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Upland HS's Production of Romeo & Juliet Inspried by Ghost Stories

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Came across this today doing my morning Google of Coldplay News. That High School sounds like it has a great Musical Director. Lucky kids.


[h=1]Upland High School rocks Shakespeare with modern musical[/h]AR-150139953.jpg&maxh=400&maxw=667

Upland High School students Cassandra Costa and Fernando Rivera will star in the production “Romeo and Juliet: A Star-Crossed Musical.” courtesy photo

UPLAND >> Upland High School Theatre Department is proving again that you can take a classic piece of literature and make it modern and relevant.

Their upcoming production, “Romeo and Juliet: A Star-Crossed Musical,” features Shakespeare’s timeless language and story surrounded by contemporary rock/pop music and modern day attire. The production is inspired by Coldplay’s Grammy nominated album, “Ghost Stories.”

The production is Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7 p.m. while the Sunday performance is at 2:30 p.m. in the Highlander Auditorium located on the campus of Upland High School, 565 West 11th Street.


When Michele Richardson, theatre teacher and director, bought the album in early May, she immediately felt the presence of a tragic love story.

Richardson said she knew she wanted to do something imaginative with this piece of art but she wasn’t quite sure what.

In late September, a student asked why the school had never performed “Romeo and Juliet.” Richardson said a light bulb instantaneously went on in her head and the production was born. She spent three months organizing the music and was inspired for the title of the play by her friend, Jason Williams, who is a writer for the television show, “Brain Games.”


“I really wanted to expose the students and the audience to some great hidden gems from the eighties and nineties such as World Party and Days of the New and as well as current Indie darlings (acts), the Head and the Heart and Nightmare and the Cat,” she said.

This is Richardson’s second time working with “Romeo and Juliet” but her approach this time is quite different from the first. The play is almost two completely different genres in one. The first half of the piece is quite happy, fun, and romantic, but after the wedding, the action takes a dark turn with violence and death. It is almost as if Shakespeare set out to write a comedy or romance and then suddenly changed his mind. Through this process, students have explored the in-depth nature of the script as well as the power of music to tell a story and to invoke an emotion.

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I knew you would! How ecstatic would you be if you were in HS and got to do this? What a great musical director!

I was so busy the night of the grammys reporting, sorry I did not respond to your tweets! God I loved Beck & Chris's performance. I just posted a new vid of it in the thread

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