Students at Fairbury Jr./Sr. High School (FHS) gathered on the stage Friday night for the premiere of a play that mixes a Shakespeare classic with a touch of Dr. Seuss.
The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet had the audience laughing out loud as the students turned a tragedy into a comedy, complete with a rhyme scheme. Darby Davidson, co-director of the play at FHS, explained that she was very pleased with the performance Friday.
“I think overall it went pretty smooth,” said Davidson. “There’s always a couple of glitches that need to be worked out the first night; the first night jitters from the cast and crew alike, and all of the techs. I think, as a whole, they’ve definitely given their best performance of this play so far, between all of our practices this week and our dress rehearsal yesterday.”
Davidson explained that she and the students have devised an interesting way to judge their performances: by how much Davidson would pay to see the play.
“I start kind of low because I want them to keep getting better,” Davidson said. “Adult tickets are $8. I would say tonight I would be willing to pay $10 to watch it.”
Although there was a slightly smaller audience in the seats on Friday night, Davidson does not believe that affected the performance at all.
“I know that generally musicals bring in more people,” said Davidson. “So, I did expect to have a smaller crowd tonight. However, they were still vocally a full audience. They were willing to laugh at the punch lines, or snicker at the little things that were added to the script, so it was good to have that encouragement from the audience.”
If anyone missed the premiere on Friday, or if anyone would like to watch the performance again, Davidson explained that they will still have an opportunity to see it again on Saturday at 7 p.m., or on Sunday at 2 p.m. She is grateful for all of the support and encouragement from the community, and she hopes that many people will make their way to FHS to see all of the great skills of the students.
“I think that this is a wonderful opportunity for people to see the youth of the area,” Davidson said. “It’s not every day that you see hard work from the previous two months pay off like this. This is really the culmination of hard work, as directors, we’ve been planning since last school year, and our cast and crew over the past couple months. To come and see them would be absolutely amazing. We’ve got great youth! We always appreciate any support that can be given to the arts.”