West Philadelphia’s Curio Theater began its 2013-14 season with William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Since the season was oriented on issues of gender, many of the roles in the play were switched from men to women. Juliet’s only parent was her mother, Lady Montague. Tybalt was a very different kind of character and the play was re-written to be about a lesbian romance between Juliet and a woman named Romeo.
When the play opened it caused controversy. Many people objected to the production’s gay content. They objected to the play being staged in a Methodist church. Some of them objected to doing Shakespeare in modern dress. And there were threats of violence made against Curio Theatre.
A lot of people did not want you to see this play, but a lot more people supported the production. They felt the play was very important, and that the approach spoke to them. People who couldn’t come to Philadelphia to see the play wrote to Philadelphia’s Curio Theater about tours, so video director Brian Siano decided that the play needed to be preserved and shared with a wider audience.
There us now a Kickstarter page in place to fund a DVD version of Curio Theatre’s Romeo and Juliet. Their first goal is to pay for the post-production work, like editing, sound mixing, and manufacturing the DVDs. They then want to get the DVDs out to supporters by mid-May of 2014.
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