The 2011-12 tour company includes University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Actor Training Program graduates Ernest Bentley (Lucius), Caleb Carlson (Soothsayer / Cinna the Poet), Whitney Hudson (Flavius / Cinna), Noah Putterman (Decius Brutus / Lepidus), Sid Solomon (Cassius) and William Sturdivant (Brutus). The tour also features former A Guthrie Experience for Actors in Training Program participants Bjorn DuPaty (Julius Caesar) and Kathleen Wise (Portia /Popillius Lena). Rounding out the cast are Kaliswa Brewster (Calpurnia) and Ray Chapman (Murellus / Trebonius / Messala) who have previously performed at the Guthrie with The Acting Company and Zachary Fine (Mark Antony), Joseph Midyett (Metellus Cimber / Octavius Caesar) and Kevin Orton (Casca) will be making their Guthrie and The Acting Company debuts.
Of this production of Julius Caesar Melrose notes, “In the '80s and '90s, every election was peppered with reports of ‘voter apathy.’ The intense passion that now permeates our politics and threatens to divide our country makes this a perfect time to re-examine Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar—a play that looks at what happens when political convictions create conflict and sometimes tragic upheaval.”
“We’re going to tour the country and a lot of young people are going to see it,” Melrose adds. “It could be their first time experiencing Shakespeare, and how great for them to see it and imagine the circumstances of the play—rather than getting bogged down by a bunch of actors in robes and togas.”
The company concluded performances of Julius Caesar on February 5 at the Guthrie Theater, and is currently performing Julius Caesar and The Comedy of Errors in repertory throughout the remainder of their 2011-12 national tour, which concludes May 6 at Northridge Plaza del Sol Performance Hall in Northridge, California.
The GUTHRIE THEATER (Joe Dowling, Director)was founded by Sir Tyrone Guthrie in 1963 and is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training. The Tony Award-winning Guthrie Theater is dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature, developing the work of contemporary playwrights and cultivating the next generation of theater artists. With annual attendance of nearly 500,000 people, the Guthrie Theater presents a mix of classic plays and contemporary work on its three stages. Under the artistic leadership of Joe Dowling since 1995, the Guthrie continues to set a national standard for excellence in theatrical production and performance. In 2006, the Guthrie opened its new home on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, the Guthrie Theater houses three state-of-the-art stages, production facilities, classrooms and dramatic public lobbies. www.guthrietheater.org
THE ACTING COMPANY was founded in 1972 by Margot Harley and legendary producer and actor John Houseman with Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone and others in the first graduating class of Juilliard’s Drama Division. Since then it has performed 131 plays to audiences in 48 states and 10 foreign countries. In addition to Kline and LuPone, its alumni include Frances Conroy, Jeffrey Wright, Harriet Harris, Jesse L. Martin, David Ogden Stiers, Richard Ooms, Richard Iglewski, Keith David and Rainn Wilson. The Acting Company was honored in 2003 with a Tony Award for Excellence in Theater.