Romeo and Juliet (2002)


by William Shakespeare
Director: Steve Arnold
Assistant Director / Stage Manager: Alexander Vasquez
Technical Director: Kevin Bookmeier

She’s 13, he’s 15. They meet at a party and fall in love. What could be a more ordinary beginning to a typical teen romance? But these two young lovers from Verona, Italy in July of 1303 have a romance that is anything but typical, for their fathers are mortal enemies. The long standing feud between their families, which often breaks into open warfare on the streets of Verona, dooms the secret love of Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet The glorious poetry of William Shakespeare transforms this teen romance into the ultimate love story of all time — a story that pits the beauty of young love against the savage violence of an Italy emerging from the Middle Ages.

William Shakespeare divided his play into five acts. For our performances, we will present the play in two parts, with one intermission.

Many of the costumes used in the ACT I production have been borrowed from the Brucemore historic site in Cedar Rapids, which produced the play in July of 1999 as part of their “Classics at Brucemore” series. In addition to the Brucemore costumes, ACT I has constructed many new pieces as well, designed by Jill g. Lockard Bopp.

ACT I of Benton County as well as the cast and crew of Romeo and Juliet would like to thank the following for their help and support to this production:

James Kern
Brucemore Historic Site
Hardees of Vinton
Jim Miller and Center Stage
Elise Dickerson
Larry Vogl
Casey Cooling
The Palace Theatre Staff and Board of Trustees:: Lu Karr, Jan McLeod, and Julie Zimmer, Managers

And as always our most grateful thanks to Jon and Julie Clingman and Clingman Pharmacy for providing ACT I with our rehearsal space and costume storage.

Some photos provided by Angie Nebola and Julie Zimmer

Setting: Verona, Italy – July, 1303

“Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene…”

The Scenes

In the Tomb of the Capulets

Sunday, July 14, 1303

Act 1, Scene 1
A public square in Verona
Mid morning

Act 1, Scene 2
A room in the Capulet palace; later, on a street
An hour later

Act 1, Scene 3
Juliet’s bedchamber
Immediately afterward

Act 1, Scene 4
A street in Verona

Act 1, Scene 5
The banqueting hall of the Capulet palace
That night

Act 2, Scenes 1, 2
The private gardens of the Capulet palace, overlooked by Juliet’s balcony
Later that night

Monday, July 15, 1303

Act 2, Scene 3
Friar Lawrence’s cell

Act 2, Scene 4
A Street in Verona
About 9:00 AM

Act 2, Scene 5
Juliet’s bedchamber
An hour later

Act 2, Scene 6
A small chapel adjoining Friar Lawrence’s cell
Early that afternoon

Act 3, Scene 1
An hour later

A public square in Verona


Act 3, Scene 2
Juliet’s bedchamber
Two hours later

Act 3, Scene 3
Friar Lawrenece’s cell
Soon after

Act 3, Scene 4
A room in the Capulet palace
Late that night

Tuesday, July 16, 1303

Act 3, Scene 5
Juliet’s bedchamber

Act 4, Scene 1
Friar Lawrence’s cell
Later that day

Act 4, Scenes 2, 3
A room in the Capulet Palace; then Juliet’s bedchamber
Late that afternoon

Wednesday, July 17, 1303

Act 4, Scene 4
Juliet’s bedchamber

Act 5, Scene 1
Romeo’s lodgings in Mantua
Several hours later

Act 5, Scene 2
Friar Lawrence’s cell
Very late that night

Thursday, July 18, 1303

Act 5, Scene 3
The Tomb of the Capulets


ESCALUS, prince of Verona: Alexander Vasquez
MERCUTIO: Jared Parmater*
PARIS: Aaron Murphy

The House of Montague:

MONTAGUE: Alan Nebola
ROMEO: Brandon Jolly*
BENVOLIO: Matthew Meyer
BALTHASAR: Ben Mealhow*
ABRAM: Blake Hansen
PROTEUS: Ryan Calderwood
THURIO: Joshua Brewer
BAPTISTA: Brian Lefstad*
LADY MONTAGUE: Kelli Otting*

