Director Christina Rodriguez de Conte coaches her actors enthusiastically from the stage’s sidelines. She writes out their coordinates like running plays on a football diagram — Xs mark the spots where actors will stand with arrows crisscrossing the page to show how they’ll interact with one another onstage.
“I play roller derby and coach, so it’s in me as an athlete,” laughs Rodriguez de Conte. “I never sit down, I’m always on my feet.”
Rodriguez de Conte’s process for directing Southern Shakespeare Company’s “A Town Divided” has been similarly energetic. The play adapts “Romeo and Juliet” to present-day Tallahassee as it examines the racial divide in the city through Shakespeare’s famous tragedy.
A community performance will take place on Thursday, Feb. 10, in addition to several educational, school shows. For Rodriguez de Conte, staging this play has been a unique opportunity to facilitate open and honest conversation with the community.
“Everybody knows this story so there’s something about connecting something modern to the classics that already gives it a certain kind of status or richness,” says Rodriguez de Conte. “When you look at this long-standing feud, it’s the children that are the ones suffering. They don’t see why there was a feud, they just know they’re supposed to hate each other.”
Read the rest of the story by visiting the Tallahassee Democrat
or read more by downloading the article here.