The following is an example of how the third open assignment might be done. It involves rewriting some of the dialogue towards the end of Romeo and Juliet, along with explanation of plot change, ideas for scenery & lighting, costumes, and accompanying music. This is being created by Heather Caprette, MFA under a CC BY 4.0 license. It’s the desire of the author that any use involving adaptation, alteration, remixing, revising also be shared freely.
Shakespeare, William. “The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.” Project Gutenberg, November, 1997, http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1112. Accessed 03 April 2018.
Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers with blackened destiny;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love,
And the continuance of their parents’ rage,
Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.
End of Scene 8:
(Picking up after Juliet’s father tells her to marry Paris on Thursday, or he’ll disown her, throwing her out of his house, after her mother turns her back on her, and after Juliet’s nurse tells her to marry Paris, and forget her first husband Romeo)
(Juliet’s Bedroom, Evening. The set is blue light filtering in through the doorway and falling on one side of Juliet while faint warm candle light falls on the other, creating a contrast between blue and orange light. She’s in her bedroom deciding what to do next.)
You can create the color lighting effect on a standard portrait by following the Youtube Fantasy Duo Color Effect on Portrait | Photoshop Tutorial
Ancient damnation! O most wicked fiend!
Is it more sin to wish me thus forsworn,
Or to dispraise my lord with that same tongue
Which she hath praised him with above compare
So many thousand times? Go, counsellor;
Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain.
I’ll to the friar, to seek my remedy:
Now is the time for courage and not despair.
Though my earthly fortune I have forsworn,
My love did I give to Romeo and it is with him I should be.
If all else fail, myself have power to die. For now am I dead to my lady and lord.
(Juliet gathers some belongings into a large bag and dresses for travel. When she leaves her house, a short segment of music would play from Crystalize by Lindsey Sterling. The music is meant to convey sadness, as well as transition to something new. This can be played at intermission or as short transition.) Sterling, Lindsey. “Crystallize,” Youtube, https://youtu.be/aHjpOzsQ9YI. Accessed March, 2018.
Set Design for end of Scene 8
Above in an example of a set design for the end of scene 8. It shows a source four fixture on the left, with a blue filter, angled down toward stage right, or Juliet’s right side. Another source 4 fixture with a yellow filter is angled down from stage left, toward Juliet’s left side. Fresnel light fixtures with yellow filtration, and less intensity help to illuminate the walls and background. The door to her balcony is open on stage right. Another door to the rest of her family’s house is on stage left. A wood cabinet is behind her. A wooden dresser with three candles is also behind her, against her bedroom wall. He bed with a surrounding canopy is on the left front of the stage. Juliet is central on set to start. She’ll move to collect belongings to put in a bag, from the dresser and cabinet behind her, before leaving. She’ll exit through the door to her balcony, leaving the same way Romeo has before.
New – Scene 9
(Friar Lawrence’s office or counseling room, church, evening. Warm candle light within. Brighter lighting than at end of scene 8.)
Good father my soul is heavy.
My husband Romeo, in passion slew my cousin, Tybalt.
Now my parents slay me.
For my earthly father has sworn to disown me should I not marry again this Thursday to Paris.
My lady mother turns her back on me.
I would die before allowing this second marriage.
Thus turned out must I away to Romeo in secrecy.
What love is left here?
What hope amongst so much hate?
Two families with blood and il will between them.
My lady and lord father must never know.
For knowing, they might take revenge.
Oh what news!
Is there no delaying?
So be it young Juliet.
I joined you and Romeo in hope that old hatreds and rivalries would dissipate.
So, does this hope for new love go on, though in a new place.
We will clothe you as a nun.
In this disguise will you travel with brother John to Montua.
There will he see you delivered to Romeo.
Rest here while I seek my brother.
(Exit Friar Lawrence. Enter Friar Lawrence into another area of the Church. Friar John sits at table studying a book. Bright candle light.)
Holy Franciscan friar! brother, ho!
Dear brother, I ask for your help and confidence.
You have my devotion and trust. What may I Do?
The fair youths Juliet and Romeo did I join together in matrimony one day ago,
their love and intentions being true.
The two families we know feud, know not of the marriage.
I need you to deliver her safely to her husband, Romeo, in Mantua.
Disguised as a nun, she can travel unknown.
Take rest for the night at the church in Monsua.
There will you go unnoticed.
For their sake, speak not of the journey,
and let love live true wherever they may go.
God be with them.
God be with you.
Thus will I do.
God be with you til I see you again.
(Friar Lawrence re-enters the room where Juliet waits. He carries a nun’s dress and habit.)
Dear Juliet, take these nunnery clothes.
In this disguise will you leave with Friar John.
You’ll leave at once, and rest at the Church in Monsua.
With morning’s light, he’ll take you to Montua.
There, he’ll reunite you with your new lord and husband.
God be with you, child. I pray no harm will come to you.