The House of Capulet:

CAPULET: Steve Arnold
TYBALT: Joshua Deutsch
SAMPSON: Nick Schumacher*
GREGORY: Kordereau Sellers
PETRUCHIO: Dan Greaser
VINCENTIO: Kyle Brewer
SERVINGMAN to Capulet: Cody Robison
PETER: Ryan Calderwood
BASSANIO: Dakota Rundlett*
LADY CAPULET: Jeannine Peyton*, Kari Douma
JULIET: Megan Christy
NURSE TO JULIET: Cathi Calderwood
PORTIA: Erin Horst
BIANCA: Josie Rundlett
VIOLA: Femke Treffers*
ROSALINE: Kayla Comer
HELENA: Kaitlin Karrick
LUCETTA: Beckie Stravers

FRIAR LAURENCE: Edgar Dickerson
FRIAR JOHN: Cody Robison
AN APOTHECARY: Kordereau Sellers
ANTIPHOLOUS: Trevor Walker
THIRD WATCH: Ryan Comer*
FOURTH WATCH: Cody Robison

SYLVIA: Lori Smith*
GRAZIANO: Adam Smith
NERISSA: Josie Rundlett
PANTHINO: Nathan Horst
Beggar: Lindsey Aamos*
Altar Boys: Nathan Horst, Adam Smith

Tea and Shakespeare Promotional Performances:

Cast: Alexander Vasquez, Aaron Murphy, Erin Horst, Cathi Calderwood, Megan Christy, Josie Rundlett, Edgar Dickerson, Elise Dickerson, JoDee Edmunds, Matthew Meyer, Kayla Comer, Jared Parmater, Steve Arnold
Food preparation and setup: Aaron Murphy, Steve Arnold, Bob and Ruth Arnold

*Debut performance

ACT I assembled an impressive cast for its production, and we were been able to cast the play with talented young actors who could truly match ages with the characters they played rather than using adult actors. Fifteen year old Megan Christy returned to ACT I for her third major role, as thirteen year old Juliet. She first appeared as Lady Jane Grey in “The Prince and the Pauper” and later as Gretel in “Hansel and Gretel.” Brandon Jolly, a Bettendorf native who is a junior at Coe College majoring in Education, appeared as Romeo. This was Brandon’s very first stage acting experience, although he participates regularly in performances of Civil War reenactments. As Mercutio we featured Jared Parmater, also in his debut with ACT I. Jared is a Vinton native who discovered theatre his senior year at WHS, when he played the prince in “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” This was only his second acting role. He is currently a junior at the University of Northern Iowa and a member of the Iowa National Guard. As Benvolio, we had Matthew Meyer, a young ACT I veteran of five previous productions and three previous major roles. Most recently, Matt was seen as Colin in “The Secret Garden.” He is a freshman at WHS. In addition to his interest in drama, Matt is active in vocal music activities at WHS as well as football and golf. Tybalt was played by Joshua Deutsch, a junior at WHS who has been involved in ACT I since fifth grade. His list of acting credits goes on forever, beginning with Kurt in “The Sound of Music” and continuing with such roles as Hank in “Marvin’s Room,” and Whitney Day in both “Life with Father” and “Life with Mother.” Josh came to the role of Tybalt already an experienced swordsman, having played Peter in “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.” When Josh isn’t onstage, he is out excelling in his many athletic pursuits. Paris is played by Aaron Murphy, who is a senior at WHS. Aaron’s many appearances with ACT I have shown off his dancing and acting ability and he has played many major roles both with us and at Theatre WHS. He is also active in vocal music activities, including DanSingCorps show choir at WHS, and is the drum major for the WHS marching band.

