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Romeo and Juliet

February 5, 2006

A lazy Sunday afternoon and tickets to the Blackfriar’s Theatre in Staunton to see Romeo and Juliet. Opening night was Saturday – so today the audience is sparse and we are sitting in the “Lord’s Chairs” right next to the stage.

As the play develops and the emotions become more intense I find that I am avoiding making eye contact with the actors…

It is too much…

They are too close…

This is one of those “We do it with the lights on” theatres so there is nowhere to hide.

And I find myself drawn in and as Juliet’s father berates her as foolish I start to cry and I feel as it I am her and I am on the receiving end of his wrath and her mother is cold and distant and I cannot stop the tears that flow freely down my face…

And now Juliet has latched on to me and is imploring me and beseeching me and I try to not fall apart but that which separates us thins and I am her, in love, giddy with delight, shamed by my father who doesn’t understand me…

As the performance ends – I want to leave quickly – I don’t want contact with the actors or the audience. I want to be alone. To grieve for all those tender crushes and hopeless projections that we call “love at first sight.”

I want to believe that Hollis didn’t get it right in “The Eden Project.” I want to believe that the Magical Other is Out There and not In Here… if only for one brief moment…

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