Romeo and Juliet Cast Interview: Jacob

Jacob Rankin

Role in CB Productions’ Romeo and Juliet: Tybalt

My name is Jacob Rankin. I am 18 years old and a senior in high school. Over the past two years, I have been involved in multiple CB Productions shows, played baseball at Liberty Classical Academy, and taken PSEO through the University of Northwestern St. Paul.  I am planning to major in business.  Regardless of my major, I will undoubtedly remain involved in theater in college and hopefully beyond. The past few years have taught me the importance and power of theater.

Theater has enriched my life in countless forms.  First, I have become more comfortable and confident around others.  Additionally, simultaneously participating in shows and PSEO has improved my time management.  The highlight of my theater experience, however, is definitely the friendships that are formed through each production. Working with others on such difficult projects creates a bond that lasts beyond shows.

List all the CBP shows you’ve been involved in. List any other theater experiences you have had since participating.

  • Miracle Worker (2014) – Percy, Doctor, ensemble
  • Arthur (2015) – Ensemble
  • Oliver Twist (2016) – Toby Crackit, Clerk, ensemble
  • Emma (2016) – Mr. Knightly
  • Robin Hood (2017) – Robin Hood
  • Our Town (2017) – Simon Stimpson

What has been one of your favorite memories of being in Romeo and Juliet?

Romeo and Juliet is a wildly multi-faceted show.  I have enjoyed stretching my acting ability through the stage combat, dance choreography, and character development.  Furthermore, I have gained a deeper appreciation towards Shakespeare’s work.  While sometimes difficult to discover, the nuances in his writings can help quickly develop characters onstage.  Beyond acting, working with the cast is always a highlight.  Every single person brings unique skills to the table.

 

Describe the character you play in the show and list some characteristics of your character that you admire.

In Romeo and Juliet, I play Tybalt.  Tybalt, a Capulet, possesses a deep hatred for the Montagues.  This burning rivalry, combined with a restless hunger for conflict, makes Tybalt an unpredictable individual willing to attack at any moment.  The fierce loyalty and constant readiness displayed by Tybalt are both admirable qualities.

 

What are the challenges are you facing while working on Romeo and Juliet?

Personally, the biggest obstacle was the play itself.  Prior to this show, I had never acted any Shakespearian characters.  The dialogue can be intimidating.  However, by working through the language, the genuine characters can be quickly uncovered.  Ultimately, while Shakespeare can be difficult to understand initially, the finished product is truly wonderful.

 

Briefly highlight what are you learning from this show. How will you apply your learning to your life beyond the show?

I am learning to appreciate Shakespeare.  Underneath the complicated text, the story is remarkable.  Oftentimes in life the most difficult struggles have the greatest rewards.  Shakespeare is a perfect parallel.  Beyond the show, I hopefully will learn to apply the skills I have learned in Romeo and Juliet to other playwrights in other genres.