Patrick Farenga interviewed Firebird Youth Theater founder Leo Lion and another teen director from Boston about their work in youth-led theater, for a piece on the John Holt blog, Growing Without Schooling. Check out his article, “More Teenage Drama? Yes!”
ROMEO + JULIET
Adapted by Leo Lion & Zoe Senese-Grossberg
Directed by Leo Lion
Romeo and Juliet is the most famous love story of all time – but who is it really about? Firebird’s answer is: “It’s about teenagers.” Grounding their production in the evocative themes of youth and growth, FYT is pulling age to the foreground with a mixed-age cast of adults and teens. This intergenerational, present-day take on the Elizabethan classic is tailored to resonate with modern teenagers and make the trials of the play’s young heroes hit close to home for the new generation.
This age-centric production is fraught with significance for the award-winning Firebird Youth Theater, which is run entirely by teenagers. ROMEO + JULIET will be the company’s fifth annual production, following last year’s world-premiere of a new adaptation of the literary classic Treasure Island. Firebird’s past two shows both received National Youth Arts awards for Direction and Ensemble. This year’s production is FYT’s first to feature adult actors. 17-year-old director Leo Lion says, “Romeo and Juliet is usually performed either with adults or with youth actors, never with both. Putting the true number of years between these children and their parents gives the story new life. We’re a teen-run company committed to creating adult-grade work – who is better suited to tell this story?”
(Visit thefirebirdproject.org/theater for show info and more.)