The Ithaca Shakespeare Company in New York will finish its 2014 season with a pair of special events: a Halloween-themed concert that blends music with performances of Shakespeare, and a production of Julius Caesar performed by an all-female cast.
ISC will present “A Shakespearean All Hallows Even” on Saturday, Oct. 25, at Fall Creek Studios, 1201 N. Tioga St., at 7:30 p.m., with pre-show activities beginning at 7 p.m. This event will feature performances of Halloween-themed songs by Kristen Park, Melissa Snyder, and Elizabeth Frank, accompanied by pianist Bill Cowdery, while ISC actors portray the ghosts, goblins, and witches of Shakespeare in scenes and speeches from Hamlet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and other plays. The recorder ensemble Trillium will also perform. Refreshments will be available, and audience members are encouraged to attend in costume. Costumes will be available for loan and for sale, and Shakespeare himself will be available. Tickets are $5–$10 and available at www.ithacashakespeare.org.
Ithaca Shakespeare's production of Julius Caesar will run Nov. 6–16 at Fall Creek Studios. Although ISC has often cast women in male roles, and last year presented an all-female cast in Desdemona, Paula Vogel’s modern feminist take on Othello, this will be the company’s first Shakespeare play featuring an all-female cast.
“There are never enough female roles in Shakespeare,” ISC Artistic Director Stephen Ponton said in a press release, “and that’s especially true of a play like Julius Caesar. So, on a purely practical level, we wanted to give some very talented women a chance to play more of these great Shakespearean roles. At the same time, casting women in these parts really challenges some of our expectations about gender roles and the construction of masculinity and femininity both within the play and in our own lives. And as usual in Shakespeare, the political issues raised by the play have a lot of resonance in our modern world, especially during election season.”
Directed by Amina Omari, with fight choreography by Holly Adams and costume design by Sara Rodbourne, the cast includes several actors who are new to the company as well as those familiar to audiences from previous ISC shows: Adrienne Huffman, Camilla Schade, Christina Brewington, Claire Roberson, Danielle Bates, Emily Howes, Ivy Stevens, Judith Andrew, Katie Wallace, Lili Aguirre, Lisa Frank, Lisa VillaMil, Marissa Biondolillo, Melissa Snyder, and Rachel Fichter.
“When women inhabit these male characters, it helps bring the violent and honor-obsessed world of the play into sharper focus,” Omari said in the release. “Of course, in a world where so many female roles are underwritten, it’s also thrilling to watch a talented cast of women scheme, swashbuckle, and fully embrace the spotlight.”
Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and at 4 p.m. on Sunday. General admission is $12 per person on Thursdays and $20 per person on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays ($15 for student and seniors). Tickets are available at www.ithacashakespeare.org.
The Ithaca Shakespeare Company is a regional theatre organization that draws talent from Cornell University, Ithaca College, the Ithaca community, and beyond. For more than a decade, the Ithaca Shakespeare Company has been producing outdoor Shakespeare on the wooded grounds of Cornell Plantations and, more recently, a winter season at several locations in Ithaca.
October 14, 2014