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Senior Aaron Guevara to star in winter production

Senior Aaron Guevara and Sophomore Anja Reese rehearse for

Senior Aaron Guevara and Sophomore Anja Reese rehearse for "Romeo and Juliet." Guevara and Reese play the lead characters in this winter production. EMILY WORRELL / PHOTO

Senior Aaron Guevara and Sophomore Anja Reese rehearse for "Romeo and Juliet." Guevara and Reese play the lead characters in this winter production. EMILY WORRELL / PHOTO


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The CHS theatre department will perform their winter production, “Romeo and Juliet,” Feb. 4, 5 and 6 in the Dale E. Graham auditorium. Below is a Q&A with Aaron Guevara, a senior who plays Romeo.


Q: What is the show about?

A: (contains spoilers) It’s about a young man and a young woman in their teens from two feuding families who coincidentally meet and fall in love with each other without realizing that they’re from the feuding families and they decide that regardless of the feud they’re going to get married anyways, and they do it in secret, but unfortunately, Juliet’s parents have arranged a wedding for her with another man so she fakes her death in order to meet up with the exiled Romeo, who was exiled for killing a man, and Romeo comes across her grave, believes her to be dead, takes his own life, and then she awakes to find her love is dead and then she kills herself. So it is the epitome of Shakespearean tragedy; it is a very sad story.


Q: How did you prepare for auditions?

A: I experimented a lot with different emotions that I’m not very familiar with, because Romeo is such a complex character; he experiences so many different emotions, from depression, to anger, to, obviously, in love, to almost insanity at one point, and so, myself, I’m a very one-sided person, in the sense that I’m always very happy and upbeat and I really don’t let things hang on me, I just kind of let things go, especially if there’s something that would bother me, because usually I just don’t let things get me down. So, I think it was good to experiment with different emotions. I’m a fan of method acting, basically, so I would put myself in situations, and rather than just allowing myself to let go of them, I would hang on to them, for example, and let them kind of get to me, so I could simulate the feelings of depression, or anger, or anxiety that I usually don’t feel, and then allow those to come out in my audition, and I think that working with those emotions really helped me get the variation I was looking for and I think that it’s been great and it’s really been helping me identify with Romeo as a character more and I think it’s really been coming out in my acting.


Q: How long have you been doing theatre and what are some other roles students might recognize you from?

A: I’ve been doing theatre since about eighth grade; I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. My very first role in a play, I was Peter Pan, which is the lead, so that was fun and crazy. But then, from there, I’ve been in the one-act plays all four years since I’ve gotten to the high school; that’s probably my crowning achievement here. I was in Arabian Nights, the one-act this year with the translator and the businessman who falls in love with the Arabian girl, so that was one role that I might be remembered from. I was in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as an Oompa-Loompa. I got to sing a lot in that, so that was another thing I did. But I feel like I’ve been in enough performances that if any of the readers have been to a performance at CHS before, they’ll probably recognize me.


Q: How would you describe your character?

A: Like I said before, Romeo is kind of a dreamer; that’s the way that I see him. He’s kind of like a hopeless romantic in the sense that he’s only about 16 years old but he feels like he should be having the love of his life; he feels like everything in his life should be figured out, and so he’s a very strong, passionate, emotional kid, but he doesn’t really understand that he’s only a kid and he shouldn’t really have everything figured out at this point in his life. So, especially in the first instance, when things don’t work out with Rosaline, he gets extremely depressed; that really hits hard on him. And you’d be like, “Dude, you’re only 16, calm yourself, it’s not a big deal,” but like, it really irks him and then when it comes to him being in love with Juliet, you wouldn’t think a kid of that age could be in love, but he’s very passionate about it. That’s really the best way I can describe him. He’s a really passionate person, and whatever emotion he’s feeling is really amplified and he really doesn’t feel the need to not feel that emotion; he allows himself to just revel in it instead of just letting it go.


Q: Why should students come see the show?

