What I learned. . .

What I already knew about the story from my experience directing Romeo and Juliet paid off in spades. . .  helped provide a foundation on top of which we could layer Joe Calarco's story.  I insisted that the infamous red cloth -- about the only prop in the play -- be able to cover the entire playing platform.  In one rehearsal Bobby (Steggert), who was doing the Juliet/Benvolio line of characters, got particularly frustrated.  "Does it have to be this large?!"  "Uh-huh."  That was the extent of our exchange.  The red cloth became the fifth actor in the play, and though unwieldy, was mostly a fine acting partner for the guys.  They cut off a square of it and framed it as an opening night gift.  It sits in my study at home, and always makes me smile.

Shakespeare’s R & J

Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

October, 2006

Bobby Steggert

“. . . a brilliant interpretation, lucid and impassioned.”  “Director Paul Mason Barnes last came to the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis to direct Stones in His Pockets, a wonderful Irish play in which two actors portray a host of characters.

Maybe that was a good warm-up.  With only four actors, Barnes still delivers a full-fledged production.”  “Reachers straight for the heart of doomed love and takes its throbbing pulse.”

    Judith Newmark

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“The inspired direction of Paul Mason Barnes evokes the passion and intensity of both the characters in Shakespeare’s play and the boys who are interpreting those characters.”  “Bold, sometimes controversial. . .  always entertaining.”

    Steve Allen



    Kirsten Wylder


“Fresh – and sexy.”  “Mesmerizing.”  “Takes the story of the star-crossed lovers in a smoking hot, new direction.”

    Jim Campbell

    The Vital Voice

“A director of confidence and authority.  Barnes infuses an essentially bare stage with energy and passion.  He is a wizard at making something of nothing.”  “. . . an evening of eloquence and beauty.”

    Dennis Brown

    The Riverfront Times