Richmond Artists With Talent will perform Saturday a one-night-only urbanized version of Romeo and Juliet, swapping William Shakespeare’s iambic pentameter verse for street slang and slam poetry in a familiar tale of two star-crossed lovers — this time from the wrong sides of the tracks.
Te’s Harmony, written by Donte Clark of RAW Talent, presents a gritty, albeit artistic, view of Richmond, a city divided by a North-versus-Central gang turf war through the eyes of Te (Clark) and Harmony (D’neise Robinson), or Romeo and Juliet.
Students wrote their own poems for the show, in place of the traditional Shakespearean monologues. Many students took writing the poems as an opportunity to reflect on the experience of growing up around violence and drug use.
RAW Talent students have been making the finishing touches on the show, memorizing lines and learning stage positions in their portable classroom at the Making Waves Education Program. Rooben Morgan directs the show and Molly Raynor is the RAW Talent founder and coordinator.
Te’s Harmony will be staged at El Cerrito High School’s theater at 6pm. Doors open at 5:30pm. Click here for ticket information.
This article originally appeared on RichmondConfidential.org.