In the adult cast, Cathi Calderwood lent her comic talents to the role of the Nurse. Cathi has been seen previously in such roles as Veta Louise Simmons in “Harvey,” Vinnie Day in both “Life with Mother” and “Life with Father,” and Widow Corney in “Oliver!” Edgar Dickerson was featured as Friar Lawrence. Ed made his Main Stage debut with this production but he appeared last season in major roles in both our readers’ theatre offerings as well as our poetry reading. Ed is a Seventh Day Adventist lay pastor. Jeannine Payton, a teacher associate at West Early Childhood Center, made her debut as Lady Capulet. She shared the role with Kari Douma, a former professional child actress whose ACT I roles have included Martha in “The Secret Garden,” Myrtle Mae in “Harvey,” and Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady,” not to mention vocal performances in both our “Intermezzo” recitals. Kari is a vocal music instructor at Tilford Middle School and Washington High School in Vinton. Alan Nebola, who first appeared in “My Fair Lady,” played Lord Montague. He was seen earlier this year as Pseudolous, the leading character in ACT I’s production of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” Alan is a nuclear technician at the Duane Arnold Energy Plant in Palo. Alexander Vasquez, who was also assistant director, stage manager, and fight coach for this production, took the role of Escalus, Prince of Verona. Alex has appeared in several ACT I productions since his debut in “The Prince and the Pauper,” including “My Fair Lady,” “A Streetcar Named Desire,” and most recently as Wilson in “Harvey.” Alex is also a living historian, participating regularly in Civil War Reenaactments. Bill Owens, a veteran of our readers theatre productions, also made his Main Stage debut as the First Watch. Bill is Vice President of Farmers Savings Bank and Trust, the sponsor of this production. WHS science teacher, football and wrestling coach Nick Schumacher made his ACT I debut as Sampson. Nick came in with many previous acting roles in high school productions, notably Conrad Birdie in “Bye Bye Birdie.” Bill Martin, whose wife Lois and their daughters have previously appeared with ACT I, joined us for the first time as one of the watch.

The supporting roles for this production feature many very familiar faces as well as several newcomers to ACT I. Kordereau Sellers (Gregory and the Apothecary) is a freshman at WHS who first appeared with us while in second grade in “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” He most recently appeared as Prince Michael in our summer production of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Cody Robison (Capulet Servingman and Friar John) has also made his mark as an actor with both ACT I and WHS. Ben Mealhow made his debut as Balthasar after appearing in several school productions. Ben’s school activities include vocal music and swimming. Also among our corps of swordsmen playing members of the Montague and Capulet retinues are several freshmen at WHS: twins Joshua and Kyle Brewer, who have appeared in numerous ACT I shows, including “The Prince and the Pauper” in which they portrayed the title characters; Kyle also played the title role in “Oliver!” for us four years ago. Dan Greaser is a veteran of three previous ACT I shows including “Oliver!” and the “Velveteen Rabbit.” Ryan Calderwood, (who played both sides of the Montague / Capulet conflict, cast as both a Montague retainer and as Peter, Servant to the Nurse) counts among his previous roles Hansel in “Hansel and Gretel,” Harlan Day in “Life with Father” and “Life with Mother;” and Mr. Beaver in “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” He also appeared as Michael Darling in “Peter Pan” at Theatre Cedar Rapids. Brian Lefstad made his ACT I debuts after having roles in school productions. Brian is active in sports as well as theatre. Blake Hanson, with interests ranging from sports to dance, appeared as Abram after debuting in “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Blake is the grandson of longtime ACT I member Dorothy Albert. Ryan Comer is a freshman at WHS making his first appearance on stage as a member of the watch. As the Capulet Gentlewoman, our featured dancers, we had six very talented young women, including Kayla Comer, whose appearances with us include roles in “Hansel and Gretel” and “The Secret Garden.” Josie Rundlett has played a several roles for ACT I during the past two years including Mary Warren in “The Crucible.” Erin Horst has appeared in thirteen ACT I productions as well as school theatre. Her roles include Mary Lennox in “The Secret Garden” and the Princess in “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Kaitlin Karrick previously appeared in “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Beckie Stravers has been seen in several ACT I productions including “The Miracle Worker,” “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” and “Bye Bye Birdie.” Femke Treffer made her debut with us; Femke is a foreign exchange student from The Netherlands where she was active as a dancer and appeared in play productions. All six of these talented young dancers perform with the WHS show choir, DanSingCorps.

