Best of SNO High School Edition

Behind the scenes of Romeo and Juliet

Kaitlin Krause

Kaitlin Krause

Sophomores Tyrus Angeles and Danny Hollander walk through a key scene in Romeo and Juliet.

Kaitlin Krause, Palatine High School

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A sword flies over his head as he ducks to the floor and slices his own weapon, a short knife, onto his opponent’s thigh. The man standing over him drops his second weapon to hold his hurt leg, leaving his side open to a quick and fatal stab from the man below. After a few seconds of shock, the wounded man drops his sword and grasps his stomach, stumbles a few steps, then crumbles to the ground, dead.

The guy isn’t actually dead, and they aren’t actually fighting to kill. In reality, sophomores Danny Hollander and Tyrus Angeles are actually fighting (as Romeo and Paris) over the supposedly dead body of Juliet, played by senior Natalie Antonik. All this is for the production of “Steampunk Romeo and Juliet” being performed at Palatine High School. A total of four sword fights and one physical fight were learned by the students in the production.

And even though the longest fight is at the most a minute long, it took at least eight “long, tiring hours to learn,” senior Megan Losch, who plays Mercutio, says. “Our fight coordinator was great, and extremely patient, but that didn’t shorten the time or lessen effort it took to learn the fights.”
Losch and sophomore Molly Mensch, who plays Tybalt, have one of the longer fights, but even the shortest fight, which lasts about thirty seconds, took four hours to learn.
And perfecting it to the point in which directors Jessica Means and Doug Gross were happy with it.
“Way longer than any of us expected, I think,” Hollander says. “It’s fun, but after doing it over and over again, it gets rough.”

Both physically and mentally rough, Tyrus Angeles, who plays Paris, says. “The day we did the preview, I hit Danny in the thigh twenty-four times, and by the end of the day, he was limping around with an ice pack held to his leg.”
“I still have a bruise,” Hollander comments with a laugh.

Students stayed between three and seven hours a day to practice the famous Shakespearean play. It was a long ride, and now, nearly through with tech week, the cast and crew is very sleep-deprived.
“The entire cast has been amazing,” Losch says. “They really pushed through the long hours, and especially with so many first-timers this year, we are very lucky to have created such a strong bond within the past couple of weeks. We are a large family; a slightly dysfunctional one, but then again, not all families are perfect.”

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