Blog, Campus, Opinion, Photo

Romeo and Juliet Play at a Time of Cold and Violence

On a last-minute decision, I went with my friend to the play, and we weren’t expecting to get a seat as we did not plan to go to the play. My friend pressured me to go to the play; I guess peer pressure is sometimes good.

For three nights last week starting on Tuesday through Thursday. The library has transformed into a live Shakespeare play.

The setting of the play was in the library. The play broke the third wall, where the actors were interacting with the audience. The actors used almost all of the items in the library, from books being swords and getting on the tables, where even Miss Amal Al-Muhtadi was jokingly fanning her face when she saw students standing on the desk, acts that we would not normally see in the library unless the person is crazy enough to face the consequences.  But, be ware, the setting was not just chosen randomly, but it was done to show how “books open our minds to the ways of others”.

There was a scene, where the nurse, Elyana Kunsol 18, took the seat of a viewer, Lynne Khouri 18, when she was talking to Juliet about seeing Romeo in the streets of Venice. Moreover, the actors playing as servants in the play during the ball, where Romeo and Juliet met, were offering chocolate to the audience. I felt that I was part of the guests in the ball. If it weren’t raining, then there was supposed to be a scene set outside, where the audience had to move from the library to the clock tower  “feel the wind” while watching Romeo and Juliet at the burial scene, Ms.Alison said.

 

 

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Elyana Kunsol took the seat of Lynne Khouri when she returned from her search for Romeo. 

The play started with the narrative, which was told in Arabic, English and even Chinese. This just shows the inclusion that the audience would feel once they would hear their native language being included in the play, and it also represented the international community at King’s.

Even in the market, the sellers were speaking Arabic, “فول سوداني” or in case you didn’t know what they were saying, “Peanuts”. In the ball, the actors started dancing Dabkah, a traditional Arabic dance. Lastly, Dabkah, and the Arabic music that was used to show the beginning of a new scene were decided upon two Harkness discussions on how to make the play related to Jordan and the world; like the shootings in Las Vegas, London, and issues of tribalism in Jordan.

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Esam Al-Qudah and Zayd Lahham during a fight, where Mercutio died 

The actors did a great job in the play especially in the scenes of fighting, where the movement of Esam Al-Qudah 18 was so fast that my camera was blurry when I took a picture of the fight.

I felt proud of the work that the school has done to create this play. Like the use of the library as the play setting, the costumes, and the teamwork of people behind the scenes and on set. The message behind it is to overcome what we see as the “other”.