This Friday, I had the privilege of witnessing live theater in it’s truest form: in Brooklyn’s Carroll Park in the Carroll Gardens section.
I learned about this play because a friend of mine portrays a few characters throughout and I thought, “It’s free. Why not?”
Upon arrival at the park, I was quite confused because the park wasn’t huge or even pretty like Central Park’s Delacourte Theater where Shakespeare in the Park takes place. There wasn’t even a stage! A towering bronze 1920 World War I Soldier and Sailors monument was surrounded by a playground where kids were flouncing and running around.
In front of the monument, were two men playing their guitar. I assumed they were killing time or playing for money. Then they started sparring with their guitars which led me to believe they were part of the play.
The story commenced as I remembered it (but significantly cut down which was good) performed in shorter versions.
For being a play in a small park with no stage, the actors did a phenomenal job using the space. Actors appeared “stage” left and right seamlessly.
My favorite moments were when passerby inadvertently became part of the production: a toddler with his cart walking onto “stage” during the famous Romeo and Juliet scene and a male teenager sitting on the “stage” [the base of the monument] while Romeo is slaying Tybalt in which Romeo yells, “Move!”
The performers in this play reminded me why I love theater; with such creative and grand performances, why not watch more plays?
Smith Street Stage sponsored this version of Romeo and Juliet. The last performances of the summer will be this weekend – August 26th-28th.
The actors did an amazing job with the space, environment, and provided absolutely unforgettable performances. Give them a shot.
If you’re bored (doubt it), you can always walk away (it is free after all) and have dinner at one of the cute restaurants in the Carroll Gardens area.