Mr. Williams passed out the scripts and then went up to the front of the room.
“Alright, folks, we’re going to be putting on the classic Romeo and Juliet this year.”
For a long moment, there was nothing. Dead air. Then a boy in the back started laughing, a sharp noise that cut through the silence. As if that was a sign, the rest made their thoughts known in either groans or cheers in their turn.
“Oh, come on, it’s not that bad. We’ll be having try-outs in a week, so make sure you read through so you can decide what parts you’d like to try for. And be glad I gave you the full script! The original actors only got a roll with their lines on it!” The bell rang and as everyone scrambled to grab their bags, Mr. Williams gave them a big smile. “See you tomorrow!”
RomaMontanari burst onto the stage with all of her usual dramatics.
“O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name!”
Mr. Williams just sighed inwardly. He was used to her antics by now, after all, she was usually the female lead in the end. Every theatre had its diva, and Roma was theirs. A few more lines and she took a bow. The dark haired actor leaning against the wall groaned.
“Yes, Mr. Capello? Can I help you with something?”
The boy strode forward.
“This is ridiculous, Mr. Williams. Every single girl that’s come out here has done the same scene, rolling out the same tonality and the same manners. This isn’t some rom-com, this is one of Shakespeare’s great tragedies!”
“You think you can do better, Juan?”
Roma shoved him slightly and he grinned back at her, dark eyes flashing.
“Oh, you better believe I can, Montanari.”
Mr. Williams stood and walked towards the stage.
“Both of you cut that out. Let me get this straight. Juan, you’re objecting to Roma’s interpretation of the scene?”
“Yup, that’s about right.”
The trio of giggling girls had them cornered, the two freshman boys knew that quite well. They had been trying to check the prop room for a few things to help Duncan plan for the set build.
“Look at the pair of them.”
“Duncan’s little lap dogs.”
“But are they?” The middle girl, a blond like the other two and ever, it seemed, chewing on her gum, leaned in to grin. “Have a look at this one. Ken MacFinnley.”
“Mercifully?” The girl on the right giggled again and Ken took a half-step back and nearly back into his best friend, Benji. She was still staring at him. “ The Ken MacFinnley who’s going to do the set design for the next play? The Ken MacFinnley who’s going to be the next drama club president?”
“That’s…that’s not right. No, Duncan’s president. And he’s the one doing the set design. And I’m only a freshman…”
The girl on the left patted his cheek and smiled sweetly.
“Oh, but dear little boy, you will take his place.”
Finally, Benji spoke up.
“Um…what about me?”
All three girls turned to him and spoke.