Where did the idea for One Man Romeo come from?
After a coaching session, I told my acting coach, Martin Blank, that I always wanted to play Romeo. He suggested that I put on a solo show depicting Romeo,at Capital Fringe instead of waiting, if it ever happened, to be cast as Romeo.
Tell us about the moment where you said to yourself: “I just have to do this!”
I was practicing a Shakespearean speech of Young Clifford, and all of a sudden I dreamed of playing Romeo one day. After following my coach’s advice, I started reading Romeo and Juliet and fell in love with what Romeo says for I can relate to him in a lot ways.
Romeo says, “Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love.” I understood his disdain for hate in the world and there is not enough love to go around.
My next door neighbor and I were kids when he was bullied by a neighborhood boy. His feelings were hurt and he ran home crying. I felt bad and defended him by chiding the bully publicly, berating his actions. I was beaten up for it, however, it felt great knowing my heart was in the right place, as a lover, and not a fighter.
Also, Romeo says, “For fear of that I still will stay with thee And never from this pallet of dim night Depart again.” I know the feeling of never wanting to leave the one I loved, to want to stay at her side and always treat her like she is the most precious thing on earth.
Can you tell us more about that?
A beautiful lady, who lights up a room like no other, like me a lot and I like her, yet, we are far away from each other a lot. There are ideological social and cultural differences between us, but, spiritually, we cannot stop talking to each other. When she wants me on a plane to see her, I would do it, even on short notice. Before she can think about moving to America, she has to be willing to give up her old life and start anew, which is tough for her because she is set in her ways. However, this thin line of “having but not having”, plays well into being Romeo, a Montague who pursues a forbidden fruit in Juliet, a Capulet.
I searched for how to make the play more compelling by inventing the idea that Romeo will be risen at the end of the play to retell this story.
Why this play now?
I have been going through a continual roller-coaster of emotions, romantically-speaking over the past few years and my feelings are freshly ready to infuse with the words in which Romeo speaks. Romeo has been one of my dream roles to play and now, I get a chance to speak and feel his poetry.
What story are you telling in the performance?
I wake up from the end of the play, diaphanous, although, I do not know that. I recall all the events that led to my demise and discover that it is repeating itself again.
What have you been learning about yourself during rehearsals?
I have learned a lot in terms of how many times I will make the same mistakes. As a method actor, trying to imagine being a 16 year old, 15th century Italian boy is challenging, but not impossible. I also learned that if I ever take stage combat classes that I will enjoy them! And that it takes me at least half a year to tackle the text and the subtext in order to create an entertaining solo Shakespearean show.
When the performance is over, what do you want the audience to be feeling or thinking about?
I want the audience to leave the house in tears and feeling sorry for Romeo.
If you won a Tony for this show, who would you thank?
I would thank these people in this order:
2. My Grandmother, Reaver McCall
3. Acting Coach, Martin Blank
4. Director, Estelle Miller and the entire production crew as well as the good people of the Capital Fringe Festival
Darius McCall is known in the deaf community as Prinz-D The First Deaf Rapper, is an American Sign Language rapper and actor who is becoming an influential arts figure in the deaf community across the globe.
His mission is to show the world that no one can hold him down regardless of what they say about his disability or path in life.
One Man Romeo
July 8 — July 23, 2016
Caos on F
923 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
Show details and tickets