On April 29 – May 3 at 7:30pm in Barnett Theatre, students from the UW-Whitewater Theatre/Dance Department will perform William Shakespeare’s classic, Romeo & Juliet with a new twist, steampunk. Over the month of April we will be featuring cast and crew members each week on our blog to allow them to share their experiences working on the show. Interested in seeing the show? Head to tickets.uww.edu or call 262-472-2222 to buy your ticket today!
Today we focus on actor, Peter Brian Kelly.
Name: Peter Brian Kelly
Role: Tybalt Capulet
Major: Theatre Performance BFA; General Management BBA.
Year in school: 5th Year Senior
Favorite part of working on R&J: I have immensely enjoyed playing the edgy, sensual, and volatile character of Tybalt. It has offered me the opportunity to step outside of my own comfort zone and perform a character that is incredibly arrogant and violent while possessing that certain dangerous charm.
Working on the stage combat within this show has been a very educational and rewarding experience. I have always wanted to work more with stage weapons such as rapier and dagger and, of course, Romeo and Juliet has given me that challenge. The fights are challenging and require a lot of time and effort, but Ryan Schabach has made the experience very chill and stress-free while stressing safety and precision.
Most difficult part of working on R&J: With any university production, there is a difficulty when handling the time commitment required for rehearsals in addition to course work, jobs, student organizations, and “free-time”. Romeo and Juliet is such an epic production that it requires even more time and effort. This is especially true when considering the stage combat, dancing, and emphasis on the importance of Shakespeare’s words.
Many students may be unaware of this, but performing in a show like Romeo and Juliet requires an average 19-23 hours per week for rehearsal. That’s a whole other part time job! Add that to the various schedule commitments for class, work, student organizations, homework and other theatrical projects (i.e. Directing Scenes, DanceScapes, Emerging Choreographer’s Concert, and required production hours) and it will certainly be an intense semester!
What have you learned from this experience: From portraying Tybalt, I have learned a lot about my own movement as an actor and have developed a more physical character than I’ve ever played before.
This production has also reminded me of the importance of being creative and taking risks in order to develop a character and a production as whole. By being fearless and making clear decisions, you can add something fascinating to the show that make it more engaging to the audience.
Why should people go see the show: This is Romeo and Juliet like you have never seen it before! The steam punk design concepts displayed through the set, costumes, props, sound and lighting make this show very engaging. The acting, dancing, and stage combat make this a captivating production that audiences will not want to miss!
Anything else you’d like to share?: This is my eighteenth and final full-length production at UW-Whitewater, and it is one of the most stylistically fascinating and challenging shows I’ve done. There is an immense amount of work that has been put into this show by many people and I believe it the performances will pay off enormously and be one of most memorable recent productions of the Theatre/Dance Department.