Shakespeare comes to Techionery theatre

Amber Quaid/The Arka Tech

The ATU theatre will present “Romeo and Juliet” in the Techionery March 8-10 at 8 p.m. and March 11 at 2 p.m. General admission will be $8 and ATU student admission will be $5.

Dr. Ardith Morris began working in the ATU theatre program 36 years ago. Along with students and faculty, she organizes productions for the department to perform.

This is the third time in 36 years that Morris has returned to a Shakespeare play. By bringing back “Romeo and Juliet” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” periodically, students in the program are able to practice skills like on-stage sword fighting, according to Dr. Morris.

“If you can act Shakespeare with an audience 8-10 feet around you, then you can really act Shakespeare,” she said.

Morris also said that even though it was written early in Shakespeare’s career, the play “has some of the most gorgeous language ever written.”

The production will be a classic “Romeo and Juliet” story, but with a small twist.

“I gave the roles to the best actors regardless of gender.”

Male and female actors will play Romeo and Juliet. However, several characters, including the prince, will be played by the opposite gender.

The production has been made possible by a large team working together toward a common goal. In addition to Morris, Dr. Robert Vork, assistant professor of English, Dr. David Eshelman, associate professor of communication and theatre director, and students in the theatre program have also assisted in making this production a reality.

The acting cast includes several different majors, and even two seventh and tenth grade students from Russellville and Dover high schools. An original music score was created by Matt French, a student in the ATU music program, and Morris said, “it’s a nice addition to the production team to have him there to join his art with our art.”

Morris encourages the public to attend the production. She spoke of the importance of the arts and being exposed to Shakespeare’s work.

They “finally get a chance to see them. With how intimate the space is in the Techionery, you’re going to get a different sense of the play than if you were watching it in a big auditorium because the action sort of surrounds the audience.”

Additional information about the production is available by calling 479-964-0890.