Shakespearean plays have been reimagined and retold to reflect the most important social issues of the time for centuries. Troian Bellisario’s upcoming short film, Still A Rose, is following in that tradition. Troian is starring in a modern-day cinematic adaptation of Romeo & Juliet that expands the diversity of the story across two spectrums: race and sexual orientation.
This film is self-described on its Facebook page as such: “Employing Shakespeare and Cinema, two great artistic languages come together to re-introduce a timeless tale of young love and tragedy to a brand new audience. Refocusing literature’s most iconic young lovers, ’Still A Rose’ weaves through couplings of mixed-race and same-gender within the arc of the famous balcony scene (Act II, Scene II) from ‘Romeo and Juliet.’”
The short stars Troian Bellisario as Juliet, and in a wonderfully compelling twist, the film also stars Will Branske as Juliet, with Brandon Crowder and Tinuke Oyefule as the tragically romantic Romeos. The balcony scene is played out in interweaving scenes, with both same-sex and straight pairings. The result is a breathtaking ride through one of literature’s most well known scenes, which somehow feels new again.
Check out the trailer below:
Premiering on Wednesday, June 24th at the Frameline San Francisco LGBTQ International Film Festival as part of the “Bi Candy” shorts program, Still A Rose presents the Romeo and Juliet balcony scene through four different couples, adding gender and sexuality inclusivity to the classic play. In the film, directed by hazart, Pretty Little Liars star Troian Bellisario plays Juliet, but she’s not the only one — nor does she confess her to love one sole Romeo. Instead, Still A Rose shows four different couples as the star-crossed lovers, bringing new diversity to the story that while common in theater, is new to film, and hazart and Bellisario share what opportunities and challenges that re-telling presented.
Sources: afterellen, wetpaint, bustle