Marin Shakespeare Company - Hey nonny nonny and wild Shakespeare!--Pacific Sun

2009
Julius Caesar

Directed by Robert S. Currier

Barry Kraft as Julius Caesar - Marin Shakespeare 2009

Producer’s Perspective:

Barry Kraft is a Shakespearean treasure. Working on any play with him is a delight. For Julius Caesar, we had the luxury of a two-year prep time, as Bob and Barry had decided to do the play come hell or high water (or major U.S. recession) before Barry traipsed off around the world in search of lunar eclipse viewing during the summer of 2008.

Barry helped with the script, and taught us Roman history. He was our reference point in casting and helped choose our stellar acting company. He also introduced us to an old buddy of his, Jay Karnes, now a TV actor on The Shield (a series regular for seven years), Sons of Anarchy, and many other current shows. We weren’t quite sure if Jay could act onstage, though, but we were willing to take Barry’s word for his skill plus the fact that he did three seasons at Ashland before LA seduced him into her arms. We also weren’t sure if he would be a prima donna, if he would drop out at the last minute for a big TV gig, or if he would enjoy working with our tiny little company far from the bright lights of Lalaland. Imagine our delight when – at the first rehearsal – in walks an incredibly gifted actor, perfectly suited to the role, who turns out to be funny, self-deprecating, and absolutely committed. Wow.

Jan Karnes as BrutusAs it turns out, Jay is a Roman history buff too. So we’d have Barry and Jay topping each other with relevant tid-bits from the various Roman historians, descriptions of the Lupercal celebration, the battle against the Nervii, and much much more.

Shockingly, we chose to set the play in ancient Rome, with togas, short swords and Roman shields, fluted columns and Latin inscriptions. We let the historical parallels, which are many, speak for themselves. We had great discussions with our school groups about democracy and heroism. And we had a lot of blood.

Blood, blood, blood. We had to choose the right fabrics for the costumes, make sure the blood would wash off of the set, block the fights so the blood bags would work, and develop elaborate laundering systems – and there were two two-show days, which were major challenges. There were times when the smell of the peanut butter that formed the basis for the blood recipe was overwhelming backstage. We had to worry about keeping the actors warm and safe when they were covered with wet blood, some for over half an hour.

But the real challenge of Julius Caesar is the words. You’ve got to make the story intelligible to a modern audience whose knowledge of Roman history is not as vast as that of the average Elizabethan. Of all the kudos the production received, the best comment was from a teacher who brought a group of students to a Student Matinee who was convinced we had updated the language. Now, that’s a great tribute to a fantastic acting company!

Barry Kraft has given so much to Marin Shakespeare Company, and we are grateful to have him in our lives. Imagine our delight when, the final week of the run, Barry sneaked off to marry Jessica Sage, who I had introduced him to as we were preparing for King Lear in 2006. After all Barry has given us, it was a real treat to have given him that fateful introduction. Summer of love, indeed! Even in Rome…

(continued)

CAST & Production Staff


THE CAST

Julius Caesar – Barry Kraft*

The Conspirators
Brutus, friend to Caesar – Jay Karnes*
Cassius – Jack Powell*
Casca - Stephen Klum*
Cinna – Lucas McClure*
Metellus Cimber – Barry Hubbard
Trebonius – Gary Grossman
Ligarius – Brian Trybom

The Triumvirate
Mark Antony – William Elsman*
Lepidus – Tom Reilly
Octavius – Carl Holvick-Thomas

The Wives
Calpurnia, Caesar’s wife – Alexandra Matthew*
Portia, Brutus’ wife – Cat Thompson*

 


Roman Solidier
Roman Citizens
Marullus, a Tribune – Lucas McClure*
A Carpenter – Brian Trybom
A Cobbler – Garry Grossman
A Soothsayer – Alan Bodine
Cicero, a Senator – Tom Reilly
Lucius, servant to Brutus – Josh Zwick
Servant to Caesar – Charlene Eldon
Artemidorus – Carl Holvick-Thomas
Servant to Antony – Sheila Devitt
Servant to Octavius – Morielle Stroethoff
A Farmer – Barry Hubbard
A Blacksmith – Stephen Klum*
Cinna the Poet – Lucas McClure*
Tintinius, friend to Brutus and Cassius – Brian Trybom
Pindarus, slave to Cassius – Stephen Klum*
Clitus, childhood friend of Brutus – Lucas McClure*

Citizens and Soliders – Steven Scot Bono, Charlene Eldon,
Sheila Devitt, Emily Parker Hock, Morielle Stroethoff


PRODUCTION STAFF

Artistic Director – Robert S. Currier
Producer – Lesley Schisgall Currier
Costume Design – Claire Townsend
Fight Director – Brian Herndon
Fight Assistant – Sam Kikes
Lighting Design – Ellen Brooks
Props Design – Joel and Toni Eis
Set Design – Mark Robinson
Sound Design – Billie Cox
Stage Manager – Allsion Ward*
Assistant Stage Manager – Siri Olson

 

 

 

 

 


* Member of Actor's Equity Association
 

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