Good Girl Chronicles

A Good Girl Chronicles Play Review: A New Look at Romeo & Juilet

I must confess I am not an arts connoisseur. At museums I find myself feeling silly when I’m done viewing a painting in five minutes and another person is gazing at it for ten minutes. So I was a little self-conscious about my artistic intelligence when my friend and Good Girl Chronicles contributor Jacquelyn Grace asked me to come see her perform in Regent University’s adaptation of Romeo & Juliet. You know the tale of two star-crossed lovers from opposing families who (spoiler alert) die at the end because the world won’t let them be together. I’ve only ever seen Romeo & Juliet in movies: one with Leonardo Dicarpio and the other with Gwyneth Paltrow. I left both thinking is love really worth dying for?

I also wonder how theater companies keep this old Shakespearean play relevant. The Regent University production placed this age-old tale in the backdrop of the sixties: a time of free love, a country torn apart by the Vietnam War, and fractured by class divisions.
Romeo was played by a tall, chiseled fellow. He is the leader of a band of silly hippie cousins and family members. Juliet, on the other hand, comes from a rich, uppity family. For some reason, in all the depictions I’ve seen of Romeo and Juliet, I felt very connected to the characters in this play. I don’t know if it was because my friend Jacquelyn Grace was slaying her role as Lady Capulet (Love You Doll) or because of the time period change or because a female played Mercutio, Romeo’s rowdy companion. I felt so bonded to Romeo and Juliet’s chemistry. During their first kiss you could hear their lips connect, see the two actors’ eyes close.  Even though I knew how their love story was going to play out, I was hoping for a different ending, a different world where two people from different sides of the tracks could find a way to be together. 
Me with Romeo & Juliet after the play
Me & Jacquelyn Grace (aka Lady Capulet) after the play

They say art is subjective, and a lot of what you gather from a piece comes from your own internal experience. I saw Romeo and Juliet as something bigger than two star-crossed lovers. It’s not just a story of two stubborn families. It’s a story of how ignorance, hostility, hatred, and division kills love. Neither family was willing to lay down their crude animosity for one another, so they lost the things they loved most. 

It’s a reminder that love does not always win. There is not always a happy ending—but even in the sadness of this old tale I felt hopeful.  We know that love can’t live in the same space as hate. We can open our hearts to compromise, change, unity.
The play was also personally meaningful for me because Jacquelyn is one of the first people to not only believe in Good Girl Chronicles LLC but invest in it financially, support my events, and even write as a contributor on occasion. Check out some of her blogs here: https://theartinmyself.wordpress.com/
When I first met Jacquelyn she seemed so reserved, a wallflower almost. Watching her on stage, I saw a talented, confident woman, living her dream of becoming an actor. It was an amazing moment for me as a friend of hers. It reminded me that dreams require the work, time, energy, sometimes blood and tears. But the payoff—- the chance to be an actor in our own movie dreams is incredibly worth it.
Proud of you Jacquelyn. 


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