‘Romeo and Juliet’ is staged without Romeo or even Juliet

Centro Cultural Costarricense Norteamericano photo
Rubén Pagura Alegría and his culinary props.

William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is being presented in a creative and unique culinary fashion.

The play is a co-production of Pagura productions and the Centro Cultural Costarricense Norteamericano. All the acting is performed by just one man, Argentina native Rubén Pagura Alegría. Pagura plays a waiter in the Italian restaurant “Verona.” As he anticipates a few guests who never arrive, the server begins to narrate the story of the tragedy that befell the couple through the manipulation of tableware.

Audience members play the role of the public who are waiting to be seated in the restaurant. All other characters in the story are represented as napkins, tablecloths, forks, spoons, cups and salt shakers, said a summary.

According to Pagura, the creativity of the play was his idea and that of director Roberto White. Using objects was Pagura’s suggestion, and the work is something new, he said. He has been an actor since the 1970s and has performed in multiple countries including the United States.

However, acting wasn’t Pagura’s first career choice. He came to Costa Rica to study music and that is where he found theater.

“First, I am musical. I sing some songs, and I play the guitar. My family is very musical, my dad played the piano. When I came to Costa Rica, I studied at the theater school for music. The music theater started my career,” said Pagura.

Theater was an art that permitted an interaction with the public, he said. It allowed him to explore themes and topics in a fun way, but also in a way that has emotions, he said.

Pagura brought his musical side into “Romeo y Julieta” by adding songs. At one point one of the cups even sings, he said.

“Romeo y Julieta” received two national theater awards from the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud. In 2011, the ministry recognized Pagura as best actor and White as best director.

Patrons can see the production through Aug. 26 at the Teatro Eugene O’Neill, of the Centro Cultural Costarricense Norteamericano in Los Yoses. Performances are Friday and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. General admission tickets are 5,000 colons or about $10. The price for students is 3,000 colons or $6.

Reservations can be made by telephone at 2226-2602 or 2207-7561.

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