An all-female version of this swift and enthralling political thriller portrays the life-and-death struggle for power in Rome. Fearing that a charismatic leader’s ambitions threaten the fragile state of affairs, a group of leaders plot to assassinate him. Caesar’s death sends the city into chaos, creating factions of power alliances. This striking examination of power’s intoxicating effects will leave you breathless.
Click to enlarge
Design Team Craig B. Wollam (Scenic Designer), Kelly McDonald (Costume Designer), Evan Mosher (Sound Designer), Christian Duhamel (Composer/Music Director), Robin Macartney (Properties Designer), Crystal Dawn Munkers (Choreographer), Gordon Carpenter (Fight Choreographer)
Cast (in alphabetical order) Tonya Andrews (Soothsayer), Suzanne Bouchard (Brutus), Aimée Bruneau (Decius/Citizen), Rebecca M. Davis (Cinna/Citizen), Therese Diekhans (Julius Caesar), Karen Jo Fairbrook (Marellus/Metellus Cimber), Macall Gordon (Flavius/Trebonius), Heather Hawkins (Calpurnia/Cinna the Poet/Citizen), Meg McLynn (Portia/Octavius/Secret Service/Citizen), Victoria McNaughton (Citizen/Antony Aide), Sarah Russell (Citizen/Octavius Aide/Publius), Melissa Slaughter (Citizen/Caesar Aide), Amy Thone (Cassius), Nikki Visel (Lepidus/Secret Service), Kayla Walker (Lucius/Citizen), Terri Weagant (Marc Antony), and Kate Witt (Casca/Citizen)
It is the feast of Lupercalia, and the great general Julius Caesar is publicly offered the crown of Rome by his protégé and distant kinsman, Marc Antony. Caesar refuses it, but his power and popularity are a source of concern to several prominent citizens. A rival general, Cassius, particularly envies him, and in the name of the Republic he encourages his friends and relatives to plot Caesar’s assassination. They persuade Cassius’s brother-in-law Brutus, whom Shakespeare casts as a person of unassailable principle, to join the conspiracy and thus lend legitimacy to their scheme.
Caesar is told by a soothsayer to beware the ides of March but carelessly ignores the warning and attends the Senate on that fated day. The conspirators surround him and each one stabs him until he dies, including Brutus, who delivers the final wound.
Cassius now wants to kill Caesar’s friend Marc Antony, but Brutus persuades him to let him live and even to permit him to speak at Caesar’s funeral. Antony’s power as an orator quickly wins over the huge Roman crowd, who vow to help him avenge his friend’s death. The young Octavius Caesar, great-nephew to Julius, joins forces with Antony, and together with an older statesman, Lepidus, they form an alliance against the conspirators. Brutus and Cassius flee the city and assemble an army at Philippi. The night before the battle, Brutus is haunted by Caesar’s ghost. In battle, Cassius is too ready to believe they are defeated. Both men commit suicide unaware that the conflict is going in their favor. Octavius, Antony, and Lepidus are left to form an uneasy triumvirate.
Adapted from Shakespeare Genealogies by Vanessa James