Scheming and battling, the Julius Caesar company is hard at work in the rehearsal hall. Join them when they take the stage Sept. 13 – Oct 1.
Do you know the difference between Republic and Empire? How to tie a toga? We’ll help you get you into a Roman frame of mind for our upcoming production of Julius Caesar with a few resources and recommendations to check out before you come see the show.
A graphic retelling Shakespeare’s play following the rise and fall of Julius Caesar’s rule over Rome. Includes additional fun facts about Roman life and the play.
Book of Ancient Rome
More than just a magazine, this well-researched publication takes an in-depth look at the ruthless Roman armies, their many great battles, deeds and rulers – both heroes and villains – and the eventual demise of the greatest empire of the ancient world.
Roman History & Mythology – All the Roman Things!
Have a question about Roman life? This website is chock full of answers covering everything from festivals and holidays to a listing of all the Roman emperors.
Rome (TV Series)
An epic HBO series from 2005 about generals and soldiers, masters and slaves and husbands and wives, all entwined in the furious historical events that saw the birth of the Roman Empire. Available on Amazon Prime and HBO.
I, Claudius (TV Series)
The Roman Empire. Or Republic. Or…Which Was It?: Crash Course World History #10
A quick and humorous, this video covers the senate, the people, Rome, the caesarian section, and the Julian calendar, but NOT the Caesar Salad, as Julius had nothing to do with it.
Full of low-brow humor and banter, this extensive and sometimes off-the-wall podcast series discusses myths and misconceptions about Julius Caesar. And then once they finish up with Julius, they dive headfirst into the life of Augustus Caesar.
One of Nelson Mandela favorite lines of Shakespeare was from Julius Caesar. He noted it in a disguised copy of Shakespeare’s complete works that secretly circulated in the prison where he was held. Learn more about the history of this special Shakespeare artifact what it meant to the men who signed it.
Shakespeare’s work has intertwined itself with American electoral politics, geopolitics, and racial, class, and academic politics practically since the country was founded. This podcast from the Folger Library explores how Shakespeare has been used for political purposes throughout American history.
Luminary Shakespeare App
The Folger Library comes through again with a innovative app for the ipad covering Julius Caesar that makes Shakespeare’s great tragedy accessible to all readers. Read the play, listen to passages, take notes, and discover fascinating insights into the play.
From ancient Rome to a modern day martial arts dojo to an all-female production, Seattle Shakespeare Company has presented Julius Caesar in a number of different ways. Did you know that 3 out of the 5 previous times that we’ve produced Julius Caesar, the role of Cassius was played by a woman? Reginald Jackson, who plays Brutus in our upcoming production, played Casca in our very first production of Julius Caesar.
Take a look at Seattle Shakespeare Company’s productions of Julius Caesar through the years.
The most Roman of Shakespeare’s Roman plays, Julius Caesar is a ghost story, a murder mystery, and a political thriller all wrapped up in a taut package of 16 scenes. Studying the play in school is different than seeing it live. We’ve dug up some juicy morsels about the play that you may not have learned in the classroom.
Name Your Price?
While sailing, Caesar’s ship was hijacked by pirates off the southwestern coast of Asia Minor. When his captors named a ransom price for his release, Caesar was insulted by the number. He insisted that a greater sum be demanded. Eventually, the higher figure was raised and Caesar was freed.
A Steamy, Dreamy Failure
The first Broadway production of the show in over fifty years starred Denzel Washington as Brutus. The critics gave it generally poor reviews, but the show was a sell-out because of Washington’s popularity.
Roman Time Tripping
Shakespeare wasn’t such a stickler for historical accuracy. Clocks get mentioned in Julius Caesar even though the characters are from 45 B.C.
Art Imitates Life
At the time Shakespeare wrote Julius Caesar, citizens of England were likely to mark the parallel connection of Rome’s transition from a republic to an empire within the play to the Elizabethan era’s transition toward heavily consolidated monarchical powers.
First at The Globe, Now Around the Globe!
Scholars believe that The Tragedy of Julius Caesar was the first play performed in the Globe Theater, which was built solely to accommodate Shakespeare’s ever-increasing success in the theatre industry.
If you watch closely, this play is loaded with foreshadowing and omens as they pertain to Caesar’s life and even reveal his fate, though you have probably already guessed what that might be!
The Rite to be Naked
Julius Caesar starts with a celebration feast called Lupercalia. This ancient annual Roman festival was observed on February 15. In order to ward off evil spirits and purify the city, citizens made animal sacrifices and ran nearly naked through the streets with the hope of encouraging health and fertility.
Talk About Drama!
The infamous John Wilkes Booth, assassin of Abraham Lincoln, performed in a production of Julius Caesar in 1864 in New York City. He played the role of Mark Antony. Some scholars speculate that Booth’s role in the show played a part in motivating Lincoln’s assassination as Booth may have identified with Brutus.
Brutus claimed ancestry from another famous figure in Rome’s political history? According to legend Lucius Junius Brutus, the commander of the king’s bodyguards, led a revolt that exiled Rome’s last tyrannical monarch and helped found the Republic. Cassius reminds Brutus of this legacy in Act 1, scene 2.
A Valiant Life
Nelson Mandela survived his imprisonment with the help a secret copy of Shakespeare’s works. Known as the Robben Island bible, it passed from inmate to inmate. Mandela signed his name in the book next to a passage from Julius Caesar: “Cowards die many times before their deaths/The valiant never taste of death but once.”
It’s a 400 year old play, and yet it can feel as contemporary as today’s headlines. In Julius Caesar Bloody and brutal decisions are weighed against honor and ambition.
“It’s difficult to think about and talk about this play without necessarily being aware of our current political climate,” said Artistic Director George Mount at the first rehearsal for Julius Caesar. “We’re living in a highly charged political time right now. It’s why I picked the play. And we’re not the only Shakespeare Company in the country that’s doing it.”
Mount’s productions will leap backwards in time from the 21st century to the 1st century as the action unfolds in Julius Caesar. “What I think is fantastic about the way Shakespeare approaches this political play is that he leaves a lot of apolitical options,” said Mount. “There are just as many negative aspects of the people who you think are the heroes and just as many positive aspects of the people you think are the villains. It’s what gives this play life to be a mirror for whatever time it is being presented.”
In Julius Caesar, after the adoring public raises the charismatic Caesar to power, political factions question the leader’s motives and growing influence. Whispers of mutiny rumble through the corridors of power. Brutus and Cassius reach a dire conclusion that will set their country on the edge of collapse.
The show will begin outside a building inspired by Greco-Roman architecture similar to many of our nation’s governmental institutions. The time is now and Caesar returns from a war and is trying to transition to civilian life. Contemporary clothing and modern accessories give way to tunics and gladiator swords as the event in Julius Caesar become more violent.
Julius Caesar runs at the Cornish Playhouse Sept. 13-Oct. 1, 2107.