Previews For TN Shakespeare's JULIUS CAESAR Begin Tomorrow
Tennessee Shakespeare Company will present a full stage production of William Shakespeare's political play "Julius Caesar." This professional Actors' Equity Association production is the first of the 2019-20 season to perform on the company's Owen and Margaret Wellford Tabor Stage, located at TSC's permanent residence at 7950 Trinity Road in Memphis. Founder and Producing Artistic Director Dan McCleary directs the Roman tragedy, which he last directed with an all-female cast for TSC in 2010. The production runs Sept. 27-Oct. 6, with previews on Sept. 25-26, and is generously sponsored by the family of Pat and Ernest Kelly.
"Shakespeare wrote to be seen, heard, spoken and experienced," McCleary said. "'Julius Caesar' is one of the perfectly formed plays in theater, and this intimate production will quite literally bring the story to life and awaken 44 B.C.E. to our current senses. Shakespeare's rhetoric removes Roman history out from under glass for us. By doing so, he gives his audiences distance and perspective by which we can reflect on our own social and political lives, and he insists we do that now."
Audience members will be transported to a modern history museum on the TSC stage, populated by Roman statues, busts, weapons, pottery, linens and soundtracks - all of which take on new life when Shakespeare's story comes to bloody life on stage.
"Julius Caesar" tells the story of a people increasingly divided by wealth and poverty - and political radicalism - in a Republic that recently welcomed home its military and civil war conqueror, Caesar. When the Senate and members of the patrician class become alarmed at Caesar being named Dictator for Life and the citizens' deference to him, Cassius convinces the noble Brutus, much loved of Caesar, and other conspirators to assassinate Caesar for the good of the Republic. Brutus' debate of the heart lies at the center of the story's dramatic conflict, but Caesar's protégé Marc Antony makes the conflict physical as he sways the citizens with several of Shakespeare's greatest public speeches.
The professional seven-actor cast includes the return of Paul Bernardo* (Cassius) from New York, last seen in TSC's production of "Othello" as Iago. Milwaukee native Neil Brookshire* is introduced as Brutus, and TSC founding members Phil Darius Wallace* (Marc Antony/Casca) and Michael Khanalarian (Julius Caesar/Metellus) return with Marquis Archuletta (Soothsayer/Decius), Claire Hayner (Portia/Cinna), and Merit Koch (Calphurnia/Trebonius/Lucius).
The design team for "Julius Caesar" includes Jeremy Fisher (lighting), Brian Ruggaber (scenic), Bruce Bui (costumes), Eric Sefton (sound) and Lindsay Taylor (props). The Westerlies, a brass quartet from New York, provides the original music. The AEA stage manager is Leanna Keyes, assisted by Bethany Fichthorn.
Tiered seating tickets to "Julius Caesar" range from $15-39 and are available by visiting www.tnshakespeare.org or calling the TSC box office at 901-759-0604. TSC will host Free Will Kids' Night every Thursday for parents with up to four children ages 17 years and younger to attend for free when accompanied by at least one paying, attending guardian. Free Will tickets are limited based on availability and must be purchased in person at the TSC Box Office.