Acting in Romeo and Juliet


#1

I have the chance to audition for Romeo and Juliet at my local theater and I’d really like to do so! I am a teen however and I was wondering how morally appropriate it would be for me to be in it?
I haven’t read this particular Shakespeare work yet but from what I’ve researched, there is little to none bad language or sexual content.
I know that if I ever got the chance to play Juliet, I’d have to act out a suicide. Acting is not doing though, right? The play doesn’t necessarily glorify suicide and in no way do I want to do so.
I know I would ask the director to not have a kiss because I’m not comfortable (of course, as and actress, I do know that is a bit hard/unprofessional to go around asking directors to change things if they want it that way), especially because there never actually was one written into the play.

Has anyone heard of any Church teaching against this sort of acting?
Also, I’m really trying not to be scrupulous and I’m really not too worried because I can always not audition but I’d like some opinions.


#2

No, you are acting.


#3

As to acting a suicide, you are quite right that the play does not glorify suicide. That’s why it is classified as a tragedy: the lovers could find no way to be together in life.

As far as the kiss is concerned: Shakespeare wrote practically no stage directions in his plays other than Sennet, Exit, Exeunt and the like. So you are technically correct that no kiss was written in to the play. However, to portray as passionate a love as Romeo and Juliet’s without a kiss somewhere along the way would be strange indeed, and probably do an injustice to Shakespeare’s intent.


#4

@kill051 True. I suppose it could be a stage kiss though. I know in the ballet, which is a bit different considering it is dance, there are lots of affectionate embraces and a few kisses.


#5

Mounting evidence suggests that Shakespeare was Catholic. And, in portraying suicide, you show the tragedy of it - that is an excellent lesson in today’s culture.


#6

The kiss is an important moment in Romeo and Juliet.

Sit down this evening and read the play.


#7

Romeo and Juliet was originally produced with all-male casts, women weren’t permitted on the Elizabethan stages.

So if you really don’t get into the kiss they may have put into the script, its consistent with the original performanances


#8

Ah, but just because the female roles were played by boys does not mean there was no kissing onstage. For example, just off the top of my head I can think of at least two kisses between Petruchio and Kate in The Taming of the Shrew, and there is one between Goneril and Edmund in King Lear.


#9

Of what importance is it to the questions that “mounting evidence” suggests Shakespeare was a Catholic? Are you suggesting that if he was a Catholic whatever he wrote would have been acceptable? He did write some pretty perverse scenes.


#10

I’m not completely sure what you mean by THE kiss.
I’m honestly just going off of what I’ve researched which hasn’t been too extensive.


#11

Question is, is acting an acceptable Christian activity? I suppose as in most things it would depend on what is being simulated would it not?


#12

Not necessarily. Hildegard of Bingen’s mystery play with music entitled Ordo virtutum features quite a meaty role for the Devil himself, who is shown tempting various souls and becoming quite irate when they resist his advances. Surely there is no more evil personage to be portrayed in drama, and yet Hildegard was an abbess, presumably well acquainted with the propriety or otherwise of acting as an activity.


#13

@Footprints, you didn’t tell us your exact age but if you’re already fourteen or over, you’re older than Juliet. In Act 1 Scene 2, Juliet’s father, Capulet, tells Paris, a young nobleman:

“My child is yet a stranger in the world,
She hath not seen the change of fourteen years.”

Shakespeare’s daughter Susannah was herself thirteen at the time he was writing this play, and it has been suggested that his own experience as a father is reflected in his depiction of the two characters, Capulet and Juliet.


#14

I would only add that if the simulation of the devils temptations and the consequent resistance or acceptance were done merely for entertainment purposes or simulated to excess in its expression when a lesser exuberant simulation would be suffice to present the concept, then I would consider it sinful in its expressions. One asks, of what purpose does this play serve in order that the greater good may be promoted in those that experience it? One should ask this of all things.


#15

@setarcos I agree, but we are now rather distant from the original poster’s questions. If you would like to message me privately we can discuss this further, or don’t if you don’t want to.


#16

Alas I must go now, but may God bless your journeys in this world.


#17

Thank you @setarcos, and you.


#18

Sure is. Passion plays were big business back in the day. They did Veronica’s Veil through the 1990’s here in Pittsburgh.


#19

The Oberammergau Passion Play in Europe is still big business, and a profitable source of tourist revenue for the village.


#20

Not so fast! Andy Warhol was a Catholic, but I doubt that I would apply carte blanche to his works, right? I meant it only as a reference point for the OP. It’s not like the OP is in a production of ‘Oh, Calcutta’ or ‘Hair!’


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