When I wasn't munching on Twizzler bits or figuring out which Instagram filter looked best against T.J.'s curly locks (pictures can be found below), I found myself enthralled & moved by 2/22's designer run of JULIUS CAESAR.
For the first time ever, one of BPBCo.'s shows is under the direction of a non-member's watchful eye. But heck, Lavina Jadhwani's eyes are more than watchful. They're keen, laser-focused, and bringing many new and exciting takes to the classic text. She and her team are creating an evening of insightful theatre with several exciting BPBCo. firsts:
- Mark Antony and Julius Caesar as women. Classic text pops with modern weight and importance. New social insight is illuminated as new triangles of love, trust, and betrayal are formed.
- 8 actors tackling 35+ characters. I can't. I just can't. How they do it is a mystery. An awe-inspiring mystery.
- It's an election year. Bernie, Ted, Hillary, Donald .... Mark Anthony, and Brutus.
- Vahishta Vafadari & Tyler Esselman's fight choreography. Even at a safely-paced 50% during the run, Vah and Tyler's fight design is spot-on. Scary, story-driven, and respectfully handled by the cast.
- On-stage seating. Lavina's cutting of this production of JULIUS CAESAR was new to me, so I wanted to be as surprised & immersed as possible, so I took advantage of 1 of our 8 on-stage seats. Fantastic opportunity to be up in the action without sacrificing sight-lines or feeling like you're apart of any kind of audience participation.
Couldn't be more excited to share this story, in this fashion, with these artists, this year with you all. Hope to see you at the Greenhouse Theater Center March 4 through April 3!
M. William Panek
Brown Paper Blog
Making theatre. Writing about it. Maybe some hilarious Youtube cat videos in between.