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Production Notes

Julius Caesar (more)

January 10-29, 2012

Troutt Theater at Belmont University

Directed by Beki Baker

Set Design by MadeFirst

Costume Design by June Kingsbury

Music by Tom McBryde

Light Design by Anne Willingham

 

Julius Caesar Eddie George
Brutus Brian Webb Russell*
Cassius David Compton
Mark Antony Eric D. Pasto-Crosby*
Casca, Titinius Jon Royal
Decius, Messala, Cinna the Poet Denice Hicks
Calpurnia, Lucilius Tamira A. Henry*
Portia, 1st Citizen, Soldier Robyn Berg
Marulles, Cinna, Octavius Matthew L. Raich
Metellus Cimber, Lepidus, Soldier Daniel Hackman
Soothsayer, 3rd Cit., Pindarus Will Sevier
Lucius, 2nd Citizen, Soldier Caleb Pritchett
Oct. Servant, Consp., Soldier Maya Abram
Cea. Servant, Cit., Soldier, Mess. Elizabeth Walsh
   
Understudying Julius Caesar David Chattam

 

* Denotes Member of Actors' Equity Association,

the union of professional actors and stage

managers in the United States

 

A Note from the Director, Beki Baker

On behalf of the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, I am pleased to present to you Julius Caesar: a play set in 44 B.C., written in 1599 A.D., and performed in 2012 A.D.  So why are we performing a play that is over 400 years old about a story over 2000 years old?  Because politicians are still corrupt.  Because people are still selfish.  Because, as Cassius says, “the eye sees not itself/but by reflection, by some other thing” (I.ii).  We need our old stories because they speak true, and that truth serves as a mirror by which we can better see and know ourselves.

You may find that the title of the play is a misnomer; Julius Caesar could more properly be called the tragedy of Marcus Brutus.  Perhaps Shakespeare misnamed it so for the obvious reason that Caesar is the person history remembers better.  Similarly, you may have trouble identifying who the “good guys” and who the “bad guys” are in this story.  You may change your mind about it a couple of times; we hope you do.  History has a hard time identifying protagonists and antagonists in political squabbles, and Shakespeare respects history – as do we.

Shakespeare lived in a world with no different a reality than that of Caesar and Brutus.  The threat of violence being used as a political tool, people allowing their personal goals to direct their political ambitions, and confusion about who was best serving the interest of the people were themes that drew Shakespeare to Caesar, and they still feel as fresh as when the ink dried on the original manuscript.  That sense of perpetual relevance is what makes Julius Caesar a play that offers more than the reenactment of a singular historical event.  The themes of the story reach beyond an ancient Roman political feud.  

So again, why are we performing this play at this time?  Because we know as surely today as we have ever known that there lies great danger when we deceive ourselves into believing that our selfish ambition, wounded pride, and petty resentment are actually nobler political and moral aspirations.  When minutiae masquerades as grandeur, political violence waits in the wings.




 
Production Notes
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



 
 
 
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