What’s most surprising about Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare’s 16th-century treatment of the Roman general, statesman, and author, is the short amount of time Caesar appears. He speaks in only five scenes and is, of course, slain before his time.
Marcus Brutus is Julius Caesar’s lead role. Nevertheless, among Caesar, Brutus, and Mark Antony, the play offers a number of lines that have seeped into the permanent pop consciousness: “Friends, Romans, countrymen...,” “Beware the ides of March,” “Let slip the dogs of war,” and “Et tu, Brute?” all owe their origin to this historical tragedy.
In the past century, directors have taken Shakespeare’s Caesar in radical directions, including Orson Welles’ infamous allegory about creeping fascism from 1937, and an all-female production in England in 2012. In this tradition, the FIU Theater Department’s season-closing production will include gender changes, multimedia effects, and the use of modern technology and instant communication. Perhaps Caesar’s dying tweet will end with “#brutussucks.”
The play runs this Sunday through March 9, with showtimes of 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, at the Wertheim Performing Arts Center (10910 SW 17th St., Miami). Tickets cost $12 to $15. Call 305-348-0496 or visit carta.fiu.edu.
Feb. 28-March 9, 2014