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A Futuristic Interview With Romeo and Juliet

SCENE I: Setting: On the set of Time Voyager’, a new television series. Characters: ANN – Announcer ROMEO – Romeo ANN: Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome again to this week’s edition of Time Voyager. In case this is the first time you have tuned in and are unfamiliar with the concept, let me explain it to you. Modern technology today allows us to go back in time, as you probably know already. We do just that – go back and visit those times and places that had so much mystery, so much darkness, and so little knowledge. Our current model of time machine is the best that money can buy and has been completely tested for safety so we will not… they say… leave someone behind the times. ‘ So sit back, relax, and watch as the past becomes the present. (Lights dim, machine hums, beam of light appears center stage. Through the beam, people are visible, walking seemingly unaware of the new presence. )

ANN: The place is Verona, Italy, and the year is 1523. To be precise, the third of May. (Romeo cautiously peers into light beam. It seems he is the only one aware of it. ) ANN: (To Romeo) Do not be afraid, come forward. (Beckons with hand) ROMEO: What is this? ANN: Sir, I apologize for this sudden interruption of your day. Perhaps you would like me to explain?

ROMEO: (Steps onto stage out of light beam. Beam dies) What has happened to me? Have I died? Is this the other world? What do you want of me? ANN: No, you are not dead, rather transported to another time… ROMEO: You talk no sense! Your head must be full of bugs and insects! And, if you do not mind, what are those strange machines in the corner? (Points at video camera) ANN: Those are recorders – recording you as you are currently here speaking to us. They can put the images – moving images – so that we may view them later. Right now, they are sending the images through the air to millions of people… ROMEO: What year is this?

You have many strange devices, for example, lights that have no candles behind them, screens that record my movements, and all these strange new materials, it is rather… mind-boggling… that is, if you are telling the truth… ANN: The year is 2174. Yes, I am telling the truth. We have machines that tell if you are telling the truth now. ROMEO: How do I know you are telling the truth about machines that tell if you tell the truth? You could be not telling the truth but have me under the impression that you are telling the truth simply to put me at ease with you! ANN: Good sir, I do not lie on national television…

ROMEO: What sort of words are those? Television? Why, that sounds like some kind of magical ability to see into my soul! Back! I am forced to depart! And if you resist… (Draws rapier. Audience goes Ooooohhhhh’. ) ANN: At least tell us your name! ROMEO: I am surprised that you do not know that already from prying into my brain… ANN: We are not that good yet. ROMEO: If you must know, tis Romeo. And with that, a Montague. ANN: I’m sorry, did you say… Romeo? Montague? ROMEO: Are you hard of hearing? Have all the lies you have told clogged up your own ears too? ANN: Then you must be the one… ROMEO: What foolishness do you talk of?

The one what? ANN: The one in love with Juliet! ROMEO: (Face pales, drops rapier) But how do you know? (Looks at camera. ) Great. Now I suppose millions (Gestures with hands) of people know my dirty little secret now. And my friends, Benvolio and… ANN: Mercutio! ROMEO: Correct, who was unfortunately… ANN: … Slain by Tybalt! ROMEO: … Whom I did slay. Alack the day. ANN: But Romeo – We can change all that! ROMEO: (Very depressed) Everybody says that, now that I have been banished. ANN: But this is the truth! You deserve a better life than this! Quick, technicians, set the machine to… When did you slay Tybalt?

ROMEO: On but the second of May. ANN: Where shall we put you? What year? What month? What day? ROMEO: I have no hope for redemption… ANN: Have hope, for god’s sake! Life is worth living! ROMEO: I have been stolen from my home… ANN: Think of what you can live over again! ROMEO: … And placed in a strange future, a thousand years later. ANN: And Juliet! ROMEO: This feud that goes on shall stop all that again… ANN: (Bold look in face) Then we shall stop the feud! ROMEO: (Faint bit of hope shows) A novel idea, but… ANN: Come, Romeo! What year did this feud start! We shall pay a visit to the old Capulets and Montagues!

ROMEO: I think twas in the year eleven hundred and thirty and nine years. ANN: Come then! 1139! We shall go! ROMEO: Shall I come? ANN: I see no reason as to why not… ROMEO: Wonderful! ANN: Except that this machine can only hold one person. (Takes Romeo’s Hand) Here. You go. It is your future and your past, not mine. ROMEO: (Smiles) You are too kind. Farewell! I shall go and visit mine ancestors and prevent this filthy mess from even starting! Farewell! (Machine hums, lights dim, and shaft of light appears. Romeo steps into the light and laughs. ) ROMEO: My, does this feel strange! (Romeo disappears)

ANN: All we can do now is hope that Romeo comes through and stops the fight. Shall we see how they are doing five minutes later? (Time machine hums, lights dim. Shaft of light appears again, showing Romeo talking to a man in king’s attire. ) ANN: Looks good so far… Shall we try ten minutes? (Shaft of light fluctuates, then shows Romeo shaking the hand of a different man. ) ANN: Another one! Let us hope that the first was Capulet, and this one Montague… Or for that matter, the other way around! Go back! Twenty minutes! (Shaft of light again fluctuates, then shows Romeo standing, weeping. On the floor lie both of the two men, dead.

ANN: Oh my. What a grave scene is before us here. For now, we can but make things worse… (Romeo looks to shaft of light and steps through it again. he is back on stage. ) ROMEO: Yes, it did result in two deaths (Grimly) – but the quarrel is now solved! (Happily) Twas a simple misunderstanding, you see… Thank you for your wonderful technology and everything else… I must return to my home city of Verona, now. ANN: I understand. And the whole world (Gestures to TV camera) is with you. Farewell again, Romeo! ROMEO: Farewell, my friends. (Steps through light, which has changed again to Verona street scene, original scene.

Slowly, the light dies. ) ANN: Well, there you have it. Another daring encounter on Time Voyager – And remember – If someone knocks on your door late at night, and no one is there… Fear not, for it is just someone from a future edition of Time Voyager… Come to welcome you to our show! Goodnight! (Exits to left. Applause from audience. ) SCENE II: Setting: Verona street, the original one. Romeo walks up in front. Characters: ROMEO – Romeo ROMEO: Hmm. I have a strange inside feeling that I did do something today… But I cannot for the life of me remember what it was… (Exit) A Futuristic Interview With Romeo

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