A staged reading of a new play written by Lawrence University Professor of Theatre Arts and J. Thomas and Julie Esch Hurvis Professor of Theatre and Drama Timothy X. Troy will be held Tuesday, April 6 at 7 p.m. in Harper Hall. The reading is free and open to the public.
“Radio and Juliet” is a cautionary tale that incorporates Shakespearean themes with shades of George Orwell and 1950’s science fiction amid the workings of an elusive crime spree only Juliet can solve.
It centers around an environmental crisis that forces the government to create two classes of citizens: the resettled Arids, who occupy the recently exposed lake bed of the Great Lakes and the Old Shores, who protect what remains of the fresh water supply. Juliet is on the eve of reaching adulthood when she falls in love with an Arid pirate broadcaster who challenges the assumptions upon which her culture depends.
The three-character reading features Lawrence junior Erika Thiede as Juliet and professional actors from the American Players Theatre and the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre.
The reading, a preliminary step before being staged as a full production, will feature actors reading from music stands with minimal props. Following the reading, the audience will be invited to participate in a group discussion to offer feedback on the plot or characters.
Troy began working on the project in 2006 and completed it earlier this year while on sabbatical. Last December he participated in a Lawrence-sponsored study tour of China that examined environmental and water policy issues with 12 students and colleagues from the economics and geology departments. Many of the themes explored in “Radio and Juliet” grew out of his China trip experiences.