Wednesday, April 7, 2010

In the Wings: Young Playwrights Project. Meet Maggie Furtner, author of Romeo and Juliet ... and Gretchen.

Maggie Furtner has written Romeo and Juliet … and Gretchen for Young Playwrights Project, the final production of the 2009-2010 Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

Maggie wrote the script in eighth grade along with Wagma Mirzoy, Austin Bates and Connor Forbes for a creative writing class.

"The teacher really liked our script and when I saw that Young Playwrights Project was happening this season, I thought 'Why not submit it?'" she said.

The play is a parody of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. While some of the action mirrors the original's, there also are a lot of differences.

"Romeo and Juliet meet at the Capulet ball, but there is a twist: Juliet has an identical twin sister, but Romeo does not know this sister - Gretchen - exists. He meets Gretchen and thinks she's Juliet," Maggie said. "It gets very confusing because neither of the girls know that he's going out with both of them, and he doesn't know that he's going out with two different girls."

Maggie and her mentor Mark Leahy worked on Romeo and Juliet ... and Gretchen after it was accepted into Young Playwrights Project.

"We worked a lot on characterization and the separation between Juliet and Gretchen. We also added more jokes to the script," she said.

Maggie concluded by explaining how she may feel when she sees Romeo and Juliet ... and Gretchen performed.

"It's going to be very exciting but also a little scary," she said. "I'm not in rehearsals and my vision is probably different than Laurie Russell's (the director's) vision. Of course I'll probably be nervous, but it's also really cool. If people laugh, I'll be happy."

Young Playwrights Project runs from Friday, April 16 through Sunday, April 18 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. Shows on Friday and Saturday evenings begin at 7:00 p.m.; the show on Sunday afternoon begins at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for youth age 18 and under.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site,

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