Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bad Girls: An all female Julius Caesar opens at Germantown City Hall

Posted By on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 12:59 PM

From TSCs JULIUS CAESAR
  • From TSC's JULIUS CAESAR
Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus; and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.—Cassius from Julius Caesar

And evil takes a human form in Regina George. Don't be fooled because she may seem like your typical selfish, back-stabbing slut faced ho-bag, but in reality, she's so much more than that. —Janis from Mean Girls

I've got to admit, I've been wondering why the Tennessee Shakespeare Company's founding director Dan

From TSCs JULIUS CAESAR
  • From TSC's JULIUS CAESAR
McCleary decided to create an all female production of Julius Caesar since the show was first announced. I suppose I could have asked right away and at some point in the next week I will. But I enjoy a good mystery and this has been something to marvel at.

On it's face this Caesar is an interesting answer to the Elizabethan stage where all the roles were played by men. But that would be all novelty, and this is a substantial piece of work. There must be other, deeper reasons. My interest doubled when a striking ad started running on The Flyer's website. It's eye-catching and exploitive in the best and worst senses of the word.

imgad.jpg

At first I cringed because it reminded me of Fatal Attraction, an extremely popular film I've never liked a bit. But it also struck me that Shakespeare's take on the plot to assassinate the great Roman dictator—a sausage fest to be sure— has much in common with a handful of reasonably contemporary films about
Caesar3.jpg
  • From TSC's JULIUS CAESAR
the power struggles waged between teenage girls. The struggle that drives JC's plot is reflected in the Heathers (1989) a dark comedy full of murder and mayhem. But the plays politics may be more closely related to the brutal (if bloodless) Mean Girls(2004), and the sunnier but still fierce Bring it On.

Or maybe we'll see the recent past reflected a la Hillary Clinton vs Sarah Palin. Set at Germantown City Hall McCleary's JC obviously takes place in an adult world and in some poetic space that is at once classical and contemporary. So it's not taking its cues from any of the films or circumstances I've mentioned. Having revisited the script however, all I can say is that I'm intrigued by all the possibilities for using Shakespeare's words to explore the violent and political aspects of femininity. And vice versa.

I hope readers will feel free to share their impressions of and their reactions to this unique take on one of Shakespeare's best known tragedies.

9 PERFORMANCES ONLY

MARCH 26 - APRIL 11

Germantown City Hall

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