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July 26, 2005 > A Tale of Star-Crossed Lovers

A Tale of Star-Crossed Lovers

by Susana Nuñez

One of the most well-known plays in history, Romeo and Juliet, has inspired movies and modern renditions of the tale, each time reviving this tragic love story. Now, it has been boldly taken one step further. The Highland Summer Theatre of Cal State University East Bay (CSUEB) is offering audiences a new spin on the story by altering a single, but vital, character. In Highland's version, both star-crossed lovers are played by women, a social pressure that adds to the already hostile situation between their families. Directed by Christine Leslie Plowright, Romeo and Juliet opens the Highland Summer Theatre 2005 season and gives an excellent preview to what audience's can expect from this talented theatre company.

The theatre's fresh rendition of the tale stays true to the quality of the original, as it follows the storyline with the one big exception. Such a drastic change has created a complex, yet equally heart-wrenching story. Highland's version surpasses audience's expectations, as the tale unfolds and forces an introspection of whatever they may have believed when they first walked into the theatre. Juliet and her Romeo bring petty differences to light, differences that kept them apart and make audiences sympathize with the lovers, and wish for that happy ending.

A combination of seasoned CSUEB students, alumni, local high school students, and several foreign students make up the cast. Playing the distressed Juliet is Rachel Throesch of San Diego, who is finishing her first year at CSUEB, during which she has performed in every department production. Romeo is played by Emmelie Bovington, who arrived from Sweden two years ago, and has performed in every CSUEB production since last summer's Guys and Dolls. The two offer an amazing performance that will leave audience members in awe.

Tickets for "Romeo and Juliet" are priced at $9 for general admission; $8 for seniors, youth, faculty and staff; $6 for CSUEB students, and $25 for a family of two adults and two children. Tickets can be purchased at the university box office from noon to 4 p.m. weekdays and again starting one hour before curtain. More information is available by contacting the university box office at (510) 885-3261.

Cal State East Bay's Highlands Summer Theatre can be found in the Studio Theatre on the Hayward campus of the university, located at 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd. Future performances are scheduled for Friday, July 29 and Saturday, July 30 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, July 31 at 2 p.m.

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