There are elements of human existence that transcend the centuries, such as the tragic results of political conflict. Cape Ann Shakespeare Troupe presents one such scenario when it stages William Shakespeare’s politically-charged drama, “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar,” which runs through Sunday.
Joseph Stiliano, the drama’s director, noted that this is a story of ambition, intrigue, betrayal and assassination. This show is set in the time when Rome is divided between its support for the Caesar, the military hero, and the senate of the republic that views Caesar’s ambition as a threat, he explained. The senate, led by Cassius and Brutus, assassinate Caesar, sparking a civil war with Caesar’s supporters, who are led by Mark Antony and Octavius.
“This is a story which we are currently seeing played out in many parts of the world. Shakespeare’s play is, unfortunately, still very relevant,” said Stiliano. “We see it in the news, and in the video games that challenge our nimble-fingered virtual warriors.”
He said that this is not so much a tale of good and evil, but more of one about divergent world views between factions, when there is no compromise.
“Just look around at all of these upheavals around the world, especially in the Middle East. How much blood is shed for absolutely no reason,” he said. “Brutus is an idealist. Idealism is wonderful but you can’t live by it. So was Hitler an idealist, although his ideals were very skewed.”
“Craig Owen, who plays Caesar, brings a wonderful urbanity to the role,” he said.
Stiliano commended the cast; Owen as well as David Adams, Jonathan Arnold, David Cluett, Stephanie Cochran, Richard Crowell, Timothy Edwards, Ashlee Holm, Ray Jenness, Ian O’Connor, Dominic Parry, Matthew Recine, Jim Robinson, Jessie Sorrells, Ken Stoeffler and Pauline Wright.