Q&A with Lily Steven, star of the Stoneham Theatre’s Romeo and Juliet
By Keith Spencer
The Stoneham Theatre’s production of Romeo and Juliet debuts on March 1, and is their first foray into the world’s most popular playwright. Professional actors have been paired up with those from the theatre’s young company for a special look at the tragedy.
Following our recent visit, Lily Steven, a Cambridge resident and local actress playing Juliet, spoke to NoBo Magazine about the upcoming production.
To learn more about the production or to purchase tickets, please click here.
KEITH: Tell me a little bit about yourself, your previous productions, and your love for theatre?
LILY: I started acted when I was in fourth grade, but I’ve loved being on stage since I was a toddler. I love theatre for many reasons, but two of the main causes are that you get to explore different versions of yourself that are everything from your carbon copy to your polar opposite, and that, with these characters, you get to create and be a part of whole different world. My passion for theatre has always stemmed from the fact that when onstage, we can reach someone in the audience and convey a story to them by showing them these characters in whatever world we create for them, letting us tell stories that no one else can in ways that only we can do.
KEITH: What’s been the most exciting aspect of working on this production?
LILY: The most exciting piece of working on Romeo and Juliet has been getting to work with trained, professional actors that I have seen perform before and admire. Learning from them, and joking with them, and getting to know them has been extremely fun and exciting.
KEITH: What’s been the hardest part of working on the production?
LILY: The hardest and the most terrifying aspect of the show has been to take on a role as huge and iconic as Juliet. Juliet is an incredible character and there is always so much substance and emotion in everything she does, making her an exceptional challenge and very exciting. The other very difficult part of the production has been to balance school and the show. Everyday, I go to school at 8:30, have classes, leave at 2:30, get to rehearsal at 3:00, and usually rehearse until 10:00. Thankfully, my school has been very understanding and accommodating, but it’s taken a lot of time management skills to be able to put my full effort into Romeo and Juliet and school.
KEITH: What’s your favorite scene in the production?
My favorite two scenes in the show are the party scene and the fight that closes Act 1. I love the party in part because we all get to dress up in costumes (I am a pink Power Ranger), dance around, and have a good time, but mostly because it’s when Juliet and Romeo first meet, kiss, and fall head over heels for each other, in my favorite exchange of the whole show. In the big fight at the end of Act 1, I am constantly amazed by the talent and focus that my cast members bring to it. The extremely committed and convincing fist-fighting combined with the touching moment of Mercutio’s death and the very intense moment of Tybalt’s, creates a truly amazing scene that I love.
KEITH: What do you hope the audience gets out of attending the show?
LILY: I hope our audiences will get a new perspective and understanding of the show from our age appropriate casting and our focus on the relationships between the adults and the teenagers instead of between the Capulets and the Montagues. The unique twists that we’ve put on the show are what make this production our own and hopefully, they will allow the audience to not just experience Romeo and Juliet, but to experience our Romeo and Juliet.
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