Michigan Shakespeare Festival Opens JULIUS CAESAR And World Premiere Translation of Chekhov's THE SEAGULL

Michigan Shakespeare Festival Opens JULIUS CAESAR And World Premiere Translation of Chekhov's THE SEAGULLThe Michigan Shakespeare Festival, the Official Shakespeare Festival of the State of Michigan, opened their final two productions of the 2017 Season. Saturday night was the opening of Shakespeare's political tragedy JULIUS CAESAR starring MSF Artistic Associates Robert Kauzlaric as Brutus and Brandon St. Clair Saunders as Cassius and directed by Producing Artistic Director Janice L Blixt. While the play of JULIUS CAESAR has been major news this summer due to a production in Central Park that was repeatedly protested, the Michigan Shakespeare Festival production has been lauded through previews and into opening night with excited crowds and critical raves. Artistic Associate David Blixt returns to the Festival stage as Marc Antony and newcomer Lee Palmer is playing the powerful and doomed Caesar.

According to Kauzlaric, who played last season's Richard II and was recently nominated for a Wilde Award for the performance, "I'm thrilled to be a part of this take on Caesar and to work with this fantastic ensemble. Jan has created a production heavily invested in the history and relationships between the characters and it's a joy to explore the huge questions this play poses amidst such a rich emotional landscape. The conspirators are more than just random malcontents -- they are friends, school buddies, former lovers, and more; men and women who've fought together, cried together, cheered each other on, and now face a monumental decision hand in hand."

Sunday marked the final opening of the MSF Season with the brand new premiere translation of Anton Chekhov's domestic comedy THE SEAGULL. Translated from the Russian by Alexandra "Chistyakova" LaCombe and adapted for the stage by Janice L Blixt and the 2017 MSF Company, THE SEAGULL depicts the summer holiday of a family of writers and artists and was met with constant laughter until the bitter end. Artistic Associate Janet Haley plays a famous actress irritated with the simple fact that her son, played by Ian Geers, is now 25 and his very existence reminds her friends of her age and Shawn Pfautsch (see on the MSF stage as Hamlet in 2014 and Prince Hal in 2015) plays a famous writer dealing the jealousy of her son and his own compulsions. While the humor is often dark and pointed, THE SEAGULL is one of Chekhov's very best plays and this production opened to acclaim for the intelligence of the script and the incredible performances.

Alan Ball, an Artistic Associate and audience favorite who plays both Cinna in CAESAR and Dr. Dorn in THE SEAGULL said, "Even after seven years at MSF, the thrill of opening night never fades. After weeks of rehearsal, it's so great to see that what cracked us up at read-through is still funny to everyone else."

Artistic Associates Jeromy and Kate Hopgood continue in their roles of Scenic Designer and Sound Designer, while David Allen Stoughton returns as Lighting Designer. The intricate costumes for CAESAR were designed by Melanie Schuessler Bond; and the turn-of the-last century costumes for THE SEAGULL by Darice Damata-Geiger.

The shows continue in Jackson at the Potter Center through July 23 and reopen in Canton at the Village Theatre on July 28 and run through August 13.

Tickets for THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, JULIUS CAESAR, and THE SEAGULL are now available: Online at www.MichiganShakespeareFestival.com

By Phone in Jackson at 517-796-8600

By Phone in Canton at 734-394-5300

Jackson Run: Baughman Theatre

THE SEAGULL-- July 20 at 7:30 pm

JULIUS CAESAR-- July 21 at 7:30 pm

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW-- July 22 at 2:00 pm

THE SEAGULL-- July 22 at 7:30 pm

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW-- July 23 at 3:00 pm

Canton Run: Village Theatre

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW-- July 28 at 7:30 pm

THE SEAGULL: July 29 at 2:00 pm

JULIUS CAESAR: July 29 at 7:30 pm

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW: July 30 at 3:00 pm

JULIUS CAESAR: August 3 at 7:30 pm

JULIUS CAESAR: August 4 at 7:30 pm

THE SEAGULL: August 5 at 2:00 pm

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW: August 5 at 7:30 pm

JULIUS CAESAR: August 6 at 3:00 pm

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW: August 10 at 7:30 pm

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW: August 11 at 7:30 pm

JULIUS CAESAR: August 12 at 2:00 pm

THE SEAGULL: August 12 at 7:30 pm

THE SEAGULL: August 13 at 3:00 pm

Reduced price Flexpasses for all three shows are available by calling the venue in which you plan to attend the productions (cannot be used across sites, good at one venue only).

Please note Saturday matinees are at 2 pm, Sunday matinees are at 3 pm.

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