My idea of the Nurse in her youth
My darling devotees,
So this is a special request from my little sis, the best little sis EVER! She sent me such an encouraging letter the other day telling me how proud she was of me and I just want to say I love and I'm really proud of you too sister!
Ever since she suggested doing Nurse in Romeo and Juliet I've been trying to figure out what would be the best representation of her character, should I have the chance of running a Romeo and Juliet production . This post like all other dreaming of the show post will be done in the process of costume designer. To find out more about costume design and dreaming of the show posts you can click here.
Nurse from William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
Time period and place I would set it in:
21st Century America
I don't know if there is anyone who isn't familiar with the plot of Romeo and Juliet but it can be found here. Just to refresh your memory, it is a play about two teenagers who fall in love and who come from opposing families in a long standing feud. They have to meet in secret and after they get married in secret, it is hard for them to stay together because of the feud and because of Juliet's father's insistence on her marriage to Paris ( the suitor her father favors). In order to stay with Romeo, she and Friar Lawrence come up with a plan of escape. They decide Juliet should drink a potion to put her in such a deep sleep that she appears to be dead, and after her family has placed her in a tomb the Friar and Romeo would rescue her so that she and Romeo could run away to Mantua. Unfortunately, Romeo never gets the message of the plan. Instead thinking that Juliet is dead, he kills himself at her tomb (as well as Paris whom he finds there). Juliet wakes and finding Romeo dead, she kisses him one last time to retrieve some of the poison that killed him and when that doesn't kill her she stabs herself with his dagger. After seeing what became of their children, the two families reconcile.
Character summary: I imagine the nurse as having a character similar to that of the cool aunt who encourages you and who believes in love, free will and flower power.In the beginning she is Juliet's confidante, who takes care of her and worries about her, but is also someone Juliet feels she can trust with the knowledge of her secret relationship and who believes she must follow her heart. She is the one who tells Romeo Juliet's name, and even helps them to meet by getting a rope ladder for her. However, as time goes on she seems to become more hesitant to help them and finally tells Juliet it would be best if she just married Paris and acted like Romeo was dead( I imagine at this point in my production she would tell Juliet to just 'go with the flow'). At this point Juliet stops speaking to her because of her 'disloyalty', . Despite her change of heart I still believe she deeply cares about and loves Juliet and wants nothing but the best for her.
Keywords to describe her: flower child (70s youth), grown up hippie, cool, generally laid back, caring, peace, love and happiness, loves Juliet, responsible, up to date with current trends, young at heart, slightly annoying and embarrassing at times.
Key Elements to The Nurse's Style:
long maxi skirts
free flowing floral print tops in bright colors
big flower hairbands and curly untame hair
tie-dye shirts on days off,
minimal fringe on bags and shoes
beaded leather headbands
tan leather jackets
vests paired with billowy shirts (blousons)
Delicate gold peace sign earrings and flower necklaces.
Make-up: pretty light. even distribution of foundation, light grey eyeshadow with brown eyeliner and pale pink lips. The goal is to appear youthful, with a minimalist approach towards makeup. Brightly coloured nail (maybe sky blue).
The Nurse to me:
In case you were wondering the pictures are of Jennifer Ferrin and Drew Barrymore.
Love you all and Stay inspired,
P.S. So let me know what you think. Have you read Romeo and Juliet? What did you think of it? I personally didn't consider it one of Shakespeare's best but it was beautifully written. How would you portray the Nurse if you had the chance to run a Romeo and Juliet show? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.