NBTF’s inaugural production of Romeo and Juliet utilized a company comprised of equal numbers of professional actors, most of whom trained right here in New Brunswick, and high school apprentices. The friendships formed between the members of these two groups are remarkable in that they helped infuse the production with its very special energy, and many of them have been maintained in the year since the show closed. As our apprentices have moved forward in their lives, whether it’s been by going away to college or returning to New Brunswick High School for another year, they have frequently sought guidance from the mentors they met doing the play. The inclusion of the apprentice company in the production also helped us reach out to a wider audience that was more reflective of the make-up of the local community than we could have hoped to do without them. That, combined with the production concept of using the two families to represent the tensions between different local cultures, made Romeo and Juliet thrillingly inclusive. It aimed to appeal to as many of the small communities that make up the whole of New Brunswick as possible and to bring them together around a work of art.