Onteora Middle and High School student/actors took the stage at the Harry Simon Auditorium on December 2 and 3 to present two free performances of the classic Shakespearean tragedy, Romeo and Juliet.
The talented group, comprising 15 actors and five backstage crew members, began rehearsing in mid-October under the direction of New Genesis Productions artistic director Lesley Sawhill and Middle School English teacher Geordarna Constant. The students rehearsed twice a week until Thanksgiving, and then daily until the curtain officially opened on December 2.
Grade 8 student Isabelle Wentland, who played the starring role of the young Juliet Capulet, said that although being involved in the play has been a lot of work and stressful at times, she is “so glad I’ve had this experience.” “In the beginning, Juliet starts off as an innocent girl, but really shows her true self further into the play,” she said. “I admire her strength and compassion as a character.”
“Juliet becomes very confident and strong; she stands up for what she believes is right, and I respect that,” Wentland continued. “I enjoyed wearing her costumes and performing for my friends, family and the community!”
Grade 8 student Azarax Tehrani, who took on the role of Juliet’s handsome counterpart, Romeo, also enjoyed being in the play. “I love acting, I love the community and the camaraderie of all those involved,” he said. “I would like to thank the cast and crew for making this a wonderful experience. I was so very excited to play the lead role of Romeo!”