This 90-minute contemporary production features non-traditional gender casting and calls forth the ever-present threat of losing democracy to ambitious rulers in an adaptation that highlights the timelessness of Shakespeare’s iconic work, particularly within our current political climate.
In Shakespeare’s timeless classic, Rome is divided – while citizens in the streets cheer Caesar’s rise to power, some senators fear the potentially dangerous consequences of Caesar becoming a powerful monarch. To protect the future of Rome, senators Brutus and Cassius spearhead a plan to publicly kill Caesar. After executing their plan, Brutus is forced to defend the assassination while Marc Anthony rouses the public’s sympathy by commemorating Caesar as a brilliant leader. The crowd becomes intoxicated with fear, rage, and greed as Rome is divided in a bloody civil war.
“In Shakespeare’s timely political tragedy, Julius Caesar is a charismatic and brazen populist. In the mold of demagogues such as Xi, Putin, Erdogan, Sisi, Duterte and Orbán, he seeks absolute power at the expense of democracy. The people are divided – they either love him for his strength or hate him for his ambition. In order to curb his ambition, a group of senators decide to betray Caesar. What motivates them – Patriotism? Ambition? Honor? Greed? Idealism? When Caesar is assassinated the different factions manage to sway the ever-fickle citizenry with charm, rhetoric and empty promises and angry mobs roam the streets. Can democracy survive? Do the ends justify the means?” – Lary Opitz
Directed by Lary Opitz
Scenic Design by Jared Klein
Lighting Design by Chloe Brush ’18
Sound Design by August Sylvester ’20
Costume Design by Patty Pawliczak and Omi Furst ’18
Stage Managed by Romi Moors ’18