Following on the heels of their successful inaugural productions of Merry Wives of Windsor and Lysistrata, the Dead Playwrights Repertory in Haddonfield, N.J., is mounting its spring production of The Ides of March in May, a two-part adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra, directed by one of the company’s co-founders, Darryl S. Thompson Jr.
Based loosely around the events of the Kennedy Assassination, DPR’s modern spin on Julius Caesar brings a fresh perspective to Shakespeare’s play, showcasing classic themes of honor, betrayal, loyalty, and revenge for a 21st century audience. Centered on Caesar, Brutus, Cassius, and Marc Antony, the play delves into the mysterious and dangerous world of politics and how one decision can alter the course of history forever.
Desire, love, and sense of duty are put to the test in Antony and Cleopatra. Set against the backdrop of the “free love” era of the late 1960s, the fate of the Roman Empire is threatened by one general’s love for the Egyptian queen who holds all of the cards.
The house band, Antic Disposition, will entertain the audience 20 minutes before the show starts and during the intermissions, with thematically relevant, yet modern, music to set the mood.
Based on the Elizabethan staging of Shakespeare’s day, DPR’s minimalist staging is designed to stimulate the imagination, using words and actions rather than elaborate backdrops to set the scene. The thrust stage offers an intimate setting that puts the audience in the middle of the action, which in turn invites individuals to become part of the story being presented.
The repertory season will run on weekends from May 6 to 20 at the Haddonfield Friends Meeting House, 45 Friends Ave., Haddonfield, N.J. Special combo tickets are available for both plays on May 20, with a pasta dinner between performances.
April 27, 2012