Guthrie Theater and Acting Company's Julius Caesar Begins Life at the Guthrie Jan. 14
By Andrew Gans
The Guthrie Theater and The Acting Company reunite to present Julius Caesar, a contemporary spin on Shakespeare’s conspiratorial political tragedy, which runs Jan. 14-Feb. 5 in the Dowling Studio prior to a national tour.
Directed by Rob Melrose, this production features graduates of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Actor Training Program, A Guthrie Experience for Actors in Training and alumni of The Acting Company.
The 2011-12 tour company includes University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Actor Training Program graduates Ernest Bentley (Commoner 1/ Press / Lucius / Metellus Cimber / Waiter / Lucilius), Caleb Carlson (Police Officer / Soothsayer / Artemidorus / Cinna the Poet / Soldier / Volumnius), Whitney Hudson (Flavius / Cinna), Noah Putterman (Secret Service / Decius Brutus / Lepidus / Soldier), Sid Solomon (Cassius) and William Sturdivant (Brutus). The tour also features former A Guthrie Experience for Actors in Training Program participants Bjorn DuPaty (Julius Caesar) and Kathleen Wise (Commoner 3 / Press / Portia /Popillius / Anthony's Servant / Citizen 3). Rounding out the cast are Kaliswa Brewster (Calpurnia / Publius / Octavius's Servant / Citizen 3) and Ray Chapman (Murellus / Press corps / Trebonius / Citizen 2 / Soldier / Messala), who have previously performed at the Guthrie with The Acting Company, and Zachary Fine (Mark Antony), Joseph Midyett (Commoner 2 / Metellus Cimber / Octavius) and Kevin Orton (Casca / Citizen 1 / Soldier / Titinus), who are all alumni of The Acting Company and will be making their Guthrie debuts.
Of this production of Julius Caesar director Melrose said in a previous statement, "In the '80s and '90s, every election was peppered with reports of 'voter apathy.' The intense passion that now permeates our politics and threatens to divide our country makes this a perfect time to re-examine Shakespeare's Julius Caesar — a play that looks at what happens when political convictions create conflict and sometimes tragic upheaval....We're going to tour the country and a lot of young people are going to see it. It could be their first time experiencing Shakespeare, and how great for them to see it and imagine the circumstances of the play — rather than getting bogged down by a bunch of actors in robes and togas."
"Even as the people of Rome celebrate Julius Caesar's victory over his rival Pompey, Caius Cassius draws Marcus Brutus into a growing conspiracy against Caesar," according to the Guthrie. "A soothsayer calls on Caesar to beware the Ides of March, and on that fateful morning Caesar's wife pleads with him not to go to the Senate. Despite these warnings, Caesar goes to the Senate, where the conspirators stab him to death. Brutus' appeal to the people justifying the murder pales in comparison to the words of Caesar's ally, Mark Antony. Antony's speech incites the Roman mob to violence and the conspirators flee Rome. Civil war follows as Cassius and Brutus find themselves in battle against Mark Antony, with the future of Rome held in the balance."
The creative team includes Cliff Caruthers (sound design), Michael Chybowski (lighting design), Candice Donnelly (costume design), Neil Patel (set design), Shawn Sagady (projection design), Sara Tosetti (assistant costume design), Felix Ivanoff (fight director) and Andrew Wade (voice and speech consultant).
The company will perform Julius Caesar and The Comedy of Errors in repertory throughout the remainder of their 2011-12 national tour, which concludes May 6 at Northridge Plaza del Sol Performance Hall in Northridge, CA. For a complete tour itinerary, visit www.theactingcompany.org.
For ticket information visit www.guthrietheater.org.
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