Directed by David Marantz
Produced by The Drilling Company
Nominated for: Outstanding Actress in a Featured Role, Anwen Darcy
Photo by Josef Pinlac
About the Production
This outdoor production of Romeo and Juliet was presented in Bryant Park and seen by almost 15,000 people in the summer of 2015. A modern interpretation, the warring families are divided by class and wealth.
Actress Anwen Darcy and Artistic Director Hamilton Clancy talk about presenting this Shakespearian classic as a modern class conflict.
What attracted you to this project?
Anwen: Taking a well-known role, like Mercutio, and getting to be unapologetic in how fearsome and rambunctious and sexual that character is, and do it as a woman, without sacrifice. That was such an interesting challenge, because there was a fear the audience might respond to it really really badly- and they didn't.
Hamilton: It was our first production on the HBO Stage of Bryant Park and we wanted to be one Shakespeare's most classic and celebrated plays. We had done Hamlet the year before so Romeo and Juliet was the logical choice. Casting a woman in the traditionally male role of Mercutio was the most exciting choice of the production.
What did you want the audience to come away with after watching this production of Romeo & Juliet?
Hamilton: We wanted the audience to discover the Motagues and the Capulets feud as a feud that resonated in today's socioeconomic politics of the the 1% vs the 99%.
Photo by Josef Pinlac
What was the most challenging aspect of this production?
Anwen: The most challenging thing was going up against people's expectations of what Mercutio should be- you get a certain subset of people who see him as the personification of rowdy male behavior, and so to come at that as a woman, and to embrace that facet of his personality without apologizing for being a woman, was a really interesting challenge.
Hamilton: It's very challenging to brave the elements in any out door production.
This one had a different element than we had faced before.
Bryant PArk/HBO stage became very warm on matinee days and we were forced to move the production, for those perormances off the stage and onto the grass. Our audience was right with us as many of them sat to the side in the shade and forced us to literally act closer toward the cooler parts of the park.
What was it like working with Anwen?
Hamilton: Anwen Darcy showed tremendous courage and versatility in embracing the role of Mercutio, customarily played by a man , as a female "bro" friend of Romeo's. The role called for Ms. Darcy discover and overtly sexual character as well as engage in complex fight scenes . Anwen Darcy is awesome because she is simply one of the toughest actress you will ever find.
You can follow Anwen on Twitter - @DarcyFever