Homer High School’s rendition of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ is this week

Homer High School's rendition of "Romeo & Juliet" is this week. (Photo provided by Erin Bosch).

The Homer Shakespearean Society is currently celebrating its 65th year as part of the Homer Central School District.

As part of the milestone year, the club will be showcasing a rendition of “Romeo & Juliet” by William Shakespeare. The show, which will be held at the Homer High School Auditorium, will have three shows:

  • Friday, May 12 at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 13 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The cast includes Jackson Henderson as Romeo, Mikayla Smith as Juliet, Sophia Wineburg as Nurse Angelica, Owen Pietras as Tech, Drew Allen as Mercutio and Aaron Lener as Dr. Laurence.

Aside from it being the fourth time that Romeo & Juliet has been shown during the existence of the Homer Shakespearean Society, director Reed Cleland said the show on an international level is celebrating 400 years since eyes were first laid on Shakespeare’s inaugural publication of the play.

“It still resonates today,” said Erin Bosch, assistant director of the show. “It doesn’t matter how old you are. If you’ve seen this show before, it’s going to be different.”

Cleland, a Class of 2018 Homer HS graduate, mentioned that Romeo & Juliet is known as one of the greatest love stories of all time. When the audience comes to watch the play, he added, it will keep them “wondering if it's actually a love story.”

“What happens when love is forbidden? That’s a more interesting question about this play…what happens we’re not allowed to love?” Cleland said, who’s been stage acting 20 years and Shakespearean theater for 10 of those years.

Reed Cleland

Bosch, a Tully native has over a decade of on-stage and directing experience, noted there’s more than meets the eye to this play.

“It’s not about the words that the kids are saying, it’s learning to leave your heart out on the stage, to bring that emotion and bring those characters to life,” Bosch said.

Erin Bosch

Henderson, a senior at Homer HS, said the time frame is different for this play, but the biggest difference is the “interpretation of the text itself.”

“We took time to dig into it, and that was good. There’s deeper meaning to it,” Henderson said, who’s been stage acting since the sixth grade.

Smith mentioned that the play is led well by Cleland’s “amazing” role as director.

“(Cleland) really connects with you and gets you into the feeling that you need to be in. He’s very supportive,” Smith said, who recently acted in Homer HS’s rendition of Spongebob Squarepants.

Henderson thinks the community should come out to see the play this weekend due to the cast and crew working hard, along with the acting being “so good.”

“By the end of the play, you’ll realize Shakespeare is just English,” Cleland said. “The kids are exposing themselves to something very challenging. They’ve read it, but they haven’t done it in a deep analytical way before.”