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Swept away

“You rock, Romeo!” This from a high school student at Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s production of Romeo and Juliet. Romeo had just peeled his shirt off. Six-pack abs were front and center. Juliet’s wit and heart stunned, as well. “Ooo!” “Aah!” The students refused to sit and quietly take in the show. They were fully engaged, and loving it. 

I loved it too—the play, of course, with its creative and moving interpretation of the classic tragedy—but especially the all-in students. Their joy in the story’s tenderness, their shock at its violence, their sorrow in its heartbreaking ending. (There were audible sobs.)

This despite how old the drama is—it was penned in 1595; do the math. 

Despite the difficult language—although a modernized setting, the English was definitely not. It takes a moment (or three) to fully digest:“Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs. Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes; Being vex’d a sea nourish’d with lovers’ tears.” Subtitles would be helpful.

Despite it’s length—three hours total. FBS (Flat Butt Syndrome) is a thing.

Despite the competition from streaming platforms, and smart phones, and the lure of social media and instant online surfing. 

Despite it all, the audience was swept away in the magic of the story. Stories live! Stories rock!