Additional roles were played by Kelli Otting, making her ACT I debut as Lady Montague. Kelli works at CarPac in Vinton. Lori Smith appeared as the Produce Merchant. Lori operates Expressions in downtown Vinton. She and her company are the sponsors of our next Main Stage production, “It Runs in the Family.” An orphan beggar was played by Lindsey Aamos in her ACT I debuts. Dakota Rundlett made his ACT I debut as Tybalt’s Page, and fourth grader Nathan Horst returned for his seventh ACT I show in the dual role of Baker’s Boy and an altar boy. Having made their ACT I debuts during our summer program, we enjoyed return performances by seventh grader Adam Smith as the Produce Merchant’s Boy and an altar boy, and fifth grader Trevor Walker as Paris’ Page. Fifth grader Jason Long came to the role of Mercutio’s Page with several ACT I productions already under his belt, most notably the role of the Dwarf in “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.”

Staff / Crew

Choreographer: Charlie Vogl
Combat Coach: Alexander Vasquez
Tybalt / Mercutio Fight Staging: Josh Deutsch, Jared Parmater
Sound Editor: Charlie Vogl
Lighting Design: Austin Karr
Property Mistress: Julie Long
Property Assistant: Chelsea Meyer
Assistant Stage Manager: Nick Schumacher
Many costumes provided by: The Classics at Brucemore
New Costume Designs: Jill g. Lockard Bopp
New Costume Construction: Lisa Finch, Laura Payne,Lori Smith, Linda Fischer, Connie Gill, Kellie Otting, Marilyn Yedlik, Jeannie Springer, Jeannine Peyton. Deb Rundlett
Set Construction: Kevin Bookmeier, Ray Bookmeier, Barb Bookmeier, Anita Yessak, Jason Yessak, Jordan Yessak, Jessica Rundlett, Aaron Pingenot, Jay Appleby, Kecia Appleby, Julie Johnson, Tammy Blair
Lighting and Sound BOardOperators: Austin Karr, Kevin Bookmeier, Lu Karr, Julie Johnson, Jessica Rundlett
Poster Design: Steve Arnold
Program Design and Layout: Mary Horst
Publicity: Brian Larkin, Julie Zimmer
House Manager: Brenda Hackbarth
Box Office Manager: Linda Radcliffe

Property Mistress Julie Long previously held that position for “Life with Mother.” Julie’s crew also includes Chelsea Meyer, who has worked backstage for several ACT I shows. Costume Designer Jill g. Lockard Bopp, who created original designs for several of the costumes used in this production, returned to ACT I after an absence of eight years. She has directed five past ACT I productions. Choreographer Charlie Vogl was also choreographer for this season’s “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” He is a junior at Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, and in his second year as dance captain for Happiness, Inc, that school’s show choir. Charlie’s involvement with ACT I began in 1997 with the role of The Artful Dodger in “Oliver!” and he also has many acting credits with Theatre Cedar Rapids, including their summer production, “Tommy.” Charlie also served as Sound Editor for this production. In April, Charlie plays the leading role of Danny in the Kennedy High School production of “Grease” and will also serve as choreographer of that show. Director Steve Arnold has staged twelve past ACT I shows, including “The Secret Garden,” “The Miracle Worker,” “The Prince and the Pauper,” and “Bridge to Terabithia.” His favorite acting roles with ACT I include Henry Higgins in “My Fair Lady,” and Andrew Wyck in “Sleuth.” He has also played major roles with Theatre Cedar Rapids and the Old Creamery Theatre and has appeared as Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol” for both ACT I and TCR. Technical Director Kevin Bookmeier, at the age of 21, has a list of credits longer and more varied than anyone else in ACT I; he has worked on 32 different ACT I shows. Beginning as a seventh grader in “Bridge to Terabithia,” Kevin has served many times as technical director and has played eight acting roles both large and small in both musicals and straight plays. He has served as Stage Manager and every other conceivable crew position; he has served as a board member of ACT I and he also directed “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” our 1999 Variety Show that served as ACT I’s first show in the Palace Theatre. In addition, Kevin is employed part time as one of the technical staff at the Palace, ACT I’s resident venue.