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TOPIC: Romeo & Juliet Casting Options

Romeo & Juliet Casting Options 3 years 2 months ago #6542

Without eliminating any characters, the smallest cast is:

12 men, 3 women

Men
Actor 1: Chorus, Prince
Actor 2: Montague, Friar John
Actor 3: Capulet
Actor 4: Romeo
Actor 5: Paris, Mercutio, Citizen of Verona
Actor 6: Benvolio, 2nd Musician, 1st Watchman
Actor 7: Tybalt, Apothecary, 3rd Musician
Actor 8: Balthasar, 1st Servingman, Mercutio’s Page
Actor 9: Abram, Peter, Potpan, 3rd Watchman
Actor 10: Petruchio, Sampson, 2nd Servingman, 1st Musician, 2nd Watchman
Actor 11: Gregory, Page to Paris, 3rd Servingman, Antony
Actor 12: Old Capulet, Friar Laurence, Citizen of Verona

Women
Actor 1: Lady Capulet
Actor 2: Lady Montague, Nurse
Actor 3: Juliet, Citizen of Verona (1.1)


Do you have any casting alternatives?
Last Edit: 3 years 1 month ago by William Shakespeare.
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Romeo & Juliet Casting Options 2 years 1 week ago #6791

  • Marshall
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Is there any reason not to combine Actor 1 and Actor 5? The only conflict I see is the 'Citizen of Verona,' a mob role.

I ask not only to reduce the cast by one more, but because I am considering this casting myself. A recent read bred no issues with this, but I want to ensure I'm not missing anything.
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Romeo & Juliet Casting Options 2 years 1 week ago #6792

  • Ron Severdia
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You can do it if you make some cuts and/or quick changes.
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Romeo & Juliet Casting Options 5 months 3 weeks ago #7025

  • Gary
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A comment I'd like to make on casting choices for this, looking at common interpretations and further into the script, and possible subtexts....

Romeo & Juliet themselves are normally played with very attractive people. True, this is appealing to audience members (and to the cast who have to kiss each other!), but during the infamous balcony scene, Romeo sees the shadow in the window hoping that it's Juliet, but notices the nurse instead. The line "for she is more fair..." to me gives the understanding that actually the nurse, although older than Juliet, should actually be the most attractive character in the play.

You should also ask yourself why Rosaline is only an object of desire, clearly unreachable, to Romeo, perhaps if he was more of a desirable character then she would have given more attention to Romeo..? There has to be reasons why she is so unattainable for him. To speak of her so much, he definitely would have previously put in some sort of effort...and it's human nature to lead towards what we find attractive.

I'm not saying these should be unattractive characters at all, but maybe consider those that are not "classic beauties", but they each have a quality about them they would find appealing about each other, whereas others may not latch on so much...

The line referring to the nurse could also be viewed as a joke, or flattery (even though he is only talking to himself at this point), so either the nurse should be "more fair" than Juliet, or this line to be made a point of within the dialect.

Thoughts?
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Romeo & Juliet Casting Options 5 months 3 weeks ago #7028

  • Ron Severdia
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Gary wrote:
Romeo & Juliet themselves are normally played with very attractive people.

Agreed. But I've always thought, although young, they aren't necessarily out of an Abercrombie catalog.
Gary wrote:
You should also ask yourself why Rosaline is only an object of desire, clearly unreachable, to Romeo, perhaps if he was more of a desirable character then she would have given more attention to Romeo..? There has to be reasons why she is so unattainable for him. To speak of her so much, he definitely would have previously put in some sort of effort...and it's human nature to lead towards what we find attractive.

My guess is that Romeo is aiming above his "pay grade"—with both Rosaline and Juliet. He might not be the handsome type, but there's a quality Juliet finds enticing that Rosaline didn't. His nose? His speech?

A number of these issues surface in "alternative" approaches to R&J:

www.theguardian.com/stage/2010/mar/14/ju...omeo-bristol-old-vic
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Romeo & Juliet Casting Options 5 months 3 weeks ago #7029

  • Gary
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Thanks for that link, the production looked fantastic and just a shame I've only known about it now, otherwise I may well have taken the trek to Bristol to go and see it! (I've been known in the past to travel up to 300 miles just for a show...even that was an amateur dramatics performance by a group that I had never heard of before!)

With regards to the "aiming above his pay grade", that is exactly what I was thinking, but my mind went blank as I was putting the words to paper!
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