RAW Talent Adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet” Succeeds, On Many Levels

Feb. 13, 2013 / By

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Play Review • Edgardo Cervano-Soto

 Walking into the theater at El Cerrito High School for RAW Talent’s new stage play, one automatically sensed there were two parallel stories taking place. One story was printed on the admission ticket – “Te’s Harmony”, a modern re-telling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet set amid the turf wars of Richmond, CA. “Te’s Harmony,” written by Donte Clark and directed by Rooben Morgan, is the first full length play by the Richmond based collective, RAW Talent, to incorporate spoken word, Bay Area vernacular, Shakespearean English and hip-hop. The other story not on stage was that of the Richmond community reflecting on their city’s historical injustices and episodes of violence. The sold out audience was comprised of the Richmond community (family, friends, activists, art lovers, etc), a crowd obviously invested not only in the production, but in the city’s trajectory. The momentous feeling was felt even more by the presence of cameras recording the performance and reception for the upcoming documentary on the making of “Te’s Harmony” called “Romeo is Bleeding.” Clearly, the night was one to be documented.

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