To Be Romeo & Juliet

Documentary, 103 minutes, 2008

To Be Romeo & Juliet accompanies actors as they prepare to portray Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers in three different stage productions in three different countries. Emotional meltdowns, twisted ankles and cast mutinies are all part of what it takes to be Romeo and Juliet at a youth summer camp production in Guelph, Canada, an amateur production in Reading, England, and a professional production at the Chilean National Theatre.

Focusing on the lead actors, To Be Romeo & Juliet compares these three very different productions in terms of interpretation and process, and creates a vivid record of these individuals transforming themselves into the timeless, tragic lovers Romeo and Juliet. The result is a lively and evocative examination of theatre, acting, and love.

Cast: The film features the cast, director and crew of three stage productions of Romeo and Juliet: First Light Youth Theatre (Guelph, Canada), Progress Theatre (amateur production in Reading, England) and the Chilean National Theatre (Santiago, Chile). Principal participants include: Ricardo Fernandez, Maria Jose Parga, Fernando Gonzalez, Rebecca Pitt, and Ben Ashton.

Possible Worlds Film Festival, Sydney Australia:

Winner – Audience Award

Biannual Saskatchewan Showcase Awards:

Winner – Best Arts/Entertainment

Ruth Hessey – Time Out Sydney:

This film is a joyous experience, not just in its exploration of theatre, but of that old barnacle human nature.

Nicholas Pichard – Sydney Arts Journal:

Raw, revealing….sets the standard for arts documentary.

Lisa Greenaway – arts website The Program:

An illuminating peek backstage…. spending 100 minutes with the anxieties of these young actors would move stone.

Program of Possible Worlds Film Festival:

 A fascinating journey for lovers of theatre, this engrossing documentary takes us from the drama of auditions to the thrill of opening night. The real drama is backstage of course, in the form of emotional meltdowns, ego trips, twisted ankles and cast mutinies. Yet as the charismatic actors transform themselves into the timeless, tragic lovers, the film becomes about something more than theatre, revealing our very attitude to love itself. From the nervous first kiss of adolescent actors to the sensual hiphop acrobatics of seasoned professionals, this is Romeo & Juliet as you’ve never seen it before.

Shane Hnetka, The Prairie Dog (Regina, Canada):

A raw, uncompromising look behind the scenes….capturing some incredibly intimate moments along the way.

Produced by Zima Junction Productions for SCN and Book Television. Made with the support of Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund, Rogers Documentary Fund, SaskFilm, Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative, JobStart/Futureskills, Saskatchewan Employment Tax Credit.

Rebecca Pitt
Ben Ashton
Megan Gilron
Sonya Vindum-Whitteker
Spero Skoufis
TEATRO NACIONAL CHILENO Fernando González Mardones
Maria José Parga
Ricardo Fernández
Produced and Directed by Robin Schlaht
Edited by Heather Malek
Cinematographer Robin Schlaht
Assistant Editor Steve Suderman
Sound Editors Jason Plumb
Cody Gamracy
HD Online Java Post Production
Jack Tunnicliffe
Trevor Bennett
Translators Deysi Castro
Avexnim Cojti
Erika Martinez
Laura Alfaro
Jose Recinos
Accountant Kathy James
Produced with the Participation of Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund
Rogers Documentary Fund
Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative
Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit
JobStart/Future Skills
Produced in Association with Saskatchewan Communications Network
Canadian Learning Television
Mark Simmonds
Tony Wernham
Jeremy Small
John Noronha
Will McCallum
Jon Powell
John Flint
Tamina Oliver
Rebecca Pitt
Philip Davies
Helen Coleman
John Goodman
Ben Ashton
Christopher Fulwell
Nick Bates
Emma Sterry
Martin Brand
Hanrahan Highland
Nicola Graham
Boris Mitkov
Jonathan Norton-Standen
Terry Mackay
Patrick Keys
Peter Cockman
Brendon Abbott
Alex McCubbin
Judith Webster
Barbara Bentley
Pamela Moline
Evelyn Frith
Anne Latto
Richard Warwick
Mandy King
Mark Oosterveen
Michael Austin
Zoe Belk
Gerry Butts
Kathleen Corrigan
Martina Cotter
Megan Gilron
Shannon Gwynne
Simone ten Kortenaar
Mallory Leger
Jozef Lewitzky
Michael Mackinnon
Steve Sherry
Spero Skoufis
Christopher Stephens
Michael Sutherland
Rosemary Walton
Rob Mackinnon
Cara Steinberg
Valeria Pugliese
Ruth Schmidt
Melissa Falcioni
Sonya Vindum-Whitteker
Chelsea Roncato
Luis Alonso
Bastian Bodenhöfer
Cristian Carvajal
Andrés Céspedes
Ricardo Fernández
Eduardo Herrera
Tomasa Jeame
Camila Le Bert
Maria José Parga
Horacio Pérez
Angelica Riquelme
Felipe Rios
Camilo Carmona
Raûl Osorio
Igor Pacheco
Claudio Martinez
Cristian Reyes
Guillermo Ganga
Luis Castro
Carola Sandoval
Silvio R. Meier
Jorge Gonzalez
Leopoldo Pulgar Ibarra
Felipe Serrano
Maria Trinidad Squella
“See, the conqu’ring hero comes”
composed by G.F. Handel
performed by Ian and Seanei Gibbons
Music for Teatro Nacional Chileno
composed by Luis Castro
performed by Luis Castro and cast
Northside Theatre Company San Jose
Richard T. Orlando
James Lucas
Melinda Marks
Ryan Andrew
Chiangmai University
Hanspeter & Raenu Horner
Tec de Monterrey Campus Tampico
Lolita Barreiro Candanedo
Fundación Pablo Neruda
Club de Ragga Romantiraptorrant
Laura Marston
Jackie Dzuba
Rob Osburn
Shawn Bauche
Vanda Schmockel
Wayne Schlaht
Jeremy & Dorothy Yuille
Belinda New
Pamela Haig Bartley
Ferndell B&B
Old Quebec Street
Robert Pytlyk
Sheryl Spencer
Jessica Boyachek
Mark Wihak
Nathan Saretsky
Ruby Schlaht
Laura Marston
Mary Blackstone
Hildy Bowen
Ed Video
River Run Centre
Moving Images Distribution
Progress Theatre – Reading, England
First Light Theatre – Guelph, Canada
Teatro Nacional Chileno – Santiago, Chile
William ShakespeareZima Junction Productions Inc.