The Conservatory to Present JULIUS CAESAR, 12/13 & 14

Shakespeare & Company is pleased to announce The Conservatory at Shakespeare & Company's winter production of Julius Caesar, co-directed by two longtime Company artists, Andrew Borthwick-Leslie and Michael F. Toomey. Now in its seventh year, the Conservatory, a 13-week professional actor-training program includes 10-16 promising actors from across the country and around the globe. This year's program features a group of 10 who will expose Shakespeare's poetry-filled psychological drama Julius Caesar for three performances in the Tina Packer Playhouse.

Performances of Julius Caesar will run in the Tina Packer Playhouse December 13 at 7:00 p.m. and December 14 at 1:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. Tickets are general admission, $20 for adults and $10 for students. The Tina Packer Playhouse is wheelchair accessible. For further information and to order tickets visit the website at or call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353.

Julius Caesar follows the conspiracy against and the assassination of the Roman dictator and the aftermath that ensues from his murder. Julius Caesar is a time-transcending tale that spotlights liberty, honor, and friendship, where the visceral meets the intellectual. Julius Caesar is the perfect vehicle to challenge, engage, and strengthen this group of up-and-coming actors.

"Julius Caesar is intensely physical, with epic themes surrounding community, love and power structures," says Director Andrew Borthwick-Leslie. "It's timely and it gives the actors material that allows them to get outside themselves."

The Conservatory trains actors in specialized techniques developed by Shakespeare & Company over its 36 year existence. Under the direction of long-time S&Co. artists and teachers, Conservatory actors take classes in Structure of the Verse, Shakespeare Scholarship, The First Folio, The Art of Rhetoric, Personal Connection, Linklater Voice Technique, Clown, Fight, Movement, and Elizabethan Dance. The Conservatory concludes with an exploration of Shakespeare's work in the Company's Tina Packer Playhouse, during which the participants utilize their newly-learned techniques for a live audience. Visit for Conservatory applications, and more information on all of our Training programs for students and teachers.

"The story of Julius Caesar is one that is unfolding in our daily lives. We see it through the media in countries around the world." says Director Michael Toomey. People are rising up, challenging policies and overthrowing tyrants. It is raw and visceral and this play lets the actors take hold of that authenticity."

Over the past 36 years, Shakespeare & Company has had a profound impact on the way Shakespeare is performed in America. Company artists are encouraged to explore the actor/audience relationship, to discover a personal connection to the text, and to fully integrate their minds, bodies, and spirits in order to create an exhilarating theatrical event.

"Central to the reason for these participants choice of this program is the Shakespeare & Company approach to actor training, with its emphasis on fully-embodied language in performance," says Director of Training Dennis Krausnick. "Participants receive classes in audition technique and stage fight proficiency, and will be well-positioned to embark on their careers in professional theatre. The Conservatory has continued to evolve in each of the years we've offered it, and I have no doubt that this year it will surpass what has been achieved up until this point."

Training workshops at S&Co. began in 1978 when Tina Packer, Dennis Krausnick, master voice coach Kristin Linklater, movement choreographer John Broome, fight choreographer B.H. Barry, Artistic Director Tony Simotes, and many others created a blueprint for approximately 40 Month-Long Training Intensives to be hosted by Shakespeare & Company over the next quarter century. Along with the Conservatory program, the Company also offers Weekend Intensives, Week-Long Text Intensives, Week-Long Rhetoric classes, Fight and Text Workshops, Master Teacher Series, Clown Workshops and more. Actors, directors, and writers from all over the world come to work with the Company, training not only their voices and bodies, but also delving into their imaginations, intellects, and emotional lives. Past training participants include Karen Allen, Lauren Ambrose, Gillian Barge, Joe Morton, Andie MacDowell, Anna Deavere Smith, Keanu Reeves, Diana Quick, Courtney Vance, Sigourney Weaver and Raquel Welch.

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