'Romeo and Juliet' With a Twist

August  07, 2014

      A new event will bring Shakespeare and Bach together in post-apocalyptic America. This weekend, the Galesburg Theatre Festival will present Romeo and Juliet with a twist.

      Executive and artistic director of the new non profit, Robert Thompson, says he wants to make the production more timely. 

      "They're not wearing tights and feathers in their hats; it's nothing like that. It's basically kind of a post-apocalyptic America where the idea is kind of like the warring factions have basically destroyed the government. It's kind of a "what if" thing. And they continue to war; they continue to fight. Instead of Republican and Democrat, their names become Capulet and Montague."

      The show features music from Bach, rap artist Tupac, and the English folk rock band, Mumford and Sons. The 25-member company includes local actors and Knox and Monmouth college students. They'll perform in a large yard with a set, and enough room for 80 people.

      Thompson got the idea four years ago, after being part of the Utah Shakespearean Festival. In 2012, he and local performers brought Shakespeare to Galesburg.

      "With Comedy of Errors, and then with Hamlet, there's been such a great following that we thought, 'Oh, well, crap, we have something here, so let's turn it into a festival and, you know, let's get our not-for-profit status and try to make it into something that the community can enjoy'."

      This year's festival is sponsored by Blick Art Materials. 

      The Galesburg Theatre Festival's first performances of Romeo and Juliet are tomorrow and Saturday night, plus the next two weekends. 


(Photo courtesy of Galesburg Theatre Festival.)