Stage Unusual "Romeo and Juliet" to Stimulate Conversations
About Race at U.Va.
13, 1999 -- Concerned about the self-segregation
of black and white students on Grounds, a group of University of
Virginia students will stage a masterpiece aimed at crossing the
Theatre, a new student group, will produce a multi-racial adaptation
of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," set in America during the turbulent
civil rights struggle of the 1960s. To be staged Jan. 21-23 at Old
Cabell Hall, the play will focus on the love and anguish of the
son of a wealthy white business man and the daughter of a black
will be held at 8 p.m. on Jan. 21, 22 and 23. There will also be
a 3:15 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Jan. 23.
the Friday, Jan. 22, performance, a panel of cast members, U.Va.
faculty and guests will lead the audience in a discussion of racial
issues at the University.
students, Steven Shepard and Kevin Neher, created Spectrum Theatre
in 1998 to produce works that involve and challenge the audience.
They believe the group's staging of "Romeo and Juliet" will create
an atmosphere of constructive conversation about racial issues.
a real and intriguing opportunity to witness theater changing the
character of a community," said Shepard, the group's president and
director of the 33-member cast.
students' efforts have gained the support of the Dean of Students
Office, the Office of African-American Affairs and the Parent's
Program of the Alumni Association. An assistant dean has worked
with students in the play to facilitate discussion of racial issues.
combining history, theater, drama and intellectual discourse, the
production will have the opportunity to engage its audience, both
during and after the performance," said Dean of Students Robert
T. Canevari. "A feature of the project, enhancing its educational
merit, is the opportunity that will be provided immediately following
Friday's performance. Audience members will be encouraged to engage
a panel of scholars, educators, artisans, civic activists and others
invested in the issue of race relations."
for the play cost $5 and can be purchased at the Newcomb Hall Box
Office. Located in room 436 of Newcomb Hall, the box office is open
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
ticket information, call (804) 924-8808.
Steve Shepard, (804) 982-6657 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kevin Neher
at (804) 245-8066 or email@example.com.