#209: 35 Years Later, The Actor Playing Capulet Remembers Auditioning for Romeo


I was 16 when I auditioned for Romeo.
I got Mercutio instead and I was happy
about that because that guy has the best
death scene in all of literature.
But in preparation for my Romeo
audition I carved out a space in my brain
for Romeo’s balcony soliloquy and I still
know it to this day, 35 years later.
Today, I am cast as Lord Capulet
and the girl who played Juliet with
the dude that took my Romeo role
so many years ago is cast in this show
as the Nurse. Here we are full circle
in the same play and at the same location.
We’re playing different roles, but both of us,
I imagine, have spaces carved out
in our brains for the parts we played
(or the part we wanted to play)
when we were teens. I don’t imagine
that Capulet might ever deliver
“but soft, what light through yonder window breaks”
to the Nurse. That would be unseemly.
Instead, I have a fantasy that R&J
might be cast as old people for the lovers
and the kids can run around meddling
and spoiling all the fun for once.
That space I have carved out in my brain
for Romeo may yet be of some use.

Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

5 thoughts on “#209: 35 Years Later, The Actor Playing Capulet Remembers Auditioning for Romeo

  1. Forever will be of use! But…I…Swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon, that monthly changes in her circled orb, lest thy love prove likewise variable.

      1. You know, I’m going to have to think about that. Donald Trump’s hair? That seems to be pretty constantly really effed up looking. But that’s a terribly unromantic thing to swear by…

      2. Juliet said:
        Do not swear at all;
        Or, if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self,
        Which is the god of my idolatry,
        And I’ll believe thee.

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