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Theater Arts' production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet this weekend will have an American flavor. Although the play itself will be the original, the actors will not use English accents and will de-emphasize the play's "Shakespearean" language. One of the main concerns of the show's producer, College senior Lisa Goldsmith, was to make the show more understandable to students not versed in early New English -- the language of Shakespeare's day -- but at the same time keep it as close as possible to the original. Some cuts were made, however, to shorten the play to two and a half hours. "We're keeping true to the poetic, but making it more accessible," Goldsmith said. "[We're] trying to fuse formal acting with American techniques." "If you have a fear of Shakespeare, this is not a show to be scared of," said College senior Mia Lipsit, the show's assistant director. "We're speaking Shakespeare's words, but we're not speaking Shakespearean. We're speaking like you and I speak." "We're trying to make [the play] accessible to a 1991 American audience," said College junior Joshua Goldsmith, who plays Romeo. Only Romeo and Juliet perform just one role throughout the play, while the other five members of the cast take on the parts of the other 20 characters. College sophomore Mark Baker and College junior Chris Campbell, both of whom play four different roles in the play, agreed that the greatest challenge was understanding the play's language and, at the same time, trying to sound natural. Joshua Goldsmith said the actors are trying to "find the real emotions and put them into the language." He added that playing Romeo carries the unenviable task of living up to the name of "the ultimate romantic guy." But the real reason, he said, for seeing the play is because "plays weren't meant to be read, they were meant to be seen." Romeo and Juliet will play Wednesday to Saturday at 8 p.m., with a fifth show Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Studio Theater of the Annenberg Center. Tickets are $5 and will be on sale on Locust Walk and at the theater's box office.

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