Romeo in Rehearsal
By Evan Jonigkeit, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet
We have arrived in the world of “our Verona” Our set is simple and our lights are rich. We are in the process of coloring in the lines and the moments of the work we have sketched in, to tell this story. It is the hardest part of working on this show so far… waiting to experience it with all of the technical elements in place.
In the rehearsal room, we found obstacles and broke through them, We developed relationships, connections and I have had the privilege to fall in love in a way few people in the world ever will. I have been immensely lucky to be involved in the creation of this world.
Like Romeo and Juliet, we as a cast sit on the precipice of finding out who we are. In the process I have had the challenge of taking snippets of my life of love, identity, and rage and using them in this story telling. I have been forced to consider so much of who I, Evan, have become as a lover, son, friend, adversary and how I reached this point in my own life. This self exploration makes me ever grateful for the craft I have chosen for a career.
Matt Pfeiffer and this cast makes this self exploration a haven of safety and trust. Matt is a compelling communicator and anyone in this field should have the experience of working with a mind like his, one as intelligent as it is passionate. Every single actor in this play is a gift to our Verona. A very good friend of mine and mentor often reminds me, “if you are the smartest person in the room you should walk out.” I couldn’t be farther away from the door. I learn volumes by watching the likes of Scott Greer and Suzanne O’Donnell, Tony Lawton, I could go through the cast and tell you how each person, literally every person has a mind or a presence I envy.
I will attempt to delve into the relationship with my most active scene partner, Juliet, Mahira Kakkar. We are both in committed relationship in our real lives and happily so, In the strange world where make believe and reality cross paths I could not find myself in the eyes, arms and lips of a more open soul. My eyes well up at the thought of this process and this story being over, even before a single person has seen the result of our efforts.
Tonight we put our costumes on. Tonight we put the pieces of the story back together, now that we can wear the lights and songs and our set like a comfortable sweater. Tonight we hate and love and everything in between again. in my estimation I am the luckiest person in the world.
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