VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota’s Department of Theatre opens its 2020-2021 season with an exciting live-streamed production of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” Shakespeare’s political thriller explores the dynamics of shifting power structures, the psychology and consequences of violence, and the complexity of humanity.
USD Theatre is committed to giving both our students and our audience a truly theatrical experience, even with the absence of a live audience. Innovative staging and designs in the intimate Arena Theatre safely and creatively support social distancing between the actors.
Eleanor Carle, a senior BFA musical theatre major, takes on the role of Mark Antony. “As always, the rehearsal process is filled with friendship and creating, but more than normal the rehearsal process has been all about learning: learning Shakespeare and learning to adapt our acting to COVID,” Carle said. “I am having an awesome time with my friends. It’s just nice to get to create again despite the circumstances.”
Carle is one of many female actors taking many of the traditionally male roles, making this a production that truly speaks to the time. The production emphasizes language, relationships, hierarchical structures and the power of simple, economical movement.
“I love how Julius Caesar shows that history repeats itself, and as we continue the rehearsal process, we discover more and more connections in Julius Caesar and today’s world,” said Marquise Howard, a sophomore BFA musical theatre major.
The production design team has taken the Shakespeare’s classic play and contemporized the look of the show while still giving nods to the time in which it is set.
Brittany Lewis, a junior BFA costume design major, said it has been exciting to breathe new life into “Julius Caesar.” “This show has been such an amazing opportunity! Working through a Shakespeare show that is so politically charged within our modern setting has been such an interesting process,” Lewis said. “Making ancient Roman characters with contemporary costumes has been such a fun process and an interesting challenge.”
Stage manager Chris Dupic, a senior BFA theatre studies major, plays an integral role in presiding over the production elements. “This theatre production is unlike any other than I’ve been a part of. Through added safety protocols, and the added element of live streaming, I’ve learned the importance of patience and keeping an open mind,” said Dupic. “I’m excited to be sharing this piece of theatre with audiences online.”
USD Theatre invites audiences to “tune-in” to this beautiful production and experience live theatre in a new way. “Julius Caesar” performs live online Sept. 25-27. Visit usd.edu/theatre/live for information on how to stream this production for free.
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