The play begins in Verona where servants from the two feuding households, the Montagues and Capulets, begin to duel. Once the duel has been broken up, Romeo (Nick Akins of South Sioux City, Neb.) pines for his love Rosaline. His cousin Benvolio (Kristian Asfeldt of Sioux Falls, S.D.) and friend Mercutio (Tony Garcia of Sioux City, Iowa) persuade Romeo into attending a ball at the Capulet’s house, even though they are Montagues. While at the ball Romeo becomes enamored with Lord Capulet’s daughter, Juliet (Ceci Quintero of Centennial, Colo.). Upon confessing their love for each other, Romeo and Juliet plan to marry hoping that their marriage will reconcile their feuding families.

They elicit help from Friar Laurence (Casey Coates of Rapid City, S.D.) who agrees to marry the young lovers. Before the two can be married Tybalt (Jordan Mitchell of Omaha, Neb.) challenges Romeo to a duel. Mercutio takes Romeo’s place and is killed by Tybalt, filled with rage Romeo turns on Tybalt, slaying him. Romeo is then banished from the city. Hearing the news of Romeo’s banishment and desperate to avoid her arranged marriage to Paris (Steve Schaeffer of Sioux Falls, S.D.), Juliet asks the Friar for help.

Ultimately, the couple’s union does reconcile the feuding families only it is their union in death. Out of grief, learning of Juliet’s death, Romeo kills himself. However, Juliet, with the Friar’s help, had faked her death but when she sees her Romeo dead, she takes her own life rather than live without her true love. The star-crossed lover’s fate has been sealed.

“Romeo and Juliet”performs at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 21-22 and Dec. 3-6; and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 23 and Dec. 7 in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre on the USD campus. Tickets are $15 Adults, $12 Senior Citizen (62+), $10 for K-12 and non-USD students with ID, and $5 USD students with ID. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the USD Theatre Box Office at (605) 677-5400 from noon to 5 p.m.

A photo of Akins and Quintero as Romeo and Juliet is available for download at

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