MHS Theatre Presents “Romeo and Juliet”


Lauren Lamson

Director Tim Gittings works on a scene with Aaliyah Razvi (Nurse), Evelyn Anderson (Juliet), and Annabelle Martino (Lady Capulet).

Middleton High School Theatre will perform “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare for three nights from Thursday, Feb. 10 to Saturday, Feb. 12. 

Despite unique roadblocks this year, such as missing actors and schedule changes due to COVID-19, the cast and crew are well on their way to opening night in the Blackbox Theater, part of the new MHS building.

“[The actors] are trusting the words,” said Tim Gittings, the show’s director. “They’re telling the story. They’re bringing their own intelligence and heart to it in a way that is really meaningful,” he said. 

Gittings is directing the winter Shakespeare production for his fifth year. He is an actor himself, belonging to the core company of the American Players Theatre, which puts on several Shakespeare plays each year.

The students have impressed Gittings with their dedication to this year’s performance. Since auditions in late November, they have poured in immense effort, not only coming to rehearsal after school but also showing up to go over lines and discuss character development during study halls within the school day. 

“This language can be really intimidating, and I think that a lot of people feel self-conscious about not understanding it,” Gittings said. “One of the things that’s been really neat for me is watching people grow in the process to get more and more comfortable with it.”

“Romeo and Juliet” is one of Gittings’s favorite plays, and he chose it this year because of its timeliness. The story handles humor and love, violence and polarization, and even getting sidelined by a plague. The topics are weighty, but the cast is managing them well. As with all Shakespeare, Gittings thinks “Romeo and Juliet” is a great way for students to learn how to harness complex thoughts and language. 

Their approach is to test the words’ versatility, seeing how far they can push the language to bring life to the sometimes stifled lines. Gittings wants to show that Shakespeare is relatable, even today. 

The cast and crew are partway through their preparation, and although Gittings is honest that 50 hours of rehearsal is not much, students’ efforts are bringing the story to life under the time crunch.

The show will last two hours, with three performances, at 7 p.m. on Feb. 10, Feb. 11, and Feb. 12. Tickets will be free on opening night, a Thursday. Usually the audience at MHS productions is mostly students and families, but the greater Middleton community is encouraged to come see the performance.

“The audience is the last member of the cast,” Gittings said. “We’re there to do something collectively.” They are excited to share that experience with the community.

It will be an exciting performance, and a unique one too.

“There’s never gonna be this production again,” Gittings contended. “Alex [Arinkin] is going to have his Romeo right now and Evelyn [Anderson] is going to have her Juliet right now, and there’s something really special and unique about this that I’m really excited about.”



Evelyn Anderson – Juliet

Aaliyah Razvi – Nurse

Annabelle Martino – Lady Capulet

Giovanna Iosso – Capulet

Vivian Szot – Tybalt

Warren Du Chateau – Samson

Esmé Mohatt – Gregory and Paris’ Page

Lennon Maher – Peter and Constable

Abby Sperger – Prince Escalus

Kennedy Wagner – Mercutio

Kai DeRubis – Paris

Elora Doxtater – Friar Lawrence

Alex Arinkin – Romeo

Ceia Kasper – Benvolio

Avery Brutosky – Montague

Isa Garay – Lady Montague and Friar John

Juliette Mandelbrot – Balthasar

Nick Tormey – Abraham and Second Capulet 

Eli Tedesco – Apothecary