Ep. 31: Romeo y Julieta (Feat. Saheem Ali and Ricardo Pérez González)

Courtesy The Public Theater.

Every week, the culture critics at Token Theatre Friends bring their fresh perspectives to the performing arts on their podcast and video series. You can find the podcast on SpotifyiTunes, and Stitcher (look for the all-red logo). The video series is available on YouTube. The TTF theme song is by Sean Mason (with vocals by Angela Ramos). The video animation is by Brad Ogden, with logos by Jason Simon.

In this episode, Jose talks to Saheem Ali and Ricardo Pérez González. The director and playwright discuss their bilingual adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Now titled Romeo y Julieta, the audio-play transforms Verona into a sonically layered version of Latin America. The star-crossed lovers are played by Juan Castano and Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Ali talks about the first time he saw Nyong’o as Juliet almost two decades ago, while Pérez González recounts how the Spanish of San Juan, Puerto Rico shaped the adaptation. The two also discuss what it was like to work on a script remotely, and why audience members ought to let the beauty of the Spanish language wash over them. Even if they don’t exactly know what the words mean.


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