Justice Theater Project to Open Shakespeare's JULIUS CAESAR, 2/8

The 2012-2013 continuing Justice Theater Project season examining political responsibility, "We Are Called", continues Shakespeare's classic tale of political intrigue and betrayal, Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare, directed by David Henderson and running February 8 - 24, 2013 at the Clare Hall Fellowship Center, St. Francis of Assisi, 11401 Leesville Road, Raleigh. For more information, visit www.thejusticetheaterproject.org.

The Justice Theater Project (JTP) continues a season-long discussion about political responsibility past and present.

JTP has a history built on democracy, equity and collaboration among creative artists, managers, and community organizations that share a commitment to similar goals and a desire to maximize scarce resources and transform communities. The 2012-2013 season works to serve as a Call to the responsibility of participation as it exists for each of us and the ways in which this responsibility is connected to our citizenry.

Considered by many to be one of the most straight-forward of Shakespeare's works "Julius Caesar" mirrors politics throughout the ages. Although a Shakespeare veteran in both directing and acting, this is director David Henderson's first time working on this piece. Henderson states "As a country, we don't have to look too far in the past to see the impact a leader's assassination can have on our nation. Political rhetoric is alive and well. Politicians on all sides of the fence (and those that have no fence as well) have perfected the art of using all available forms of persuasion to move the populace closer to their own point of view."

Henderson feels that since the story is so well known and the structure and language easier than more difficult works of Shakespeare, the audience can relax and focus with ease. This also allows the actors to focus on the story. Describing the plot, Henderson states "Julius Caesar (John Honeycutt) is a highly ambitious political leader in Rome and his aim is to become dictator. Meanwhile a conspiracy to assassinate him is afoot. This conspiracy is led by Cassius (Jeremy Fiebig) and the honorable Brutus (Brian Fisher). Early on, Caesar is warned that something is amiss and he should "beware the Ides of March." He ignores this warning and is stabbed 33 times. At his funeral, his close friend, Mark Antony, (Jade Arnold) delivers his famous funeral speech and the tide turns. Brutus and Cassius meet their inevitable defeat at the hands of Antony and Octavious (George Kaiser) and the country is thrust into civil war."

Set, lighting and costumes are current day. Scenic designer Deb Royals describes the "Julius Caesar" set as "a blend of levels with sculpted fabric and ramps. The color scheme is simple black, white and red. We will brush the sculpted fabric with media images in an effort to perpetuate the sense of the media' s constant presence in politics. Lighting will work to highlight the severity of a cold marbled floor, and the lighting bounce off this floor to give the allusion of uplighting. One moveable set piece will provide both a way to present Caesar's body after assassination as it lies in state and later as a map table. This movable piece will be lit underneath thus outlining Caesar's body and later illuminating the maps used during battle."

Costumer David Serxner describes the looks as "... a dark palate of contemporary costumes with a clean look, suits, tuxedos and suits. We will be using red as an accent color. The second act is a military look. The idea behind dressing the characters to look similar is that politicians and lobbyists look pretty much alike in the "uniforms" of their jobs, it is their personalities that set them apart."

Directed by David Henderson, Scenography by Deb Royals, Technical Direction by Tom Wolf, Stage Management by Christine Rapp, Costumes by David Serxner.

Featuring: Katie Anderson as Calphurnia, Jade Arnold as Mark Antony, Jeremy Fiebig as Metellus Cimber/Flavius:Byham/Stuart Cassius, Brian Fisher as Marcus Brutus, John Honeycutt as Julius Caesar/Dardanius, David Hudson as Lepidus / Trebonius / A Poet / Volumnius, Michelle Johnson as Portia, George Kaiser as Octavius Caesar / Popilius Lena / Third Plebeian, Tanner Lagasca as Artemidorus / Octavius's Servant / Lucilius, Allan Maule as Cinna / Murellus / Messala, Andy Hayworth as Decius Brutus / Pindarus / Cobbler / First Plebeian, Mark Olexik as Cicero / Publius / Titinius / Plebeian, Mark Phialas as Cinna the Poet / Carpenter / Caesar's Servant, Jack Prather as Caius Ligarius / Soothsayer / Claudio, Mike Raab as Casca / First Soldier / Messenger / Fourth Plebeian, Samantha Rahn as Young Cato / Lucius, and Stephen Wall as Varrus / Clitus / Second Soldier / Second Plebeian.

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