Swear Not by the Moon (2015/ 2016)


Produced by: Langgam Performance Troupe and The Institute of Women's Studies

Photos by: Blonski Cruz

SWEAR NOT BY THE MOON was a re-envisioning of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet through the gender lens. More than just a mere reiteration of the love story component of the plot, our approach to the classic drama highlighted the play’s discourse of gender representations, reversals, and dynamics in an attempt to challenge, dissect, reimagine, and reconfigure the spectrum of masculinity and femininity as implied in Shakespeare’s text.  


This production assembled an ensemble of four actors (two females and two males) to take on the 27+ roles required by the play, creating a more intimate performance atmosphere. A twist in the set-up also required Romeo to be played by a female actor, and Juliet to be played by a male actor, in order to go deeper into the complex gender reversal of the main characters. The ensemble also employed the use of a neutral mask through a shaved head or shortened hair, which allowed them to arrive at an empty and unbiased state of mind, aiding them to change into complete, distinct, and nuanced personas. Given the aforementioned demands, the outcome of swear not by the moon does not resemble a typical, formal restaging of Shakespearean theater. Instead, it resulted into a highly engaging piece of physical theater.