Romeo & Juliet at A Noise Within – Play Review

Donnla Hughes (Juliet). © Photo by Craig SchwartzDonnla Hughes (Juliet) & Will Bradley (Romeo). © Photo by Craig SchwartzJune Carryl (The Nurse/Prince Escalus), Will Bradley (Romeo), Charlotte Gulezian (Benvolio), Rafael Goldstein (Mercutio/Apothecary), and Ensemble. © Photo by Craig SchwartzRobertson Dean (Friar Laurence), Donnla Hughes (Juliet), and Ensemble. © Photo by Craig SchwartzWill Bradley (Romeo) & Donnla Hughes (Juliet). © Photo by Craig Schwartz

From STAFF REPORTS | Photography by CRAIG SCHWARTZ

1:01 pm | February 22, 2016


The timeless love story of Romeo and Juliet is being reprised by Director Dámaso Rodríguez as part of the 2016 season of A Noise Within Theater. This dramatic production fits into the season’s theme of “breaking and entering” – both the figurative and literal walls between characters and audiences.

According to Director, Dámaso Rodríguez, “At its heart we hunger to hear this timeless tale because it tells a story about ourselves. 400 years from its writing, actors still gather together to tell this story to an audience that always wants to hear it. It also speaks straightforwardly to younger audiences because they see themselves represented on stage.”

This production places Romeo and Juliet in a darkly urban landscape which, at first, seems a bit at odds with the Shakespearean language. Intense sound design, including booming percussion, live violin and helicopter sounds add to this timelessly eerie environment. The production is neither an adaptation nor a historical performance, instead, like the star crossed lovers, it occupies a space in between the two worlds.

The stage is reminiscent of a graffiti filled alley and the actors lounge like modern day hooligans among the dumpsters and debris. In fact, we first meet Romeo drawing a rose on the ground with sidewalk chalk. This drawing seems to foreshadow Juliet’s famous lines “A rose by any other word would smell as sweet.”

A Noise Within’s rendition of Romeo and Juliet is unlike any other production. From the Nurse’s sassy performance to the edgy interpretation of Mercutio’s monologue on dreams, this production occupies a timeless space and shows that love transcends time periods.

Single ticket prices for Romeo and Juliet start at $44.00. Contact the A Noise Within box office in person, via phone at (626) 356-3100, or online at www.ANoiseWithin.org for updated pricing and seat availability. A Noise Within is located on the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Sierra Madre Villa Avenue at 3352 East Foothill Blvd., Pasadena.