Robert Richmond to direct Anthony Cochrane, Maurice Jones, Louis Butelli, Michael Sharon, and others in Shakespeare’s political thriller.
Folger Theatre launches its 2014/15 season in Rome with William Shakespeare’s enduring political tragedy, Julius Caesar from October 28 – December 7, 2014. Robert Richmond (Richard III and Henry V at Folger) directs the epic portrait of the battle between ambition and honor, conspiracy and loyalty, leading an outstanding ensemble including Anthony Cochrane (Broadway’s War Horse and Folger’s Henry VIII) as the honorable Marcus Brutus, and Maurice Jones, making his Folger Theatre debut as Caesar’s closest ally, Mark Antony.
When Julius Caesar returns to Rome with immense power and popularity, a group of political leaders, fearful for the Republic and driven by their own ambition, conspire to assassinate him. Caesar’s death sends the city into chaos, creating factions of power alliances and plunging the Empire into civil war. This ferocious examination of power and democratic responsibility to the people will play on stage one block from the nation’s Capitol Building, amidst midterm elections. “Julius Caesar is a very important and telling play for our time,” states Richmond. “It exemplifies the very best – and worst – in our political beliefs. Shakespeare’s work brilliantly demonstrates that ego is always present in human nature and the very democratic freedom that nations continuously strive for is often unachievable.”
Folger Theatre’s Julius Caesar features an extraordinary cast that includes Louis Butelli as Cassius, the wily mastermind behind Caesar’s assassination, Michael Sharon as Caesar the Roman emperor, Shirine Babb as Portia, the proud wife of Brutus, and Deidra LaWan Starnes as Caesar’s wife Calpurnia. The production also features JaBen Early (Octavius Caesar), Maboud Ebrahimzadeh (Casca), Joe Brack (Cinna), Nafeesa Monroe (Soothsayer), Robbie Gay (Cinna the poet), and William Vaughan (Lucius). “We are very excited that Folger Theatre kicks off its new season with Julius Caesar,” stated Janet Griffin, Artistic Producer of Folger Theatre.
“DC is the political capital of the nation which makes this the ideal play to perform just steps away from the nation’s Capitol in our intimate, Elizabethan theatre. We have once again assembled a brilliant creative team and an extraordinary cast to stage this very timely piece of theatre. We are sure our audiences will find this production unique, thought-provoking, and of course, entertaining.”
The award-winning creative team includes four-time Helen Hayes Award-winner Tony Cisek (set design), Mariah Hale (costume design), Jim Hunter (lighting design), Eric Shimelonis (composer and sound design), and Casey Kaleba (fight director).