Character List and Descriptions
LORD CAPULET – Male – 40s to 50s
Head of his family, both irascible and honorable. He feels his age, missing the days when he could be as wild as the young men in masks who come to his feast. He has little patience for his hot-tempered nephew-by-marriage Tybalt and intends to have mastery over him. When the young man is killed, he is silent before the Prince, allowing his wife to plead for vengeance. He attempts to cheer things up by advancing Juliet’s marriage to Paris and loses his temper completely when she demurs, threatening to disown her and coming close to beating her. He is the first to hold out his hand to Montague.
LADY CAPULET – Male or Female – 40s
Juliet’s mother, and wife of Lord Capulet. She is Tybalt’s aunt, and much devoted to him; when the Prince merely exiles his killer Romeo, she plans to have him poisoned. She reveals this to Juliet while trying to comfort the girl in her distress over Tybalt’s death. When Juliet refuses to marry Paris, Lady Capulet thinks her husband’s anger is too great, but she still has no sympathy for her daughter. The discovery of the truth of her daughter’s death makes her suddenly feel old.
JULIET – Female – 17-22
Juliet begins the play naïve, having thought little about love and marriage, but she grows up quickly upon falling in love with Romeo, the son of her family’s great enemy. She is a practical girl, arranging for such things as meeting times, secret messages, and marriage plans, things that Romeo simply doesn’t think of. Ready to kill herself if all else fails, she accepts Friar Lawrence’s plan to fake her death and takes his sleeping potion despite her fears.
TYBALT – Male – 20s
Lady Capulet’s nephew and Juliet’s cousin. Tybalt is violent and hot-tempered, with a strong sense of honor. Vain, fashionable, supremely aware of courtesy and the lack of it, he becomes aggressive, violent, and quick to draw his sword when he feels his pride has been injured. Once drawn, his sword is something to be feared. He loathes Montagues.
NURSE – Female – 30s to 50s
Nurse is Juliet’s closest companion, the woman who in essence brought her up. Gossipy, chattering, and bawdy. She teases Juliet but is also completely devoted to her. She attempts at all times to protect her charge, standing up to Capulet when he threatens to disinherit Juliet, but also counseling the girl to marry County Paris after all when she sees no way for it to be avoided. She eventually betrays Juliet’s wishes but is completely grief-stricken by her feigned death.
GREGORY(will also play Capulet Servant #1 and Apothecary) – Male – 20s to 30s
Gregory is one of Capulet’s servants. He has a tendency towards wordplay, and plays this well with Sampson.
SAMPSON(Will also play Capulet Servant #2 and Watchman) – Male – 20s to 30s
Sampson is one of Capulet’s servants. He has a taste for bawdy puns and a great liking for women.
LORD MONTAGUE – Male – 40s
Head of his family. He is concerned about his son Romeo’s melancholy. When Romeo kills Tybalt, his father defends him to the Prince, arguing that Tybalt’s life was already forfeit and that Romeo hence committed no crime. By the end of the play, he will lose both his son and his wife. He offers a gold statue of Juliet to Capulet as a sign of their new friendship at the end of the play, one-upping Capulet’s proffered handshake.
LADY MONTAGUE – Female – 40s
In contrast with Lady Capulet, Lady Montague is peace-loving and dislikes the violence of the feud. Like her husband, she is concerned by her son’s withdrawn and secretive behavior. The news of Romeo’s banishment breaks her heart, and she dies of grief.
ROMEO – Male – 17-22
The son and heir of Montague and Lady Montague. A young man of about sixteen, Romeo is handsome, intelligent, and sensitive. Though impulsive and immature, his idealism and passion make him an extremely likable character. He secretly marries Juliet, the daughter of his father’s worst enemy; he happily takes abuse from Tybalt, and he would rather die than live without his beloved. Romeo is also an affectionate and devoted friend to his relative Benvolio, Mercutio, and Friar Lawrence.
BENVOLIO – Male – 20s
Montague’s nephew and Romeo’s cousin. Benvolio is more levelheaded, calm, and also more of a rule-follower than Romeo and Mercutio. He struggles to keep the peace and obey the law in the face of his kinsmen’s hot-blooded temperaments.
MERCUTIO – Male or Female – Early 20s
Mercutio overflows with imagination, wit, and, at times, a strange, biting satire and brooding fervor. Mercutio loves wordplay, especially sexual double entendres. He can be quite hotheaded, and hates people who are affected, pretentious, or obsessed with the latest fashions.
ABRAHAM(Will also play Friar John) – Male – 20s
Abram is one of Montague’s serving men. He and a companion are silently insulted by two of Capulet’s men in the public square, which he queries. He insists he has no intention of quarreling until such time as he refuses to admit that Capulet is a better man than Montague.
BALTHASAR – Male – 20s
Romeo’s attendant. He is loyal to the Montagues, and to Romeo. He dutifully brings Romeo news of Juliet’s death and sneaks with him to her tomb. When ordered to leave, however, he instead decides to hide nearby and watch what happens, being afraid of Romeo’s intent.
FRIAR LAURENCE – Male – 50s to 70s
Kind, civic-minded, a proponent of moderation, and always ready with a plan, Friar Lawrence secretly marries the impassioned lovers in hopes that the union might eventually bring peace. As well as being a Catholic holy man, Friar Lawrence is also an expert in the use of seemingly mystical potions and herbs.
PRINCE – Male or Female – 50s to 70s
Prince Escalus of Verona has the misfortune of ruling over a state where two major families are locked in an unending war. The mere authority of his presence is no longer enough to make people pay attention to him: he must back it up with threats of torture and death. Level-headed and fair, the prince is concerned with keeping Verona safe for all its citizens.
PARIS(Will also play First Citizen) – Male – 20s
County Paris is a nobleman of Verona, close kin to the Prince and to Mercutio. He is a suitor to the hand of Capulet’s daughter Juliet, and though he accepts that she is still young, he hopes to marry her soon all the same. He is a pleasant man of whom there seems to be no ill to tell.