Shakespeare meets Dr. Seuss in Parkrose High comedy

Get a sneak preview of a unique comic play – it’s “Romeo and Juliet” as you’ve never seen it before – opening on November 18 …

-1 Standing on the box on the far left end is “Narrator #1”, Parkrose High senior Taylor Grady;  in the middle is sophomore Jeffrey “Romeo” Benson and freshman Llake “Juliet” Anderson; and Narrator #2, senior Haley Lusb, frames the scene at the right end. These are the central characters in the upcoming production of “The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet”.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The upcoming winter play mounted by the student actors in Parkrose High School’s Thespian Troupe #1783 answers a question you may never have thought to ask:

“What would happen if William Shakespeare and Theodor Seuss Geisel – Dr. Seuss – had collaborated on a play?”

Opening November 18 at the Parkrose High School Theater is the answer: A sensational mash-up entitled, “The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet” by Peter Bloedel.

“Imagine if Dr. Seuss had written, or had collaborated with Shakespeare in writing, ‘Romeo and Juliet,” Parkrose High Theatre Program Director Ms. Zena told us with a sly smile, as we watched the actors rehearse.

“Nobody would have died,” Zena continued. “Everything would have been turned into a joke, and would have been played with lots of silliness – but still with a moral and a lesson in it.”

Bloedel’s script has been called a “whimsical reinvention of Shakespeare’s tragic love story, complete with rhymed couplets, creative wordplay, and fantastical machines”, we learned.

Asked how she and the actors settled on this unusual work, Zena said that while the class appreciates the challenge of performing Shakespeare, “We wanted to do a Shakespeare work that is more easily accessible to the community. We also wanted to do a comedy. This fit right in.”

Oh yes, there are still the two “warring” families, and still “star-crossed lovers” trying to find a way to be together. But, the Seussification of this familiar story provides hilarious results.

Show opens November 18; one weekend only!
If this show doesn’t lift your spirits and tickle your funny bone, nothing will.

Plan to be there on opening night, November 18; the curtain rises at 7:00 p.m. It also plays on the evening of November 19 at the same time. Or, take your family to the matinee performance on Saturday, November 20 at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets are just $8 for adults; $5 for 18 and under or Seniors 65+. Get tickets at the door; or for more information, call (503) 408-2621 or e-mail for group sales.

The Parkrose High School Theater is located at 12003 NE Shaver St

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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