There are several reasons why the Coterie Theatre has a national reputation, chief among them its refusal to talk down to its teenage audiences. The company is seldom coy with its material; it calls a bitch a bitch, as we heard in Sharman Macdonald's smart and entertaining After Juliet
, which had its U.S. premiere at the theater in February. Written in a mix of Shakespeare-like inflections and contemporary parlance and directed with muscle by Sidonie Garrett, it enthralled audiences of all ages. The play imagines the aftermath of Romeo's and Juliet's suicides: The nurse is on trial for aiding and abetting the acts, and the teenagers' peers are reeling -- some are angry as hell, and others are caught up in the stench of their dead friends' betrayal. Macdonald's gift was to reintroduce familiar characters like Rosaline and season the tale with new ones, such as a horny, mean girl named Alice. How sweet was the sting.