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Outdoor performance wows overflowing audience

by on October 14, 2009 11:22 AM

Penn State School of Theater wowed the crowd with their modern twist on the Shakespeare classic “Romeo & Juliet” during a free performance on the Hintz Family Alumni Center Lawn Tuesday evening.

The Alumni Center was barely recognizable with a makeshift stage that was built to accommodate the production. Numerous light towers were also new attractions that helped to add dramatic effect to the production.

Fold-out chairs coved the lawn, but were not enough for the crowd that grew to more than 300 people. Many audience members who came equipped with blankets to stay warm, had to lie them down on the grass just for a place to sit.

The night began with an introduction by the School of Theater Director Dan Carter.

“Performances such as these have woven their way into the cultural foundation of this university,” he said, “so without further ado, let’s make a memory.”

From the costumes to the characters, the production was memorable, those in attendance said.

“The costumes were my favorite part,” said Penn State sophomore Emily Hurtz. “The colors and details were absolutely amazing.”

Amazing was a word used to describe many other things about the play, including actor Nick Reynolds. Reynolds, though not the lead, captured audience members with his comedic relief as the free-loading Mercutio.

Penn State junior Marco Eliaz said, “Whenever he was on stage, my eyes were glued to him.”

Cast and audience members alike had to brave through the cold temperatures during the two-hour production.

Heating things up, however, were the show’s leads: Gilbert L. Bailey II as Romeo and Leah Mueller as Juliet.

“Their chemistry was great,” said freshman Jill Waller, “it was easy for me to believe they were in love.”

The night’s performance was not only viewed by the attending crowd, but was also broadcast to all Penn State University branch campuses and to Penn State University World campuses.

The show is being performed again on Wednesday, Oct. 14 and Thursday, Oct. 15 at 6:30 p.m. on the Hintz Family Alumni Lawn.

Julia is a junior majoring in journalism at Penn State and an intern at
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