In May, Noah Fernandez plans to graduate from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a bachelor’s degree in theatre.
The timeline gives a personal touch to his role as Romeo in the Department of Theatre’s upcoming production of the Shakespeare play.
“It’s fun to bring my own kind of self into Romeo because he’s a very sensitive and caring character, and he grows up a lot,” said Fernandez, a native of Ooltewah, Tennessee. “I feel like in these past four years at UTC and theater that I’ve grown up.”
Starting Tuesday, Nov. 15, and running through Saturday, Nov. 19, six performances of “Romeo and Juliet” will be staged in the Dorothy Ward Theatre in the UTC Fine Arts Center.
Junior Maegan Whitlock, who plays Juliet in the UTC production, said she’s bringing more muscle to the role than may have been seen elsewhere.
“She’s kind of wild, and she knows what she wants. She’s not a ‘damsel in distress,’” said the Nolensville, Tennessee, native, throwing her head back and her hand across her forehead in a fake swoon.
The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet may be history’s most recognizable story of good love gone bad. It has been turned into a ballet, at least 24 different operas and recast as the Broadway play and Oscar-winning movie “West Side Story.”
It’s a safe bet that somewhere in the world at any given moment, “Romeo and Juliet” is being staged.
Even though the play is more than 400 years old, it remains relevant in today’s society, said Herb Parker, who’s directing the UTC production.
“We can sadly relate it to the instances in our time of teen suicide,” said Parker, professor emeritus in the Department of Theatre and Dance at East Tennessee State University.
“Romeo is 15 years old; Juliet is 13,” he said. “We have tragically heard of young people entering into suicide pacts and running away from parents they feel are abusive or not understanding them.
“In addition, hatred from warring families has always plagued society. The sad logical result of this has, of course, been violence and death.”
“Romeo and Juliet”
Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 15-19, with a 2 p.m. matinee performance on Nov. 19.
Tickets can be purchased through the UTC Box Office in person, by phone (423-425-4371) and by visiting the UTC Theatre web page. Tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 for students (with proof of student ID) and seniors.
Location: The UTC Fine Arts Center is at the intersection of Dr. Roland Carter St. (formerly Vine St.) and Palmetto.
- Noah Fernandez (senior, Ooltewah, Tennessee)
- Maegan Whitlock (junior, Nolensville, Tennessee)
- Bruce Shaw (alumnus, Chattanooga)
- Patrick Sweetman (UTC Theatre faculty)
- Nancy Tillman (junior, Franklin, Tennessee)
- Jaden Donovan Partain (senior, Athens, Tennessee)
- Courtney Rea Parrish (sophomore, Maryville, Tennessee)
- Gwynne Jones (senior, East Ridge, Tennessee)
- Cameron Branch (sophomore, Waynesboro, Tennessee)
- Frankie Bolognani (freshman, Chicago)
- Bronwyn McEwen (freshman, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee)
- Daniel McMahan (sophomore, Franklin, Tennessee)
- Liomar Mercedes Sosa (junior, Chattanooga)
- Kat Wilcox-Chelimsky (senior, Knoxville, Tennessee)
- Emma Jo Moyle (sophomore, Spring Hill, Tennessee)
- Calista Geralds (sophomore, Chattanooga)
- Taylor Jones (sophomore, Auburntown, Tennessee)
Assistant Stage Manager
- Caton Taylor (junior, Murfreesboro, Tennessee)