“Seussification of Romeo and Juliet”: A Comedic Reimagining

La Quinta High School’s theatre department put on the final show of this school year, “The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet” from May 3- 5. It was a single hour production, with a cast of 22 actors.

It was a comedic show that openly poked fun at Shakespeare, Dr. Seuss, and the play itself, often receiving laughter from the audience. A lot of the humor came from over-the-top expressions of emotion, visual comedy, and random lines resulting from the rhyme scheme of the play that was, of course, adapted from Dr. Seuss.

The plot was the same as “Romeo and Juliet,” except it was heavily condensed and instead of having a tragic ending, it had a happy one in typical comedy fashion. Many scenes were either cut or shortened drastically, but all the major plot points were still there.

Romeo is heartbroken over some girl who left him. He mopes until he and his friends Mercutio and Benvolio, crash the Capulet’s party where he meets Juliet, and the two instantly fall in love. Romeo and Juliet are from opposite sides of feuding families, but get married anyway in secret. However, Romeo is banished for killing Tybalt (a Capulet) and Juliet fakes her own death to avoid marrying Paris.

By the end of the play, the families are no longer in a blood feud with each other and everything ends happily because neither Romeo or Juliet die at the end of the play due to a machine that turns the characters’ anger into happiness.

The play ended with repeating the play again, but much faster, and then one more time backward. Amanda Wilkerson ‘18, who played Juliet said, “Faster and backward were definitely the best [scenes].”

The set consisted of a single piece that was very colorful and looked like a collage of buildings with a raised platform and a set of stairs in the middle. It was there for the entire play, as there were no set changes. There was a prop microphone that could be lowered from the ceiling. Instead of swords, they used “bumbaloons,” which were balloon swords.

Wilkerson said, “I was surprised because I think the play went exceptionally well, especially given the circumstances of directors being switched because it left the outcome of the play essentially in the hands of the students. We could have messed around during rehearsal, but we didn’t and instead, we worked hard and had a great time on stage.”

Charlie Cochran ‘19, who played Romeo, said, “The show went very well, especially compared to how the rehearsals started off. My favorite scene from the play was the one where Romeo went to meet the monk because it was fun to pretend I was being beaten up and also it was very funny.”