She’ll stand on the balcony, gazing into the night before she utters the words that will usher in the season of Valentines: “Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou, Romeo?”

The audience immediately will know her as Juliet, one of two main characters in Swine Palace’s reprisal of its summer production of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” where young love is immortal.

And enough to warm hearts even in the midst of a cold Louisiana January.

The show opens Friday in the Reilly Theatre after a week of touring area middle and high schools. Director George Judy calls the reprisal a chance for Swine Palace to connect with student audiences.

“It’s also a chance for us to connect with the LSU student audiences who weren’t here to see the production over the summer,” he says. “A lot of English classes will be reading Shakespeare, and it’s always a great chance to see something that you’re studying being performed live on stage.

“And it’s a chance to reconnect with our public audiences,” he says. “We have mostly the same cast, with only one or two changes, and our actors have grown in their experiences and acting since the summer. So, the public may be seeing the same show, but they’ll also be seeing how it’s changed since last summer.”

Swine Palace’s production reunites Amar Atkinson as Romeo and Amanda Clark as Juliet in Shakespeare’s timeless tale of teen angst. It’s love at first sight for the young couple, whose powerful families are locked in a long-standing feud that has erupted into violence.

The love between Romeo and Juliet overcomes all but not without a price. There is no Hollywood ending here, but Swine Palace has made the story more compact.

“We’ve shortened it for our audiences, so the story will fly by in 90 minutes without an intermission,” Judy says.

Though “Romeo and Juliet” offers no happy ending, it’s still a crowd favorite.

“If there’s one Shakespeare story that almost everyone knows, it’s ‘Romeo and Juliet,’” Judy says. “Everyone will be able to relate to it because of its familiarity.”

  • Then there’s the action factor.
  • “Audiences also get into ‘Romeo and Juliet’ because of its exciting scenes like the sword fights,” Judy says. “It keeps things moving.”

But love always rules. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Why not set the mood early?

“Romeo and Juliet” does just that.

  • CAST: Alexander Adams, Peter; Ashley Adams, Escalus; Tyler Ales, Balthasar/Page; Amar Atkinson, Romeo; Addie Barnhart, Lady Capulet; Yvette Bourgeois, Susanna; Amanda Clark, Juliet; Carter Dean, Gregory/First Watchman; Genna Guidry, Lady Montague; Michael Guillot, Sampson/Second Watchman; Curran Latas, Abram/Third Watchman; Greg Leute, Capulet; Maggie McGurn, Benvolio; Tim Moriarty, Tybalt/Paris; Joe Morris, Friar Laurence; Colt Neidhart/Montague/Mercutio; Bacot Wright, Nurse.
  • ARTISTIC STAFF: George Judy, director; Matthew Duvall, design coordinator; Susan Coates, lighting designer; Rio Givens, assistant lighting designer/light board operator; Maggie McGurn, costume designer; Alexandra Groth, sound designer; Alexander Adams, assistant sound designer; Courtney Burton, sound board operator; Jordan Campbell, stage manager; Ginny Goodson, assistant stage manager.