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R & J & Z

By Contributing Writer on June 14, 2018

Performed: Spring 2018
Written by: Melody Bates
Director: April Sweeney

“I dreamt my lady came and found me dead.” It is not the obsession with the dead and thus (un)dead that Melody Bates asks of us in her comedy R & J& Z, but I find it is the obsession with the dream, the moment of transition between two worlds. This new play before us erupts out of Shakespeare’s tumultuous, violent love story and brings forth a world with the logic and physics of the dream. A dream where the familiar blows into the absurd and the nightmare, for all too understood reasons, is reality. What choices are we bound to make? Are we bound by our choices? What holds us in place? Can we escape our bonds? Are we bound to have them follow and consume our world and one another? Might we prove a path that breaks from form to reveal a light, a great lantern, a shiny place of our own making with harmony and beauty? Using Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as a springboard Bates tackles the high and low, brings our collective drive for shock and feeling much closer for us to see because these days what is on our screens in front of us is all we know.

Directed by April Sweeney; scenic design by Miranda K. Hardy; lighting design by Cha See; sound and video design by Eric Magnus; fights by Dan Renkin; special effects by Stephanie Cox-Williams; stagemanaged by Haoqi Xi; and technical direction by Joel Morain.

RJZ RJZ
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Photos by Mark DiOrio

 


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