Directed by artistic director Charles McMahon, the cast includes McClendon as Julius Caesar ( The Scottsboro Boys, Sizwe Bansi Is Dead), Joe Guzmán ( Twelfth Night, A Dolls House) as Caius Cassius, U.R. ( The Island, Stick Fly) as Marcus Brutus and Jered McLenigan ( A Skull in Connemara, The Woman in Black) as Marc Antony. The production runs through March 16.
The cast also includes Adam Altman as Murellus, Mary Lee Bednarek as Calpurnia, Kittson O'Neill as Portia, Matt Tallman as Casca and Bradley K. Wrenn as Octavius.
"Idealism, envy and power politics collide in one of Shakespeare's best known yet rarely performed tragedies," press notes state. "The popularity behind the powerful Roman leader Julius Caesar (McClendon) is breeding a suspicion among rivals and friends alike — including senators Cassius (Joe Guzmán) and Brutus (U.R.) — that Caesar's rise will corrode the freedom of the State. As a conspiracy unfolds, Caesar's disregard to prophetic warnings leads to his tragic fall, sending Rome into a disastrous civil war ignited by Marc Antony (Jered McLenigan)'s oft quoted oration."
"What happens when a character with a powerful, personal objective gets into the right place at the right time, and rallies the country behind him?" director Charles McMahon said in a statement. "Everyday in every democratic body, legislators are having an encounter with these forces. Especially in a democracy, this play will never get old."
Influenced by the aesthetic and philosophical similarities of feudal Japan to Shakespeare's Rome, set, costume and sound design will incorporate conceptual elements such as Shoji screen architecture, traditional Japanese warrior clothing and music performed by Philadelphia's Taiko drum band ensemble, Kyo Daiko. Led by production manager and scenic designer Meghan Jones, the creative team includes costume designer Brian Strachan, lighting designer Shon Causer and sound designer Mark Valenzuela, with music by Christopher Colucci and fights by J. Alex Cordaro. Tickets and more information are available by calling (215) 829-0395 or visiting lanterntheater.org.