About Romeo and Juliet

"Romeo and Juliet," set in a word of sharp-edged swords and rival families, isn’t the typical setting for a comedy.

But until bodies start to hit the floor, that’s what the Shakespeare classic is, director Alex Galick of the Rochester Civic Theatre said.

"Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy, but it’s hilarious," he said. "There’s a point in the play … where it shifts into a tragedy, and if this one point didn’t happen, the story would play out like a Shakespeare comedy. People falling in and out of love, being bawdy, that sort of thing."

The well-known love story is one of Shakespeare’s more atypical plays, Galick thinks (if any work by the bard can be called "typical") because of that juxtaposition.

There’s comedy, wordplay, and physical humor sprinkled throughout the play -- heavily in the first half -- that keeps popping up in unexpected places, adding force to the dramatic storytelling.

"You still have those comedy portions, but they hit a little differently," he said. "You come back to some of those things that were funny before, that are now deadly serious in the latter half of the play."

The all-Rochester-based cast worked with Doug Scholz-Carlson of Winona’s Great River Shakespeare Festival to choreograph the violence. But that doesn’t mean the humor will leave the production as the stakes rise, Galick says.

"These two things are not mutually exclusive," he said. "Like it life, they’re finely intertwined."

The Civic’s script is a cutting of the show -- slightly shorter than originally written. "But the story is there, the plot points are there," Galick said. "We’re doing a stripped-down version, if you will. … but it’s still there, it’s burning brightly as ever."

- Written By: Anne Halliwell on Mar 4th 2020 - 1pm


Rochester Civic Theatre

Our Mission

The Rochester Civic Theatre Company is a non-profit organization that educates and enriches the adults and young people of Rochester and southeastern Minnesota through the production and presentation of live theater, music and dance.

A New Chapter for RCT

The Rochester Civic Theatre Company is starting a new chapter in their 69-year history. They have elected four new board members in an effort to return to a community theater focusing on local talent. New board president Emily Watkins, owner and editor of Rochester Women Magazine, along with Melissa Adams-Goihl, Missy Hagen and Larry Sinak join existing board members Chad Campbell, Ginger Carson, Debi Neville and Dianna Parks. “It’s exciting,” says Watkins. “We’re looking ahead and reimagining what the theatre can and should be. We understand it’s a vital part of the Rochester Community.”

As a working board, members are committed to transparency in decisions. The first order of business was to hire Rochester native, Misha Johnson, as the interim Managing Director. She has worked professionally in theater for over 16 years, is the founder of Immersion Youth Repertory, as well as the Arts Trust of Minnesota, one of the groups that submitted a proposal for the Historic Chateau Theatre in 2019. Johnson says, "I look forward to this opportunity to press the reset button and put the civic back in the Civic Theatre. My goal will be to not only produce quality theatre with local talent, but to create a home for local performing arts groups and restore trust to the nonprofit.”

“We are excited to extend a warm welcome to the community to join us, whether it be as an actor, audience member, volunteer or donor,” says Watkins. “Bear with us as we work to make sure we are proceeding in the safest way possible.”

Theaters have recently been given the green light to open at 25% capacity, and Johnson and the board are already hard at work on a plan to reopen safely as soon as possible with a 2020-2021 season. In the spirit of renewal and collaboration, RCT is opening its doors to other organizations in the area. Watkins says, “We have a beautiful building and want to take full advantage of it.”

I do not take lightly the real work that is in front of us all, but I also take it with optimism and excitement,” Johnson states. “I believe in RCT and understand how important it is to the community it has served for generations. Serving them is the ‘why’ that will fuel us all on this new path forward!”

Questions can be directed to: [email protected]