Hemet High Theatre presented their adaptation of Shakespeare on November 1-3
■ By Corey Evan / Reporter
Teenage romance is often a complicated thing. But when a couple’s families don’t get along, and when friends don’t agree, matters can often drive these young lovers to suicide. Perhaps no playwright understood this better in his time than William Shakespeare, who detailed such understanding in his tragic love story ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ The Hemet High theatre department would bring this star-crossed love story to life in the Ron Murray PAC Center on Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 1-3.
HHS Theatre Department Chair Bret Cherland explains the relevance of Romeo and Juliet in today’s world: “Like all tragedies, this play is a cautionary tale of ‘what not to do.’ Romeo and Juliet move too quickly through their relationship despite the warnings of their trusted confidants and high school students can relate to that.”
This time around, our Romeo was portrayed by Gavin Childers, and his Juliet was played by Jessica Bruce. Childers and Bruce say they’ve known each other since elementary school: “We went to the same elementary school, St. John’s Lutheran School,” says Bruce. “It’s this tiny, private christian school and he’s two years younger than me and we never really interacted. Now he’s here and now we get to play against each other and it’s really fun.”
While their characters on stage share a budding romance, in real life these two are just friends. “Megabites, maybe,” is all Bruce will say of her interaction with Childers outside of school.
Cherland explains why producing Romeo and Juliet this season proved difficult: “In addition to overcoming challenges with 400 year old poetic language, stage combat, and live music, our technical director Daniel West took on an enormous task creating a 19th century Spanish villa. The stage includes tiled roofs, vines of Bougainvillea, and a custom welded spiral staircase created in conjunction with the HHS welding class.”
Bruce and Childers wish to thank their parents and Mr. Cherland for all their support throughout the making of the play.
Hemet High Theatre has more plays in the works, including their children’s theatre performance of Junie B. Jones: The Musical on January 24 through 26. Be sure to keep up with the Performing Arts at Hemet High by visiting their website at hemethigh.com