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The Acting Company's X/JULIUS CAESAR Tour Launches Tonight in Arizona

The Acting Company presents its 44th consecutive season and national tour featuring two gripping dramas in repertory: the world premiere of, X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation and William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

Both will be staged in an exciting artistic and educational collaboration with nearly 30 universities, colleges and community partners across the country.

X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation, the new play written by 11 time Audelco nominee, Marcus Gardley is about the assassination of Malcolm X-both the story we think we know and illuminating details that have seldom been shared. It features a cast of TAC veterans such as, Jimonn Cole as "Malcom X", Jonathan-David as "Louis X", William Sturdivant as "Elijah Muhammad" and "Bootblack", Joshua David Robinson as "Brother Eugene X" and "Doc", and Gabriel Lawrence as "Muhammad the First."

Other cast includes Chelsea Williams as "Betty Shabazz", Kevis Hillocks as "Wilbert X" and N'Jameh Camara as the "Judge" and ensemble members Austin Purnell and Tatiana Wechsler, all under the direction of The Acting Company's Artistic Director, Ian Belknap. The creative team includes, Lee Savage (Scenic Design), Candice Donnelly (Costume Design), Mary Louise Geiger (Lighting Design), Justin Ellington (Sound Design/Music Composition), Byron Easley (Choreography), ElizaBeth Smith (Voice, Speech and Text Consultant) and Orlando Pabotoy (Fight Direction).

Gardley adapts the framework of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar for his play to deepen our understanding of one of America's most complex, compelling historical figures and explores the tumultuous landscape of ideology and activism in the 1960s.

Through the story of Julius Caesar, a rising political star torn down by his most trusted allies, audiences witness the art of persuasion, the ugliness of backroom politics, and the historical patterns we can't stop repeating. Tackling essential questions about the balance of ambition, personal loyalty, and love of country, Shakespeare's timeless political masterpiece has never been more relevant.

"This repertory tells stories that I hope will charge audiences to look at the past with an eye to take action in the present," says Artistic Director Ian Belknap.

The Julius Caesar cast again is led again by TAC Alumni, Gabriel Lawrence as "Julius Caesar", William Sturdivant as "Caius Cassius", Jimonn Cole as "Marcus Brutus", Jonathan-David as "Mark Antony", Joshua David Robinson as "Casca" and "Titinius". Other ensemble cast members include, N'jameh Camara as "Calpurnia", Chelsea Williams as "Portia", Kevin Hillocks as "Octavius", Austin Purnell as "Soothsayer", and Tatiana Wechsler as "Trebonius".

Devin Brain, who previously directed Macbeth for The Acting Company, will direct this production of Julius Caesar.

The creative team for Julius Caesar includes Lee Savage (Scenic Design), Jennifer Moeller (Costume Design), Mary Louise Geiger (Lighting Design) and Nathan A. Roberts and Charles Coes (Music and Sound Design), ElizaBeth Smith (Voice, Speech and Text Consultant) and Orlando Pabotoy (Fight Direction).

The company is also joined on tour by Lindsey Turteltaub (Production Stage Manager) and Geoffrey Boronda (Assistant Stage Manager).

The development and production of Marcus Gardley's X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation is made possible in part by major support from The Roy Cockrum Foundation. Julius Caesar is made possible in part by Shakespeare in American Communities, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

The Acting Company's 44th tour will begin with a first look performance of Julius Caesar at the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix, AZ on January 31 and performances of X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation on February 1, also at the Herberger. X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation will have its world premiere at the Mesa Performing Arts Center in Mesa, AZ on February 2. The Company will go on to perform the two plays in repertory throughout the remainder of their tour, which includes a New York City run from March 15-26 at The New Victory Theater, and will conclude their tour on April 2 at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY.

Founded in 1972 by Oscar winner John Houseman and Margot Harley from the first graduating class of the Drama Division of The Juilliard School, The Acting Company is the only permanent, professional touring repertory company dedicated to the development of classical actors. Over the past 44 years, The Company has reached more than 4 million people with 143 productions in 48 states and 10 countries, and has launched the careers of more than 400 actors, including Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone, Rainn Wilson, Jesse L. Martin, Frances Conroy, David Ogden Stiers, Harriet Harris, David Schramm, Jeffrey Wright, Keith David and Hamish Linklater. Love's Fire, Desire, Orchards, Puddinhead Wilson, The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter are among more than a dozen new plays and adaptations have been premiered by The Acting Company. The Company has been honored with TONY, Obie, Audelco and Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards.

For more information and ticketing visit

Complete list of tour cities/venues:

Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2017 Phoenix, AZ Herberger Theater Center - Center Stage

February 2-6 Mesa, AZ Mesa Arts Center - Piper Repertory Theater

February 10-11 Flagstaff, AZ Northern Arizona Univ. - Clifford E. White Theatre

February 15-16 Lawrence, KS University of Kansas - Lied Center of Kansas

February 18-19 Columbia, MO Univ. of Missouri-Columbia - Rhynsburger Theatre

February 21-23 Kansas City, MO Univ. of Missouri-Kansas City - Helen F. Spencer Theatre

February 24-25 Warrensburg, MO Univ. of Central Missouri - James L. Highlander Theatre

March 2 Baltimore, MD Morgan State - Turpin-Lamb Theatre (Murphy Fine Arts Center)

March 3-7 Towson, MD Towson University - Stephens Hall Theatre

March 8-9 Essex, MD Community College Baltimore Co Essex - Mainstage Theatre

March 10-11 Bowie, MD Bowie State University - MainStage Theatre

March 15-26 New York, NY - The New Victory Theater

March 27-28 Oswego, NY SUNY-Oswego - Charlotte Waterman Theatre

March 30-31 Syracuse, NY Le Moyne College - W. Carroll Coyne Center

April 1-2 Clinton, NY Hamilton College - Wellin Hall

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