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Juliet's A Man!

Juliet's A Man!

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

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Star-crossed lovers in the Shakespeare Theatre Company's all-male production of Romeo and Juliet. Source: Scott Suchman hide caption

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Source: Scott Suchman

I still remember the first time I was introduced to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. I was in the 8th grade, and I had every passionate, angst-filled soliloquy memorized by the time the semester was up. Don't tell anyone, but I used to recite Juliet's lines to an imaginary Romeo (ahem, Leonardo DiCaprio)* from the balcony of my parents' house. Many years later, I had the fortune of seeing it performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon — truly magical. I became a life-long aficionado of the Bard after that one.

High school English class taught us that Shakespeare's plays were all-male affairs during his day. And Juliet Capulet, one of his greatest female characters, was actually written for a boy. "It is the east, and Juliet is the sun." And, in this case, she's literally the son. Here in Washington, DC, the Shakespeare Theatre Company has staged an all-male production of Romeo and Juliet. Today, the director, David Muse, along with the actor who plays Juliet, James Davis, will join us to talk about the new discoveries that emerge about this timeless classic when it's performed as it was originally intended.

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Have you seen an all-male production of Romeo and Juliet? What did you think?

* Every girl I knew in middle school wanted to be Claire Danes in that movie.