A: Because, first of all, your English teachers would be super proud of you, and let’s be real: “Romeo and Juliet” is like the epitome of theatre. Like when you think of drama, like if I were to say, “Name a dramatic play,” probably 90% of the people would say “Romeo and Juliet.” It is a very classical play; it is a very beautiful story; it’s a very emotional story, I feel like the audience will be really engaged, and especially if you’ve never been to a theatrical performance, this is a perfect one to start with because it is one of the most well renowned plays of all of playwriting history. It’s a phenomenal piece of work and the language is absolutely beautiful. It’s a very unique experience that I think everyone should definitely experience at some point in their life, and that’s not just because I’m in it; even if I wasn’t in it, I would probably still say these things. Just go to it because “Romeo and Juliet” is a wonderful story and I think everyone should see it performed at some point in their life.


Q: Do you have any tips for acting using Shakespearean English?

A: Yes, I do, actually. One thing when you’re acting, especially if it’s Shakespearean, you feel the need to be way overdramatic about it, and that can actually take away from it because the language in and of itself is already extremely eloquent and extremely meaningful so you don’t need to add any additional really dramatic inflection of your own. The words will carry it on their own so just make sure that you’re speaking with your normal voice, because if you overdramatize it, then it’ll just make it sound stupid quite frankly. So, that’s definitely one thing to pay attention to. And make sure that you actually know what you’re saying, because if you just memorize the words, that’s all fine, but you could be saying something that means one thing, but the inflection you’re putting on it is totally opposite of what you’re saying. So you absolutely need to know what it is you’re saying, and therefore put the proper inflection on it so it actually makes sense.


Q: What has been your favorite thing about being in this show?

A: Well, like I said, it’s fun to work with everyone. I think there are a lot of people in this performance that I haven’t worked with in prior performances, and so it’s been really nice getting to know the cast and the crew and I feel like you always get super close with them in all shows, so that’s always a great thing. And “Romeo and Juliet” is such a symbolic play. It’s one of the greatest plays of all time, so it’s absolutely a huge honor to be playing the lead in one of the greatest plays in all of history, so that’s definitely a huge thing, especially since this is probably my last performance at CHS; it’s nice to have the honor of playing the lead. I’ve just always loved the story of “Romeo and Juliet” and I think this is a great way to close off my high school acting experience.


The cast of “Romeo and Juliet” plays amoeba tag as a warm-up for their rehearsal. The show runs from Feb. 11 to 13 and tickets can be purchased starting Jan. 13. NYSSA QIAO / PHOTO

The cast of “Romeo and Juliet” plays amoeba tag as a warm-up for their rehearsal. The show runs from Feb. 11 to 13 and tickets can be purchased starting Jan. 13. NYSSA QIAO / PHOTO

Q: How do you think the themes and messages of “Romeo and Juliet” apply to the modern world?

A: One thing that I can say is that you shouldn’t let anything take you away from what you want in life. I mean, I know that’s kind of weird wording, but if you really want something or if you’re really passionate about something, you shouldn’t let anything get in your way of doing it and I know that’s extremely cliché, but just go for what you want to do, and don’t let things hold you back. And another thing, and I don’t even know if this is what Shakespeare intended, but don’t let high school relationships hang on you like that. You shouldn’t really freak out about these things when you’re younger; at least, that’s what I gathered from it, because they’re only like 13 years old and they kill themselves over love. It’s just, sometimes things happen, sometimes things don’t work out exactly how you want them to, so just go with the flow. You don’t need to have your life figured out at this point in your life, just kind of go with it and do everything you can to achieve your dreams and sometimes it won’t work out, but that’s ok, as long as you get back on your feet and get at it again.


Q: Is there anything else you think readers should know?

A: They should come to the performance, because it’s going to be awesome. The stages will be really cool, I’m going to be, like, parkouring over all the balconies and stuff, which is pretty awesome. Just come to the show; it’s going to be great. I would definitely recommend it.
Tickets for “Romeo and Juliet” are available at or at the door at performances. Ticket prices vary based on seating, and performances will run approximately 90 minutes.


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