Or forever punished be the one who deals it!
(Scene of Friar John walking beside Juliet dressed as a nun crossing out of town and into the countryside, on the road to Montua.
Information about nuns clothes in the middle ages is at http://www.medieval-life-and-times.info/medieval-clothing/medieval-nuns-clothing.htm
(Transition to Montua. Friar John finds the room where Romeo stays. With Juliet dressed as a nun by his side, he knocks. Romeo rests his hand on his sword. Daylight, bright outside of room.)
Ho! Who’s there!
It is John, brother to Friar Lawrence. I bring good tidings.
What good could come to me, unless it be the Prince’s pardon?
(Romeo opens the door and sees Juliet’s face as she pushes aside the nun’s veil. They smile, kiss and embrace.)
(Lady Capulet in Juliet’s room, in despair. Morning, daylight.)
Oh cursed day!
First my nephew Tybalt slain,
and now my daughter gone.
What is left?
My hope is gone with Juliet.
Where has she gone?
What relief can I have now?
(Setting is a dark dwelling outside of Verona. Bright outdoors, dimly lit interior. Lady Capulet knocks at the door of a mercenary. The sinister looking man opens the door. Spot ligt on table.)
Good day lady. How can I be of service?
(Mercenary guides her to sit down at table with his arm moving in arc)
Through word of a friend did I learn of you.
Know you that Tybalt was slain by Romeo?
It doesn’t sit well with me that he lives,
having been exiled to Montua.
Aye, this I know. (Saying with slyness) Where would you have him live?
I would have him lie with his forefathers in the Montague tomb.
Aye, and how would you have him do this?
I have need of a man to deliver this dram (she holds up a vial of poison) that can be mixed with wine.
Swiftly, upon drinking, I am told it will stop the heart of even a horse.
Can you deliver it such to Romeo?
That so, I will find a way for a price.
(Handing a purse and the vial to the mercenary) Take this to get you on your way.
Having heard the news of Romeo’s death,
will I deliver the rest to you.
(Smiling slyly) The deed is as good as done.
Go then. Good day.
(Lady Capulet turns and leaves through his door)
(Juliet, content and happy to be with Romeo, prepares a dinner in a small kitchen with table nearby. She pours wine into their glasses. They are finally free to be together. Day, interior and table brightly lit.)
(The mercenary returns home. Lady Capulet hears of Romeo’s death. She goes to the Mercenary’s home to give him the final payment and confirm. Dim interior, overcast outdoors, bluish colors.)
I hear in the streets mourning for young Romeo.
His father travels to Montua to retrieve the body of his son.
I take it the deed is done.
(smiling grimly) Aye. Two for the price of one!
(Aroused and demanding to know) Two, you say?
(Boasting) Him and his new wife.
A beauty was she with long dark hair.
Couldn’t have been much beyond fourteen.
A young woman with long dark hair.
Did you happen to catch her name?
He called her Juliet.
(Pale as death, holding back, then gasping.) Speak no more of this (she drops the purse at his door and runs away).
The closing song after Juliet’s and Romeo’s deaths is Angels by The XX. Youtube, https://youtu.be/Z9HlQTvF4uw. Accessed March, 2018. This song could be sung on stage at the close of the play by a vocalist or by the orchestra as an instrumental. Within the background of the set, a large screen will reflect projected photographs from Romeo and Juliet’s time together. The whole song doesn’t need to be played if performed between scenes. Then, a brief portion of the song could play.)
Costume Design Ideas
For Juliet’s dress when she leaves her father’s house, including a bag idea, see Blue Renaissance Gown with Bag
The embed of the image is below.
For Juliet’s purse or bag that she packs when fleeing her father’s house, a Renaissance design can be seen below:
Renaissance four sided pouch
An embedded image of it is below.
For the nun clothing when Friar Lawrence disguises her when she leaves with Friar John to join Romeo in Montua, I found examples of medieval nun’s clothing and pinned it on Pinterest at:
Medieval Nuns Clothing
An example of the Friar’s costume can be found at:
Carlo Ceresa:Portrait of a Friar
See the embedded image below.
For Juliet’s dress once she arrives in Montua, I wanted something in green, because it was frequently used in wedding gowns in the Renaissance period. This could be the dress she dies in, when she and Romeo unknowingly drink the poison in the wine. I’ll embed and link to some ideas below.
Romeo’s final costume when he dies could be similarly dressy. See Men’s Renaissance Doublet
The doublet image is embedded below.
A possible costume for lady Capulet can be seen at: Red Renaissance Dress from AntiqueLilly.com
An embed of the dress is below.
A costume for the mercenary can be seen at Men’s Renaissance Costume by NINYA MIKHAILA
An embed of the costume is below.
Or, for a more sinister look that includes more dark clothing from head to toe, see Men’s dark Renaissance costume
An embed of this costume is below.