For our 2012 festival we wanted to try a different sort of theatrical experiment. Instead of giving the playwrights a blank canvas on which to write, we decided to trick them into writing a famous work of literature. We decided on Romeo and Juliet, divided the story into it’s twelve most important scenes, described the scene in a sentence, removed the characters names, and had twelve playwrights write the twelve scenes.
The twelve playwrights that we selected were John Patrick Bray, Stacy Davidowitz, Davis Schneiderman, Kelly Haramis, Penny Jackson, Pat O’Connor, Steve Strangio, Jeffrey Fiske, Mark Harvey Levine, Carol Mark, Tom Dunn, and Paulanne Simmons.
The new story goes a little something like this:
Romeo, known to the world as Batman, gives up the cowl to pursue love. On his way to woo his fair Rosaline, the time-traveling Paris shows up in his TARDIS. Paris’ companion Juliet stumbles from the time machine and into Romeo’s arms. They hatch a plan to steal the TARDIS and live happily ever after. Problems arise and they a briefly transformed into hamsters, they recover and rush to be married by a Minoan Snake Priestess, and join a circus…sure that they had secured marital bliss. Tragedy strikes (as it must in this play) and Romeo and Juliet plan to commit suicide together. The next morning Batman and his sidekick are called in to investigate the homicide. Waitasecond! Batman? Isn’t he…doesn’t that mean…could it be? The world may never know as Batman files the case away as “unsolveable”.
Isn’t that the Romeo and Juliet we wish Shakespeare would have written?