You go, girl.
A phrase that would probably be as foreign to William Shakespeare as some of his might be to students today.
And yet, on Friday, as a professional troupe performed acts of "Romeo and Juliet" for students at Van Nuys Middle School, Shakespeare's lines more than once gave rise to an emphatic "You go, girl!," from the audience.
Not to mention the students who felt Juliet's father should "step off" and Tybalt, killer of Romeo's cousin, was "the bomb."
It was all part of a special appearance by Shakespeare and Friends, an acting company that uses a blend of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" and a similar modern-day tale to educate students on domestic violence, hate and teen suicide.
"I think if you send a message like this in a dramatic way, [the students] hear it more than if they read it in a book," said Dee Marie Nieto, founder of the six-member group.
During the hourlong performance the actors interwove the Shakespearean scenes with a tale of modern-day lovers whose friends and family disapproved of their relationship.
The live action was followed by a short film depicting two young lovers who commit suicide. As they are dying, they visualize all the things in life they will never experience, like getting married and raising a family.
"There's such a need for this," school coordinator Sally Green said after the performance. "If teachers go back to their classrooms and discuss these issues with the students, it'll be worth it."