Modern Shakespeare hits stage

Actors to play multiple characters

By Rosanna Aguilera
On October 14, 2016

Photo by Kaitlin Trujillo
Actors in Julius Caesar use iPads and other tablets as props in their modern take on the classic play. 

The Arts at ASU will modernize Shakespeare’s famous Julius Caesar play with 10 actors playing the role of 46 characters Oct. 14-16 and Oct. 21-22 at the ASU Auditorium.

In addition, there will be 17 people on the running crew and about 40 students in the technical theatre class helping with the production that is co-directed by associate professor Erin Ashworth-King and Assistant Director of University Theatre Mike Burnett.

“We spent a lot of time and effort in the last few weeks trying to differentiate different characters, different voices and hopefully the audience will appreciate that and just appreciate the work that we did,” actor Jacob Scott said.

The play is not going to be a typical Shakespeare play as it will have several modern twists.

“We are modernizing the production,” Burnett said. “The language is the same, but the design and production concept is modern so they are wearing modern dress.”

The cast will wear tuxedos and fancy dresses with polished shoes as opposed to the robes and sandals that they wore in the actual time period of the play.

“It’s a nice refreshing thing to do,” actress Sabrina Idom said. “You wouldn’t expect that from Shakespeare.”

The directors of the play also want the audience to post and keep up with the play using social media.

“We are encouraging audience members to not turn off their cell phones because we will be tweeting, and there will be live video and stuff going to people’s phones as the play goes on,” Burnett said.

The famous scene of the production is the assassination of Julius Caesar in act three, scene one.

“It’s what everyone thinks of when they think of Julius Caesar,” Ashworth-King said. “They think the 33 stab wounds that are inflicted by the conspirators, so that has been really fun to direct and to work with.”

Burnett is a fight coordinator which helps that particular murder scene.

“He is able to work through it and make sure that no one gets hurt and do it all very safely, but have it look really, really cool,” Ashworth-King said.

The cast uses their different skills to help contribute to the play and make it new aged.

“These stories have been told for hundreds of years and to try and make it our own to perform it into something that is relevant to this day is exciting,” actor Eli Rodriguez said.

The first performance is on Friday Oct. 14 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are free for ASU students, $10 for the general public and $5 for non-ASU students.

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