There are few things more dramatic than a teenager's sex life. Ask any young person about their relationship history and you'll surely get an impassioned earful about their latest obsession or a weepy tale about heart-wrenching breakups. Today's youth may seem to partake in grown-up activities earlier than ever, but the oversexed mentality of teenage living isn't anything new. Just ask Romeo and Juliet. The story surrounding the iconic, impulsive couple encompasses the emotional turmoil of young love, sex and the transition from familial to romantic connections. "These kids are on the verge of adulthood in an environment of conflict and violence, trying to imagine something better and project themselves into it," says Lantern Theater Company artistic director Charles McMahon, who's staging Shakespeare's famed tragedy through April 1.
To complement the play's run, Lantern Theater is hosting the three-part discussion series, Scholars: In Conversation, that includes a chat with the director of the Laboratory of Neurocognitive Development in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Psychiatry Department, Beatriz Luna. Titled "Sex: Romeo, Juliet and the Teenage Brain," her talk will focus on teenagers' tendency toward wild sexual behaviors, illuminated by Luna's scientific research. One of her recent studies suggests that the brain's neural networks aren't fully developed by adolescence, proving that teens are hardwired to be reckless, horny assholes. If you've ever wondered why Romeo and Juliet got themselves into such a mess, this biology lesson will surely shine a light on their teenage troubles, and maybe a few of your own.
Discussion Mon., March 12, 7 p.m., $10; performances through April 1, $28-$36; Lantern Theater Company, 923 Ludlow St., 215-829-0395, lanterntheater.org.
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