All-Black ‘Julius Caesar’ at BAM

Julius Caesar at BAMBAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) will present an all-black production of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, to run April 10 through Apr 28, 2013 at the BAM Harvey Theater.

Gregory Doran will direct a cast that includes Paterson Joseph as Brutus (pictured), Jeffrey Kissoon as Julius Caesar, and Ray Fearon as Marc Anthony.

Brooklyn, NY—The world-renowned Royal Shakespeare Company returns to BAM with a new twist on Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Set in present day Africa and featuring an all-black British cast, this visionary production echoes the recent regime struggles on that continent and illustrates the timelessness of Shakespeare’s prose. According to …The Guardian (UK), “Doran’s production gives the play’s central debate about the necessary political murder a new immediacy.”

Associate Director Gbolahan Obisesan Newly appointed Artistic Director Gregory Doran found inspiration in the heavily annotated pages of an edition of Shakespeare’s complete works that had been passed around the prisoners of South Africa’s Robben Island. Nelson Mandela had written beside many passages from Julius Caesar and it was then that Doran began to see the parallels between the ancient Rome of Shakespeare’s play and Africa’s history over the past 50 years. While discussing the play at a symposium, the Arab Spring began unfolding, further supporting Doran’s contemporary vision for the play. He told the Telegraph (UK), “…we realized the key thing was not are they going to get rid of Qaddafi; the key thing is what happens next. And that’s the big political issue in Julius Caesar, too: what happens after the assassination.”

Featuring sets and costumes by Michael Vale, the production includes live performances of contemporary West African music from composer Akintayo Akinbode, fostering the contemporary resonance of this classic political thriller. The cast includes Adjoa Andoh (Portia), Ray Fearon (Mark Antony), Paterson Joseph (Brutus), Jeffery Kissoon (Julius Caesar), Samantha Lawson (Calpurnia), and Cyril Nri (Cassius).

The production premiered in 2012 at the World Shakespeare Festival, followed by a run at the Noel Coward Theatre in London and a UK tour. In November 2012, Julius Caesar was presented in Russia at the Moscow Arts Theater—the first RSC production to play Russia since 1967. Following the BAM engagement, the production will be presented at the Southern Theatre in Columbus, OH from May 1 through 5.

The Royal Shakespeare Company in America is presented in collaboration with The Ohio State University

General Information BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, BAM Rose Cinemas, and BAMcafé are located in the Peter Jay Sharp building at 30 Lafayette Avenue (between St Felix Street and Ashland Place) in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn.

BAM Harvey Theater is located two blocks from the main building at 651 Fulton Street (between Ashland and Rockwell Places). Both locations house Greenlight Bookstore at BAM kiosks. BAM Fisher, located at 321 Ashland Place, is the newest addition to the BAM campus and houses the Judith and Alan Fishman Space and Rita K. Hillman Studio. BAM Rose Cinemas is Brooklyn’s only movie house dedicated to first-run independent and foreign film and repertory programming. BAMcafé, operated by Great Performances, is open for dining prior to BAM Howard Gilman Opera House evening performances. BAMcafé also features an eclectic mix of spoken word and live music for BAMcafé Live on Friday and Saturday nights with a special BAMcafé Live menu available starting at 6pm.

Subway: 2, 3, 4, 5, Q, B to Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center (2, 3, 4, 5 to Nevins St for Harvey Theater) D, N, R to Pacific Street; G to Fulton Street; C to Lafayette Avenue.

Train: Long Island Railroad to Atlantic Terminal-Barclays Center Bus: B25, B26, B41, B45, B52, B63, B67 all stop within three blocks of BAM Car: Commercial parking lots are located adjacent to BAM

For ticket and BAMbus information, call BAM Ticket Services at 718.636.4100, or visit BAM.org.

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