Southeastern Theatre to present Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar'
Contact: Rene Abadie
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1) In a scene from Southeastern Louisiana University’s production of Shakespeare’s “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Cassius (played by Megan Cleveland of Mandeville) plots with Brutus (played by Lee Jeansonne of Covington.
2) In rehearsals for “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar” being produced by the Southeastern Louisiana University theatre program, Julius Caesar, left, played by Zachary Boudreaux of Walker, confers with Mark Anthony, played by Trey Lagan of Ponchatoula. Brutus, played by Lee Jeansonne of Covington, lingers in the background.
HAMMOND – William Shakespeare’s “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar” takes a non-traditional look in Southeastern Louisiana University Theatre’s upcoming production of the classic tragedy.
Set to run in the Vonnie Borden Theatre in D Vickers Hall from April 13 – 16 at 7:30 p.m., the play – directed by Jim Winter, assistant professor in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts – employs unconventional costumes and a hybrid classical-modern set to portray the Roman republic in a period of decline.
“Because of budget concerns, doing the play in a realistic, classical Rome presented problems for costumes and props,” Winter explained. “I thought about it and decided there were so many similarities between Caesar’s Rome and modern America that I would fuse the two. Depending upon what angle you look at it, you may get a very Roman feel or a more modern American feel; or you might just experience both.”
Tickets for the production are free for Southeastern students with their ID, $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students from other universities.
The play depicts the assassination of the Roman general and statesman, Julius Caesar, played by Zachary Boudreaux of Walker. Having amassed significant military and political power, Caesar enters into an alliance designed to transform the republic into an empire. In 44 BC he dies at the hands of members of the Roman Senate, including his own friend, Brutus, played by Lee Jeansonne of Covington.
Other lead actors in the play are Megan Cleveland of Mandeville as Cassius and Trey Lagan of Ponchatoula as Mark Antony.
The set, designed by student Amanda Klipsch of Mandeville, mixes classical Roman archetypes with a modern, industrial feel. And don’t expect to see togas and traditional Roman soldier uniforms: these actors employ more modern military uniforms and fatigues, leather jackets, and combat boots. Costuming was handled by Southeastern alumna Tiffany Baptiste of New Orleans.
Other key contributors to the production included Christina Tiberi of Hammond, sound design; Southeastern Theatre faculty member Steve Schepker, lighting; Avery Brent of Walker and Amber Bederka of Prairieville, properties and weapons design; and graduate student Tara Bennett of Covington, makeup design. Stephen Varnado of Zachary is stage manager.
“This is an exceptional crew that has worked tirelessly with a very limited budget to put together what I think will be a fantastic production,” Winter said.
The cast also includes: Amber Bederka, Prairieville; Bray Williams, Ruth Pakunpunya and Lauren Roberts, Denham Springs; Brittany Aguillard, Eunice; Byron Robinson and Hallie Green, Baton Rouge; Dani deMotluzin, Kenner; Drew Zeringue, Perlington, Miss.; Jennifer Clesi, Mandeville; Jordan Giugliuzza and Kayla Turner, Hammond; Kacie Barnes, Ben Norman and Mark Bryan, Covington; Karista Filopoulos and Quinn Kennedy, Abita Springs; Kate Langley, Minneapolis, Minn.; Mark Hoopes, Shreveport; and Paul Shinn, Metairie.
Also performing are: Randy Malborough, Gonzales; Robert Pool, St. Francisville; Rodney Washington and Veronica Gutierrez, New Orleans; Santiago Rodriguez, Bogata, Colombia; Mark Kozel, Ponchatoula; and Roberto Ruiz, San Salvador, El Salvador.