Julius Caesar 2007

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Directed by Mark von Eschen, Set Design by Carla Orosz, Costume Design by Beverley Kobelsky, Lighting Design by Stephen Wade

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The play opens with celebration in the streets over Caesar’s defeat of Pompey in civil war.  While most of the commoners are joyous, others are nervous about Caesar’s popularity and his rise to power.  If the Senate appoints Caesar Emperor, it will undermine the Republic and give him the supreme authority of a dictator. Cassius is convinced that Caesar will misuse power, so during the Feast of Lupercal celebration he tries to find others that will support his assassination.  Storms and strange occurrences that rage through the night are bad omens that strike fear and unsettle the superstitious Romans; the Gods are angry at the world.  It is March 14, the evening before the Ides of March and Cassius will make another attempt to win Brutus to his conspiracy.  The situation with Caesar has kept Brutus awake at night; when the conspirators arrive, Brutus joins them, and plans are set to ensure Caesar will be at the Senate the next day.  Caesar’s wife Calpurnia has not slept either, plagued with nightmares of Caesar bleeding from a hundred spouts, she convinces him to stay at home; yet the crafty Decius convinces him the dream is misinterpreted and Caesar must go to the Senate House or risk losing the crown which is to be offered him that day.  Portia, Brutus’ wife is anxious about the day’s business and wants her servant Lucius to run to the Senate House but cannot explain why.  Cassius is also anxious and fears Lepidus is aware of the plan, but Brutus calms him.  Decius lures Mark Antony away from Caesar and the stage is set for the swift and brutal assassination.  Afterward Brutus will speak to the people in the Forum, to give reasons why Caesar had to die; he knows the people will understand.  Antony arrives to pay respect to the body and asks if he may speak to the citizens at the funeral; despite Cassius’ warning, Brutus grants Antony permission.  When the conspirators leave Antony alone with Caesar, he apologizes for appearing to befriend the assassins and vows to avenge Caesars death.

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