LAURENCE – Evan Kaushesh

SAMPSON – Petra Danek

JULIET – Kendall Luther

BENVOLIO – Olivia Feldman

NURSE – Nora Palermo

BALTHASAR – Elsa Reid

ABRAHAM/APOTHECARY – Ryelie Kaye

TYBALT – Allison Avery

PARIS – Morgan Taylor

PRINCE ESCALUS – Madeline Yearout

GREGORY/FRIAR JOHN – Isabella Cucchetti

Rave Reviews

“I’m still thinking about R&J. Johnna [Watson] has some serious surgical skill[s] to be able to trim a nearly 3 hour play down to 90 min. – and still maintain the story line. Also, really loved the clever way she modernized it with video chat when conversing with the parents. Finally, what she did with the closing scene in the crypt – where they locked eyes just before he dies – was absolutely freaking brilliant. Even though I’ve seen the show many times (even performed it) her concepts made it so refreshing.” — Laura D.

I have been a live theater patron for more than 50 years, and when I think about the future of the artform and the industry, I hope that Johnna Watson’s voice and vision take a prominent role. I recently attended a student production of Romeo & Juliet, which I must acknowledge, might not have been on the top of my list during busier, non-pandemic times. However, I quickly regretted any cynicism I might have had coming into the show – the quality was excellent. Ms. Watson’s directional choices were entertaining and incredibly smart. She incorporated different media into the performance, not only as visual support, but in some cases as characters, and the approach felt fresh and modern. The production was well paced, beautifully styled, and infused with humor. As an audience member, I could see that she had taken great care in developing each character so that each young performer could bring something personal to the role, instead of simply reciting Shakespeare’s lines (although we all know there is not much “simple” about that). What struck me the most was that this young cast of middle- and high-school students was extremely engaged. Coming off a year of disappointments, uncertainties, and the isolation associated with covid – and in an environment of virtual rehearsals, mask wearing, and safety protocols – Ms. Watson led her cast and crew to successful production well beyond their collective years. A good reminder to those of us who have been around for a while that our job is now to support talented young voices like Johnna Watson’s by giving opportunities and getting out of the way…I’m looking forward to seeing Ms. Watson’s work again soon, be it on the stage or behind the scenes or both.” –Lisa C.