People told her she was crazy, but that didn’t stop Elizabeth “Piper” Parks from pursuing an acting degree at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Recently, Parks, 20, of Rockingham, starred in a Shakespearean adaptation called “Romeo.Juliet,” a modernized version of the traditional “Romeo and Juliet.”
“The original text was not changed at all but the play was adapted to be modern,” said Parks.
Parks explained that some of the scenes included Facebook and Skype, emails and club music.
“The play is showing how, no matter how things change over time, relationships stay the same no matter how they communicate,” said Parks, who played one of Romeo’s former lovers. “It’s a completely different twist. I liked it a lot. I would have preferred to change the text because Shakespeare can be difficult.”
In one scene, Parks described how the original ballroom scene had been changed to be a modern-day club scene.
“We wore regular black pants and skimpy tops instead of ballgowns,” said Parks. “And we had upbeat music.”
Parks said the modernizing probably helped the younger generation understand what was happening.
“I think our generation can relate to that more so than the generation of, say, my parents,” said Parks, who is the daughter of Perry and Gale Parks of Rockingham.
“She’s always wanted to be a star even since she was a little girl,” said Perry Parks.
Parks said she was driven both by passion for acting and the fact that people told her she wouldn’t do it.
“I think the fact that I was from Rockingham and people told me that I was crazy or unrealistic made me do it,” said Parks. “But I love it so much. I’m so happy to be a part of it and any job I can get in the theatre I would like. I have no idea where I’ll end up, but sometime after college I want to move to California. It’s been everything I hoped for. Being in Rockingham pushed me to do better and go further.”
Of course, Parks agreed, she couldn’t have done it without the unconditional support of her parents.
“Dad is supportive, although he doesn’t understand,” laughed Parks. “Mom has been my biggest fan. She believes I can do things I work hard for. She knows I’ve wanted this.”
Parks has an entertainment job lined up at Carowinds for the summer, but hopes to audition for a few plays during her next semester. She is a sophomore at UNC Charlotte.
In case you were wondering, she gave herself the name Piper when she was a sophomore in high school by telling everyone she was having her name changed. Her name is still Elizabeth, but the name Piper stuck.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE: The original article had an error that has been corrected. This article is the correct version. We apologize for the mistake.