In the interest of preventing this blog from collecting too much dust in my post-Newsfeed-Anxiety life, here is a little gem I wrote in 2010 for a theatre class, the same class that produced the now-famous How My Parents Met: Special 30th Anniversary Edition post. The assignment was to re-imagine Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, providing the alternate setting, characters and costumes for my butchering take on the most-studied-by-high-school-freshman-students play in history, this time in a setting worthy of Stanislaw Lem’s “The Cyberiad,” which served as the main inspiration behind this sci-fi silliness.
Furthermore, I thank my instructor for tolerating all my strange ideas; other teachers in the past weren’t too kind to my creative spirit (see 1995’s “Herry Gurl,” a clever love poem to my old cat, Mittens, the contents of which my second-grade teacher called “disturbing.”) I would also like to add that I wrote this while at my cousin’s Lake Shore Drive condo in Chicago. Submitting the assignment came down to the wire: My brothers and I, accompanied by the great Roman Stubbs, traveled from downtown Chicago to Gary, Ind., via subway and commuter train, and once in Gary, met my Uncle Metri and cousin Skevo, who then gave us a ride to their home in Crown Point. By the time we arrived in Crown Point, I was minutes away from the submission deadline, and, once connected to the wi-fi, submitted the assignment just before deadline. But throughout my travels, and despite the instructor’s hard-line, non-negotiable late submission policy, I wasn’t ever worried in the least bit. All this is to say that the entire assignment (including the costume designs, surprisingly enough) took about an hour, and, although composed under tight time constraints, actually turned out quite well — that is, depending on your definition of “well.”
Enough said. Enjoy this little relic from yesteryear, and rest assured: new music and happenings are coming.
Section 1: Time Period
Most modern-day Shakespeare productions are set neither in the time nor the place that the Bard originally intended. My version of “Romeo and Juliet” is no exception. Titled “(Eo) + Zibo I.13,” this adaptation of the classic tragedy takes place in the year 19992 following the 100-Century War. This means the characters, story and audience are presented in a completely different and extremely bizarre context, which ultimately keeps the familiar material still fresh. Instead of Renaissance-era Italy, “(Eo) + Zibo I.13” is set on the planet of Gonibasiwbfykgan following the cataclysmic 100-Century War. The Gonibasiwbfykganians are in a state of turmoil, divided into two factions: the WabbiDaDos (Montagues) and the Dovjduesfjdiaos (Capulets). By establishing these two feuding bands, the story, characters, and audience are once again grounded in the familiar aspects of the original while doing something cutting edge and unique.
Section 2: Characters
(Eo), whose name is made up of symbols unpronounceable to the human tongue, hails from the WabbiDaDos aristocracy, which makes him a fairly prominent among his clan and reviled by the Dovjduesfjdiaos. He age is unknown, though many think he is somewhere between 16-18 sun lifetimes — old by our human standards, but relatively young by the WabbiDaDos’. This means he is an impassioned youth who thinks with his bijoe rather than his acpod, as most youths are wont to do.
Zibo I.13, (a.k.a. Juliet) on the other hand, is a Dovjduesfjdiaos, daughter of Supreme High Chancellor Lord Robby. She is only 14 milli-years, so the purity of youth still stays her. That is, until she meets (Eo). Like (Eo), she tends to think with her bijoe rather than her acpod. Both characters, however, are sinless prior to the balcony scene.
Section 3: Design
(Eo) reflects the common build of WabbiDaDos — a square body with lidless eyes and nitrogen-filled appendages (see above). His blue hat connotes his aristocratic background. Zibo I.13 is strikingly beautiful by Dovjduesfjdiaos standards: Her white robe conveys the purity of her youth; her 24-toed foot is considered highly attractive (most Dovjduesfjdiaos females only have 23.75 toes); her pincers are razor-sharp, something ideal for ripping apart WabbiDaDos; her love nodes shine an uncorrupted red, so pure it would burn the retinas of humans.