Theater: JULIUS CAESAR (Shakespeare@ Home)

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by Tony Frankel on February 25, 2021

in Theater-New York,Virtual


Julius Caesar is one of Shakespeare’s best known and most oft-quoted plays, chronicling the political and moral crisis of Brutus and his fellow conspirators as they plot to murder Caesar to prevent a dictatorship. First performed in 1599, this timeless play examines the razor-thin line between power and corruption, duty and ambition, and the perils of a state divided. Starring Patrick Page in the title role, Shakespeare@ Home presents a FREE immersive radio-play adaptation of Julius Caesar, the third of the season after Richard II and The Tempest. Produced by Jersey City’s Shakespeare@, the play features original music by Joan Melton and sound design by Dan Gerhard and Ellen Fitton, the Emmy-winning team at Sonic Designs.

Artistic Director Sean Hagerty crafted the production into four weekly episodes to capture the lost art and thrill of radio drama all without leaving the confines of quarantine. Hagerty views the play as incredibly timely, explaining “In our current fractured, hostile, and divided discourse, I have always felt the play particularly resonant. But in the past few months alone, as we have watched our nation slip perilously close to the cliff-edge of democracy, I can think of few better plays that cry out to be heard.”

Patrick Page (photo Nathan Johnson); Keith Hamilton Cobb;
Jamie Ballard (photo Ross Ferguson); James Howard

The second episode of Julius Caesar begins March 1, 2021, at 7pm ET. Debut dates for parts 3 and 4 are subsequent Mondays March 8 & 15, which is also the “Ides of March” (the day that Caesar was … oops, no spoilers here!). To listen, visit Shakespeare@ The production will also be available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, and Stitcher. As each episode launches, it will available to listeners on all platforms at no cost. Previous all-free productions of the season (Richard II and The Tempest) are also available indefinitely.

Aria ShahghasemiAria ShahghasemiAria Shahghasemi; Ashlie Atkinson; David Hargreaves; Mark Torres

The distinguished cast features acclaimed talent from Broadway, London’s West End and the New York stage. In addition to Mr. Page (Hadestown), Julius Caesar also stars Jordan Barbour (The Inheritance) as Brutus; Sky Lakota Lynch (Dear Evan Hansen) as Lucius; Keith Hamilton Cobb (American Moor) as Cassius; Jamie Ballard (title role in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child UK) as Mark Antony; and James Howard (who played Draco Malfoy to Ballard’s Harry Potter).

Thia Stephan; Francis Mateo; Mark J. Quiles

The cast also features Ashlie Atkinson (BlacKkKlansman) as Portia, Jonathan Forbes (Amazon’s Catastrophe) as Casca, and Aria Shahghasemi (CW’s Legacies) as Octavius. Rounding out the rest of the cast are RSC and National Theatre veteran, David Hargreaves, Mark Torres, Thia Stephan, Francis Mateo, and Mark J. Quiles.

Sky Lakota Lynch; Jonathan Forbes

In addition to launching their third all-audio drama, Shakespeare@ has partnered with Robert Young, the former Director of Education at the world-renowned Folger Shakespeare Library and a team of educators, to launch their Education Initiative with dynamic, multi-media study guides to accompany each of their radio plays. Featuring activities and lesson plans designed to be used in a classroom or virtual setting, the guides feature cast and crew interviews, with in-depth audio and video tracks highlighting different aspects of the play, the artistic choices, and history. These study guides are free to schools and qualifying educational institutions.

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