Shakespeare must have written the ending to this play the morning the play was due to the company. Because it’s so fucking haphazard, there’s no way it’s not the product of gross procrastination.
“Oh fuck shit balls fuck this play needs an ending. Ffffuck? What do I do? What do I do? I have to get these couples married. I have to wrap up the play oh fucking shit. OH FUCK IT JUST BRING IN HYMEN. THAT’LL FIX IT.”
“Bill, what about that third DeBoys brother?”
“OH MOTHERFUCKING SHIT IT ALL TO HELL. Fuck no fuck why okay fuck I KNOW. I’ll have him come in and wrap up the Duke Frederick plot line. Fuck me, I’m a genius.”
I don’t think I realized how funny Act 2, Scene 2 (the balcony scene) of Romeo and Juliet can be until working with this particular group of actors. Dylan is playing Romeo as this impulsive, tempestuous, fiery young guy who is normally pretty smooth with girls. And we see that in his first exchange with Juliet in 1.5. But between the end of the party and the balcony scene, Romeo has had time to realize that this time, this girl is not like any other girl he’s been with before. And he turns into a disaster person; a jubilant, ecstatic, over the moon in love MESS. And then there’s the fact that Juliet is naturally a neurotic person, who worries too much and has no clue how to flirt. So, 2.2, which is their first real, long conversation, is basically both of them stuttering and stumbling their way through the first flushes of love.
In most productions I’ve seen, this scene is super smooth. And I understand that impulse. If you’re operating under the premise that Romeo and Juliet are soul mates, you’d assume that they’d at least take to romancing each other with complete ease. But that’s not how love works. You can be destined for each other and still have a hard time communicating in the early stages of a relationship.
Yes, R&J’s first conversation is a perfect sonnet. It’s also only 14 lines long, so it makes sense to me that their first real conversation might just have some bumps. And it’s goofy and sweet and charmingly awkward. It’s ANYTHING but smooth. My cast isn’t afraid of this. If anything, they’re eager to chip away at the grand romantic expectations this scene tends to create. They make me laugh every time and I fucking love it.
I really want to do an all female, space opera Coriolanus, and I do have genuine artistic reasons for this interpretation. I really do. But I’m not going to lie; the idea came to be when I thought to myself: “What if Coriolanus had cool metal arms?”