The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2190 Tuesday, 18 November 2003
Date: Saturday, 15 Nov 2003 14:42:40 -0500
Subject: 'Julius Caesar': Soliloquies in Sound Bites From 44 B.C.
'Julius Caesar': Soliloquies in Sound Bites From 44 B.C.
November 15, 2003
By MARGO JEFFERSON
We live in a media maelstrom, and the Moonwork theater company's "Julius
Caesar" comes hurtling toward us right from its center. This production,
at the Connelly Theater in the East Village through Nov. 23, is set in
the here and now. Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" is about politics,
rhetoric and power; about manipulation of a nation's image and its
people; about conspiracy, murder and the war that leads to a new regime.
What play is better suited for our times?
. . .
Moonwork's director, Gregory Wolfe, wants us to see this play as
satirical tragedy. The characters take themselves seriously. Power must
be taken seriously - we know that. But the media frame strips these
rulers of nobility and makes clear that farce abounds. It also keeps
reminding us that we are the lowly citizens - the plebeians. We get to
watch and react, but we shape none of the big events.
Lowell Pettit's clever set blends hints of ancient Rome (flats painted
and mounted to evoke marble columns) with that of America today (TV
cameras mounted on both sides of the stage).
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