Interracial 'Romeo and Juliet' hits Broadway

Posted By Kristen Butler,  |  April 1, 2013 at 1:36 PM
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The revival of "Romeo and Juliet" features an interracial couple at the center of Shakespeare's romantic tragedy, and set the Capulets as an all-black family and the Montagues as all-white.

According to Playbill, producers say that although "race defines the family lineages, the original cause of the ‘ancient quarrel’, passed down by successive generations to their young, has been lost to time."

"Shakespeare’s dramatization of the original poem sets the two young lovers in a context of prejudice, authoritarian parents, and a never ending cycle of ‘revenge.’ Against this background, the strength of their love changes the world."

Tony-nominated director David Leveaux told the New York Times that the actors he cast "could have been any number of different ethnicities." He added that he followed his nose in casting the extended families of the two actors who produced the most sparks.

“I’m not about to turn a contemporary version of Shakespeare into a sociological or political point. We know there are families from one background or another who would reject their children getting together with someone from another group. Romeo and Juliet reject that notion. It is still the case that children try to oppose the cultural expectations thrust upon them, the rigidity of tribes, the rigidity of fundamentalism.”

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