Theatre Season Opens with Julius Caesar
The University of Minnesota Morris Theatre Arts Discipline opens its 2019–20 season with William Shakespeare's political thriller, Julius Caesar. The classic story of conspiracy and bloodshed takes place in Rome following Caesar's triumphant battle over Pompey.
Directing the production and playing Julius Caesar is Professor of Theatre Arts Ray Schultz. On the play's relevance, Schultz hints that audiences will be able to draw connections between the rhetoric of leaders in Julius Caesar and language surrounding our current political landscape.
"Shakespeare shows how the average citizen can be swayed by the power of personal charisma and persuasive rhetoric," he says.
The production's design team, led by Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts Lucas Granholm, will articulate these themes using an expressionistic style. Paired with Granholm as Assistant Scenic Designer/Props Master is Madison Grimsbo '21, Duluth. Alyssa Kraft '19, Oakdale, is Lighting Designer, with Nick Plucker '19, Maplewood, assisting. Designing the production's urban soundscape is Jack Campbell '21, Saint Paul. Costume Shop Supervisor Zoë Johnson is designing the production's contemporary costumes, and Scene Shop Supervisor Benjamin Fink is supervising technical elements. The Stage Management team is led by Wyatt Anderson '20, Bloomington, with Assistant Stage Managers Justin Martin '22, Rogers, Brianna Williams '22, Duluth, and Madison Kessel '23, Waite Park.
Leading the 21-person cast as the honorable Brutus is Katie Booth '20, Saint Paul. Friend and co-conspirator, Caius Cassius, is portrayed by Natalie Wallraff '20, Blaine. Ryan Stout '20, Brainerd, plays Marc Antony, and Emily Kjennas '22, Park Rapids, plays Octavius and Calphurnia. Seraphim Surprenant '20, Sleepy Eye, plays Brutus' wife, Portia. The conspirators are as follows: Evan Aanerud '21, Fergus Falls, as Casca; Hailey Stobb '21, Milaca, as Cinna; Derek Johnson '23, Appleton, as Decius Brutus; Elijah Bass '22, Byron, as Metellus Cimber; Brett Jansen '22, Bertha, as Trebonius; and Matt DeSmith '21, Worthington, as Caius Ligarius. Others in the cast include Jenna Carlson '22, Osseo, as Caesar's Servant; Corrina Fisher '23, Apple Valley, as Lepidus; Onar Ireland-Hance '23, Saint Cloud, as Lucius; Trent Merkins '20, Cottonwood, as Pindarus; Aaron Otten '21, Buffalo, as Cicero; Dana Voss '22, Hartford, as Artemidorus; Velora Wilson '21, Saint Paul, as Lepidus; Ruby Wittmayer '23, Benson, as Marc Antony's Servant; and Chelsea Young as the Soothsayer '20, Spring Lake Park.
Tickets and More
Performances of Julius Caesar will take place in the Raymond J. Lammers Proscenium Theater, Thursday–Saturday, November 14–16, at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee at 2 p.m. Saturday. Area high schools are invited to attend select student matinees on November 18 and 19 at 10 a.m. Tickets ($10 General Admission, $5 Students and Seniors) are available at the Theatre Publicity and Box Office (320-589-6274, firstname.lastname@example.org).