The Ballad of Romeo and Juliet – Scenic Design by Lauren Nigri

Design Statement

We are transported to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains after the Civil War in our version of William Shakespeare’s’ Romeo and Juliet. Tensions in this region are at an all time high after the war that savagely turned brother against brother. The town where they live is a tinderbox that is fragile enough to burn and set fire in an instant. The feuding families’ blind hate has turned life into darkness until and flicker of hope emerges from the ashes. This hope is love in the form of two star crossed lovers. The space is as fragile as a tinderbox, made of wood beams and the textures of Anslem Keifer among the floor and walls of the space. The design is a labyrinth that can be weaved in and out of and utilized in many different ways. The dynamic space naturally creates tension by placing the audience and everyone in the story within close proximity of each other to make the audience feel one with the story.

In relating to the theme of Music Weather and Politics, our version of Romeo and Juliet created a metaphorical and physical tinderbox. Political tension is high in the south at that time, which we used and escalated in our version of the play. The idea of a tinderbox both seen and unseen was meant to give the feeling of tension and fire within. That tension which manifests in the death of two of their beloved children. Also, a live band playing bluegrass music weaves its way in and out of scenes to heighten the moments between lovers and their haunting untimely ending.The tension created by our tinderbox escalates the tension and emotion of the story of Romeo and Juliet to new heights. The story leaves the audience to wrestle with the past as they look to the possibility of the future.

Supporting Documents